The Wisconsin Badgers look to improve upon a season that saw them lose to the #12 seeded Ole Miss Rebels in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament with an improving young talent.
Many brackets and basketball picks were destroyed last season as people had Wisconsin
going as far as the Final Four. They had a superb defensive club and players
like Jarred Berggren and Ben Brust came up with some huge key baskets last
year; just ask Michigan.
So Long Seniors
The Badgers lose Jared Berggren (11 points, 6.9 rebounds),
Ryan Evans (10.1 points, 7.3 rebounds), and Mike Bruesewitz (6.4 points, 5.3
rebounds) to graduation. Unlike most teams, they don’t have the gawdy numbers,
but these are solid college players that protected the glass and made Wisky one
of the best defenses in the country.
Brust, a Must
Luckily for the Badgers, they get a little experience back
in senior guard Ben Brust. Brust isn’t all about the numbers despite leading
the Badgers in scoring. He’s a money player that can put up the big shot at the
end of the game. Wisconsin is a team that beat Michigan twice last season and
my lasting impression of Ben Brust is a half court heave to put the Badgers in
overtime and pick up a huge victory. Brust is emotional and will inspire the
younger players on the squad.
Freshman and ESPN top 100 recruit, Nigel Hayes, will get an
immediate chance to start in the 2013-2014 season and can provide Wisconsin
with some much needed offense to go with their top notch defense.
Hayes is money from anything within 19 feet of the basket,
can score in the low post, and can catch and shoot. Look for an immediate
contribution from this 6 foot 7 power forward.
Although Lacrosse, Wisconsin native, Bronson Koenig, is not
expected to crack the starting lineup, I expect this point guard to surprise
some people even though being ranked 6th in the state of Wisconsin
in guards, Koenig can play point guard and off guard. He’s a true quarterback
that has good court vision and can set others up. Keep your eye out in the
future for this young man.
As mentioned, Ben Brust and Nigel Hayes will start along
with Frank Kaminsky (4.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 10.3 minutes), Traevon Jackson
(6.9 points, 2.8 assists, 2.5 rebounds), and Sam Dekker (9.6 points, 3.4 rebounds).
Kaminsky as the big man will have to make the biggest
transition as he didn’t see much playing time last year and Dekker and Jackson
will be a much bigger factor offensively with the loss of Berggren. With the
exception of Brust, this is a very young team, but the one thing that will keep
them in ball games is their exceptional defense and ability to protect the
Whose Going To Win
the National Championship?
Kentucky is listed as the big favorite at +400 on the NCAAB odds boards, but after
last season, I don’t like the price; I don’t care about their 1 year pickups.
Duke is very appealing at the price of +1200 with top recruit Jabari Parker
coming into Cameron Indoor Stadium and then you have Wisconsin at +5000.
Folks, don’t waste your money with this team. No disrespect
intended, but they lack the offense to be a top contender. If they got further
than the 2nd round in the Big Dance, this season would be a success.
This is an up and coming team and their defense will keep them in games against
more highly skilled offensive oriented teams in the nation.