Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Details
In head coach Greg Gard’s first full season after taking over for Bo Ryan, the Wisconsin Badgers showed that they aren’t a team who should be taken lightly. The Badgers finished the 2016-17 season with a 27-10 overall record and a 2nd place regular season finish in the tough Big Ten Conference. Wisconsin turned that record into an 8th seed for the NCAA Tournament, where the team knocked off #1 seed Villanova in the second round before losing a nail-biter against Florida in the East Regional Semifinal. Despite the third-round loss, it was clear that this Wisconsin club under Coach Gard was a team that could compete. Unfortunately for the Badgers, the team lost four important senior players after last season. Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, Zak Showalter, and Vitto Brown combined for nearly 43 points per game, and made up the core of Wisconsin’s starting five.
The good news is that redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ will return this season after two wonderful years as an underclassman. Happ averaged 14 points and nine rebounds per game last season and he’ll certainly be a key player in the frontcourt once again. Guards D-Mitrik Trice and Khalil Iverson – who both played well in backup roles last season – should slot in to the starting backcourt positions, providing a bit of experience for a team that will need it. Trice averaged around six points off the bench last year, while Iverson averaged four in limited minutes. Incoming freshmen Nathan Reuvers (6’9”, four-star recruit), Kobe King (6’3”, three-star), and Brad Davison (6’3”, four-star) will all likely have roles on the team next season, with Reuvers being the most likely to play big minutes right away. In Gard’s second full season, solid play in front of his home crowd at Madison’s Kohl Center will be crucial to another year of success. Last season, the Badgers finished 15-2 at home.