For the Wisconsin Badgers basketball team, a trip to the Final Four this past April was a great moment in the program’s history. But with that comes some high expectations heading into the next season.
And since this team is returning almost every important piece from a season ago (Ben Brust lost to graduation), the expectations are even more enormous.
It will be interesting to see how Bo Ryan and this team react and play with a small target on their back. In years past this team has, for the most part, flown under the radar. Usually not picked to finish any better than fourth in the Big Ten, Wisconsin really hasn’t had to deal with being the team that everyone is gunning for.
That will all change next season.
The Badgers are even 12/1 favorites to win it all next year in Indianapolis. Only Duke and Kentucky have better odds. When was the last time Wisconsin was this well favored to cut down the nets?! I can’t think of a season when that happened.
With Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker deciding to not enter this year’s NBA Draft, they will be called upon to lead this team to live up to those insanely high expectations. But don’t forget about the defense-minded Josh Gasser, who will also be called upon to step and be a leader on this team as well.
Point guard Traevon Jackson will be a catalyst and another weapon for this offense to use. With as many minutes Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig played as freshmen, the experience gained will only help them and this team next season.
There will be a lot people expecting big things from this team next year. Will the Badgers be up for the challenge? Only time will tell.
I sure hope this ride ends a little bit better than last season’s.