After three years, forward Andy Van Vliet leaving Wisconsin

After three years, Andy Van Vliet is leaving UW-Madison.

Image By: Sebastian van Bastelaer

After three years with the Badgers, forward Andy Van Vliet will be transferring from Wisconsin to another Division I school, he said in a statement on Twitter Tuesday.

“After meeting with the coaching staff last week, I have made the decision to leave the University of Wisconsin and pursue my academic and athletic goals at another Division I school,” he said in his statement.

Van Vliet’s came to Madison from Antwerp, Belgium, to a buzz of excitement on campus that was promptly silenced by the NCAA. Having played amateur basketball for a year before enrolling, the 6-foot-11 forward was ruled ineligible for the 2015-’16 season and his much-anticipated debut was postponed.

His first action as a Badger came in UW’s season opener against Central Arkansas in 2016, as he scored two points in five minutes and grabbed four rebounds. He wouldn’t eclipse 10 minutes in his sophomore season and was relegated entirely to the bench in conference play.

In the 2017-’18 season, Van Vliet was plugged into the starting lineup in the wake of Nigel Hayes’s and Vitto Brown’s graduation. His eye-opening performance in the first game of the year — 18 points and eight rebounds on 7-of-11 shooting in 22 minutes — rekindled much of the excited aura that surrounded Van Vliet during his year of ineligibility, but struggles on the defensive end and an inability to compete against top-tier Big Ten forwards once again landed the Belgian on the further end of UW’s bench.

Van Vliet will now look for a new opportunity to find consistent playing time elsewhere in the NCAA, but not without the lasting impact of the Badger program.

“Wisconsin was my first choice,” Van Vliet wrote. “My only regret is not being able to finish what I have started, but this school and community will always hold a special place in my heart.”

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