Immediate impact freshmen are not as rare as they once were but the fact still remains that physically many struggle a bit with the transition from middle school to high school and others just simply struggle with the pace, quickness, and the complexity of things.  That being said, the class of 2021 in Wisconsin has a number of talented freshmen playing and contributing quality minutes this season.  In what is shaping up as a very strong class potentially, here’s a look at five freshmen off to great starts in their high school careers.

Foster has been having an outstanding freshman season through 8 games.  Averaging 16 points and 12.5 rebounds a game he is helping carry the weight for a very talented Milwaukee Washington team who is 6-2.  Foster earned the Top Big Man award after averaging a double-double at the St Hope Elite Classic in Sacramento, California which hosts many of the top teams in California.  After receiving interest and offers from multiple of the top programs across the country the 6-9 plus forward decided to commit to coach Bobby Hurley and the Arizona State Sun Devils earlier this winter after taking an unofficial visit.  Foster is considered to be at worst a consensus top 5 prospect in the country.  Look for him to continue to make noise on the national level considering his ceiling is as high as anybody in recent years.

Patrick Baldwin Jr and Foster are the two alpha dogs of a very promising 2021 class of Wisconsin.  The two young forwards earned CO-MVP honors at the NY2LA Futures camp in the fall.  Baldwin, the son of first year UW-Milwaukee coach Pat Baldwin, has also already made noise on the national scene and is also considered to be a top 5 talent in the country.  Equipped with size, skill, and a very high IQ, he reminds me of a young Jayson Tatum in terms of his advanced skill.  Baldwin is the leading scorer for Sussex Hamilton (7-3) and is currently averaging 14 points a game.  Baldwin has already visited high major programs like Duke and received his first high major offer from UNLV earlier this winter.  

Joplin had a very successful summer with Ray Allen Select winning the GNBA Championship and then the 14U AAU National championship.  Joplin has carried that strong play over into the high school season where he is averaging 7 points and 7 rebounds for one of the top division one teams in the state Brookfield Central.  With one of the toughest schedules in the state they are currently 8-3, but many believe the battle tested team can make some noise come state tournament time in March.  UNLV was the first school to offer, but many programs across the country are keeping their eyes close on the promising 6-7 forward.

Nau is finding his way more and more into the rotation for Brookfield Central.  Teammates with Joplin on the talented and deep Brookfield Central team Nau is a solid contributor for one of the top division one teams in Wisconsin.  He is the back up for his older brother Cole Nau who is considered one of the top 2019 guards in the state.  This is a learning season for him as Ben has the potential and ability to become one of the top guard prospects in the 2021 class in the region.  That being said Ben is being asked to play considerable minutes already and he’s already flashed his potential early this season.  Nau was also on the Ray Allen Select Team that won the GNBA championship and the 14U AAU National championship last summer.

JaKobe Thompson, a sleeper in Wisconsin's talented 2021 class, has been nothing short of excellent this season.  Thompson is the leading scorer for Racine Case averaging 20 points through 10 games.  A very hard-nosed guard that can score as good as any 2021 prospect in the state competes with Caron Butler Elite during the grassroots season. Thompson showed that he was ready for a big season with a breakout performance in the Generation Next Basketball Association “GNBA” last spring that secured him a spot at the GNBA Top 40 camp, which featured many of the top 2021 prospects in the Midwest.  Thompson’s best basketball is still ahead of him as he continues to get better and with continued growth and development expect to hear a lot about him over the next few years.