Jordan Hill to leave Badgers as graduate transfer

Badgers guard Jordan Hill will finish his college basketball career elsewhere.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Already faced with the prospect of losing four seniors, the Wisconsin Badgers will have another player to replace as redshirt junior guard Jordan Hill has been granted his release and will transfer.

Hill, who will earn his degree from Wisconsin in May, will be a graduate transfer meaning he will not have to sit out a year.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend four years studying and playing at Wisconsin,” Hill said in a release. “In May, I will be graduating with an incredible degree from a world class institution. Making the decision to leave the program was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in life, but I had to make the best decision for myself.

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“Thank you to everyone who has shown me love, my teammates who became brothers, coaches who never let me get stagnant, and all of the people on campus who educated a young man from Pasadena. I can never say enough because coming here was life-changing. I will always hold a special place in my heart for you, Wisconsin. I will forever be a Badger. On Wisconsin!”

Hill played 35 games for the Badgers this past season, averaging 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds in 9.9 minutes. However, he played just a combined 17 minutes in Wisconsin’s three NCAA tournament games.

In 2015-16, Hill averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 15.6 minutes, but his playing time increased dramatically after Greg Gard took over as head coach for Bo Ryan. He had a career-high 13 points in a win over Indiana on Jan. 26, 2016.

Hill played sparingly as a freshman in 2013-14, appearing in 11 games with 25 minutes, then took his redshirt year in 2014-15. He ended up playing 75 games at Wisconsin, averaging 1.1 points in 11.1 minutes.

“We want to thank Jordan for his dedication to our program and congratulate him on getting his degree,” Gard said. “He was a valuable member of some very successful teams at Wisconsin. We wish him well and will do whatever we can to help him both on and off the court moving forward.”

The Badgers, which lost in the Sweet 16 to Florida on a last-second shot this past season, also will lose seniors Vitto Brown, Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig an Zak Showalter from that 27-10 team.

Hill is the first player to transfer under Gard’s regime. Riley Dearring left Wisconsin days before Gard’s ascension following Ryan’s in-season retirement in December 2015. Dearring is now at Cal State Fullerton.