#25 Wisconsin Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Wisconsin Badgers

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #25
Conference Rank:  #4 Big Ten

Wisconsin Team Page#25 Wisconsin Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Wisconsin Basketball Tickets

Bo Ryan is back for his 13th season in Madison.  He appears like he will once again have Wisconsin in the Big Ten conversation.  Ryan has won 20 games or more in 10 of the last 11 seasons.  The Badgers are the picture of consistency in college basketball.  As one of the most methodical coaches in the country, Ryan’s teams tend to reflect his philosophy:  slow the game down and stifle the other team.  Statistically, Wisconsin is one of the best defensive teams in the country.  That should continue this year.

2012-2013 record:  23-12, 12-6
2012-2013 postseason:  NCAA
Coach:  Bo Ryan
Coach Record:  291-113 at Wisconsin, 674-216 overall

Who’s Out:
Ryan loses a lot of talent from last year’s squad.  Mike Bruesewitz was a Ryan “glue” guy for three seasons.  He could settle the team down in pressure situations and hit a big shot for the Badgers every now and then.  The Badgers also lose Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans, two serious contributors last season.  Berggren was the team’s second leading scorer and the team’s lead enforcer on the blocks.  At 6’10” he could patrol the middle while the skilled guards did their business on the perimeter.   Evans was the team’s best rebounder and averaged over 10 points per game.  He was an all-around player that Ryan will miss especially on the defensive glass.

Who’s In:
Frank Kaminsky, a steady rotation player last season, should see his role increase this year.  He is a veteran post player who is primed to start.  He averaged about four points in 10 minutes per game last season.  He will be relied on a bit more this year with Berggren no longer on the floor.  After losing some key contributors, Ryan has a six-player freshmen class coming in to 2013-2014. He has a lot of variety in the class, recruiting a bit for each position.  Bronson Koenig, a local talent from La Crosse, is a skilled point guard who can learn behind Traevon Jackson.  Nigel Hayes is a strong forward who will help keep the front court rotation fresh.

Who to Watch:
Josh Gasser is going to be the player everyone has their eyes on.  Gasser missed the whole 2012-2013 season due to an ACL injury.  He played in every game two years ago and averaged 7.6 points per game.  That seems like a low average, but he was easily Wisconsin’s best three-point shooter.  He hit 45percent of his threes.  For a squad that is not generally known for the long ball, Gasser is a great weapon for the Badgers.  His health will be in question at the start of the season.  Once he gets going and he can prove his knee is right, he will be key late in games for this team.

Final Projection:
Wisconsin finished 12-6 in the Big Ten last year (only two games back from first place) and yet still ended up in the fifth position at season’s end.  The Big Ten looks like it will be fairly bunched up at the top of the standings again this year.  Ryan’s veteran team is going to have a chance to compete for the top spot.  This is not his most talented team, but he always has one of the toughest squads on the floor that teams are going to hate playing.  They tend to lead the conference year in and year out in defensive scoring (they ranked seventh nationally last season).  Opponents can get frustrated.  Look for at least another 12 wins in conference this season.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Traevon Jackson, Junior, Guard, 6.9 points per game
Ben Brust, Senior, Guard, 11.1 points per game
Josh Gasser, Senior, Guard, 7.6 points per game (2011-2012)
Sam Dekker, Sophomore, Forward, 9.6 points per game
Frank Kaminsky, Junior, Forward-Center, 4.2 points per game

By the numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.0 (233th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.9 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.0 (239, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.4 (33, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (57, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.0 (212, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.4 (321, 12)
Rebound Margin: 3.5 (69, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.3 (132, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.8 (4, 2)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#80 Sam Dekker

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruiting:
#90 Bronson Koenig
#110 Nigel Hayes


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