2009-2010 Wisconsin Badgers Basketball Preview
The Wisconsin Badgers (20- 13 overall, 10-8 Big Ten) possess a decent NCAA Tournament track record, going to the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 once each, going two and out twice and going one and done once. Last season, the Badgers finished sixth and were two and out in the tournament, losing to Xavier 60- 49. This season they will finish in the middle of the Big Ten pack and earn a short trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Last year, the Wisconsin Badgers were second in scoring defense, holding teams to an average of 59.0 PPG. Their scoring offense could have been stronger. In 2008 - 2009 they were rated eighth, putting up 63.8 PPG. Free throws were launched and hit 73% of the time and the Badgers were plus-2.4 in rebound margin. From downtown, they hit 36% of their attempts, placing them fifth in the Big East. From the field, the team was ninth, knocking down just 4% of their shots.
With the departure of Joe Krabbenhoft and Marcus Landry upfront, the Badgers have lost over 21 PPG and more than 11 RPG. That means that some juniors must step up for this club to contend. Junior forward Jon Leuer (8.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 0.8 APG) has some good moves but lacks muscle. Another junior forward, Keaton Nankivil (4.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.3 APG), offers a fine shot from downtown but lacks defensive chops.
The backcourt is very strong. Two senior guards, Jason Bohannon (10.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.7 APG) and Trevon Hughes (12.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.8 APG), anchor this squad. Hughes is a versatile player who can penetrate just about any defense. Bohannon offers a fine jumper and decent defensive chops. Bohannon seemed to suffer from playing too many minutes last season. Various sophomores and even freshman Diamond Taylor will be asked to relieve him.
Wisconsin has one of the weakest groups of recruits in the league. The upfront defense and overall offense must be more consistent than what they proffered last season. This is a team that will finish somewhere in the middle of the pack and go one and done in the NCAA Tournament. A national title is not in this team’s near future, but it could be a bit beyond the near future.