Garlock will become a Badger

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Rob Reischel
Middleton's Will Garlock has chosen to play college basketball for the University of Wisconsin./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s basketball program has produced a steady stream of college players in recent years.

The Cardinals have never sent anyone straight from high school into a Power 5 conference, though.

Will Garlock has changed all of that.

Garlock, a 6-foot-11, senior-to be at MHS, gave a verbal commitment to the University of Wisconsin Thursday night and made his decision official Saturday.

“I’m really proud,” Garlock said Saturday afternoon. “I just felt really good about the coaching staff and the players. I built great relationships with them and just felt like it was the best place for me.”

Garlock said his final choices were Wisconsin and Iowa. Virginia Tech and Minnesota were also in his final four.

Garlock becomes the first player from the Big Eight Conference to go from high school to a Power 5 Conference (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC) since Nick Fuller of Sun Prairie headed to Nebraska in 2013.

Garlock also becomes the most notable recruit in Middleton history.

The Cardinals’ string of Division 1 college players since the turn of the century includes Storm Murphy (Wofford and Virginia Tech), Ty Eady (North Dakota State and North Texas), Derek Rongstad and Tone Boyle (both UW-Milwaukee) and Will Hudson (Oakland). Garlock’s decision to become a Badger is another plane, though.

“This is great pride for the program and the community,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “Kids can look up at Will and say anything’s possible.

“Over the years, we’ve had a lot of really, really great players, but have never had that high major, scholarship kid. So this is really exciting for all of us.”

Garlock was named first-team all-Big Eight last season and honorable-mention all-state in Division 1 by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association.

Garlock led the Cardinals in scoring (16.9), rebounding (8.5) and blocked shots (19) in 2023-24. Garlock also shot 66.5% from the floor (165-of-248) and knocked down 31.2% of his 3-point shots (10-of-32).

Garlock moves fluidly and has terrific athleticism for a player his size. He has impressive shooting range and is extremely unselfish, but must become a more dominant rim protector and improve his free throw shooting.

“Potential is a hard word to use,” Bavery said. “So in Will’s case I like to use the word ceiling. There’s no question Will has highest ceiling of anyone I ever coached.

“He has the feet of a 6-foot guard. He’s quick and really smooth for a 7-footer, all stuff that translates to a higher level.”

Dean Oliver, whose son Isaiah was a sophomore point guard at Middleton last season, was Wisconsin’s lead recruiter with Garlock. Dean Oliver’s contract with the Badgers wasn’t renewed, though, after last season.

Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard took the lead with Garlock’s recruitment after Oliver was replaced on staff. And despite a strong push by Iowa head coach Fran McCaffrey, Garlock chose UW, where several of his family members also attended school.

“It feels good to get it off my plate,” Garlock said of picking a school now. “It was a hard choice, but I feel really good about it.”

Garlock didn’t plan to make his college choice until later this summer, when the AAU season ended. During an AAU practice in April, though, Garlock broke his right ankle that ended his season with Team Herro on the EYBL (Nike) circuit.

With Garlock sidelined, he had little chance to improve his stock, so he decided this was the right time to pick his future home.

“I was definitely going to wait and see who else might show interest,” Garlock said. “But the injury kind of changed that. So I thought this was a good time.”

Garlock is roughly two months removed from surgery and is no longer using a walking boot. He hopes to be playing again by August and could be poised for a huge senior season.

“His upside is so great,” Bavery said. “There’s so many things I’m looking at and thinking about, ways to make sure we maximize his skill set. It’s exciting.”

No one, of course, is more excited than Garlock.

He joins DePere guard Zach Kinzinger as Wisconsin recruits in the Class of 2025. The Badgers are also still heavily pursuing Nicolet standout Davion Hannah and former Wauwatosa West center Kai Rogers to join what could become a stellar recruiting class.

“It’s exciting to have it done before my senior year,” said Garlock, who plans to study Business at UW. “Wisconsin’s close to home, it’s a great fit, the academics are outstanding. It just had everything I was looking for. I’m really excited.”


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