Wisconsin basketball struggled throughout last season and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years. How will this season be better?
Wisconsin basketball is an interesting position. After stumbling through last season to a poor overall record (15-18) that yielded no postseason opportunities, the Badgers return just about everyone from last season in hopes of starting with a clean slate. The team will once again be led by superstar big man Ethan Happ but, similar to last year, questions surround how much help he will get from the supporting cast.
Of course, health will play a major role this season as three Badgers either missed time or were hampered by injuries throughout last season. If the team stays healthy, it is hard to imagine a situation in which they do not improve at least a little bit on last season’s performance. Still, it may also be difficult to picture the team making a massive jump up the Big Ten standings and firmly into the NCAA Tournament conversation. Quite simply, for a team with a ton of returning rotation players, Wisconsin has a lot of question marks.
Unlike other teams across the nation, the Badgers are not bringing in any top-tier freshmen or transfers that can greatly impact the program right away. Due to this, Wisconsin hopefully improved internally over the course of the offseason. As long as the roster developed together this offseason to create a more well-rounded team, then there is a decent likelihood that the Badgers are back in the NCAA Tournament this season.
Even though it is impossible to know how Wisconsin will perform without seeing them on the court, there are still several reasons to be excited and/or skeptical about the season. To preview this season, though, let’s take a look at a potential starting lineup, the key reserves, and the non-conference slate before throwing out some projections.