The big man out of Ohio impressed Greg Gard at Peach Jam last week.
Greg Gard and the Wisconsin Badgers continue to flesh out their 2024 recruiting board after the most recent live evaluation period. After offering big Royce Parham earlier in the week the Badgers extended an offer to another 2024 forward, Jesse McCulloch (Cleveland) out of Lutheran East High School.
— Jesse McCulloch (@JesseMcCulloch4) July 25, 2022
Standing at 6-foot-9 and weighing around 200 pounds, McCulloch isn’t rated by any of the major recruiting sites but has apparently been impressing on the grassroots circuit recently. He has around 10 offers, including from Butler, Michigan State, Mizzou, Virginia Tech and Xavier among some mid-majors.
McCulloch’s U16 grassroots team, the Indy Heat Gym Rats won the Peach Invitational (a separate thing from Peach Jam, as far as I can tell, but still takes place at the same time and in the same area) this past weekend, beating the Boston Amateur Basketball Club.
— Jeff Rabjohns (@JeffRabjohns) July 24, 2022
McCulloch’s high school team has been a dominant force in Ohio high school basketball, winning six straight district titles and five straight regional championships. This past year they made it to the Division III state semifinals, losing to eventual state champ Taft.
I couldn’t find a full highlight tape for McCulloch, which is why I’ve embedded four different videos here, but I think you’ll get the gist of his game by watching them all. They’re also short, because I value your time.
There are a number of things to like about McCulloch’s game. For one, I think he has a motor that doesn’t stop when he’s on the floor. He is battling for rebounds and trying to tap the ball to himself or a teammate to retain position. He protects the rim well (there is one highlight clip that I didn’t include where he had nine blocks in one game) and shows solid instincts there.
McCulloch has a smooth stroke from three and while he certainly isn’t some gunner/sniper type player, he is unafraid to let it fly when he’s open. He has the beginnings of a solid bag of moves in the post and his footwork appears nimble, although it could use some fine tuning. He is going to need to add weight, obviously, but you can see a future where he is a Tyler Wahl-like player with a considerably higher shooting percentage from outside the paint.
Evan Flood over at Badger247 notes ($) that McCulloch isn’t in any hurry to make a decision on where he’ll go to college and he plans on taking a number of visits before cutting down his list of schools.
The Badgers now have 10 offers out for the 2024 class, with three of them being to power forwards. One of those players, 4-star Cooper Koch, has already verbally committed to Iowa so McCulloch and Parham are next up on the list for Gard and co. If I had to pick one, I’d lean towards McCulloch, but it’ll be interesting to see how their junior years play out and what Wisconsin ends up thinking.