The name may sound familiar … Do you remember, Sam Dekker?
At 6-7 and 220 pounds, physically, it’s still easy to see the man as he takes the court for the Wisconsin Badgers.
Figurativally, he’s still someone coaches hit on when going through the Wisconsin scouting report.
But literally, his production as one of the key offensive pieces for the Final Four-bound Wisconsin Badgers, has disappeared.
Dekker, who with his long, lanky frame, ability to do the amazing and infinite upside, carried the heart and soul of the Wisconsin mens basketball team going forward to and thru the 2013-14 season, has had a very modest, if not sub-par NCAA tournament thus far.
Averaging just over 9 points per game through the first four games of the NCAA tournament, Dekker’s best asset hasn’t been his scoring. He’s pulling down 6 rebounds per game, defending well, but shooting right around 41 percent from the field, 31 percent from behind the arc and just 56 percent from the free throw line.
He played a tourney-high, 35 minutes in Wisconsin’s overtime thriller last weekend. And although he scored just seven, he grabbed 8 boards, had two assists and was 2-for-2 from the line in a game where every point mattered in beating Arizona.
Dekker, a 2014 candidate to watch for the prestigious Naismith Award, still has two more full seasons to find his indentity inside Bo Ryan’s offensive scheme.
There is no question of the kids athletic ability, as proven with some of the rim-rocking slams he’s provided fans with over the first two seasons, and throughout his high school and AAU career.
Two more years, 60 some games and more than thousands of opportunities to gain confidence and show everyone why the Wisconsin recruiters spoke so highly of the in-State talent.
Surely, the best is yet to come for Dekker in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Because if we move forward with only what we have in front of us to judge, some might begin to question whether Dekker will continue to be good, or if he could be GREAT!