Author: Adam Klaus
Sitting at 10-11 after a loss to fellow under-achievers Iowa, the Wisconsin Men’s Basketball teams season is one fans have not seen in decades– A team that is not only littered with injuries but lacks veteran talent.
Beyond the mediocre season, however, there have been some bright spots that give fans a lot to look forward to in the coming years. For instance, Brad Davison has been an incredible playmaker and is making a real impact as a freshman. At this rate, Davison makes a great case for Big Ten Freshman of the year. In addition to that, players like Aleem Ford and Nate Reuvers have also become well-adjusted and provided quality play on both ends of the floor.
With Wisconsin’s middling season, you have to wonder what the Badgers are playing for and how Head Coach Greg Gard can motivate a young team to play their best basketball by the end of the season.
It’s true that even if the Badgers were to run the table through the regular season, they would still not have a particularly strong resume to make the NCAA tournament. With that being said, Gard needs to coach this team for the Big Ten Tournament that looms at the end of February.
In my dream scenario for the Badger this season, the team continues their below-average regular season while fine-tuning the rotation and truly figuring out how to maximize the talent of the team. Then finally, once the Big Ten Tournament comes around, the Badgers get hot and this young team can start competing and battle for an auto bid. This is clearly a distant dream, but there are some important takeaways to this thought. It is crucial that Gard uses this time to get young players quality minutes and see what these future players are actually capable of. The issue for Wisconsin this year is not talent, it’s finding an identity. This is not the same Wisconsin that played great defense, slow offense and took care of the ball.
This team just needs to figure out what game plan works for them. If Wisconsin can find an identity, they’re more than capable of competing with most of the Big Ten.