It has been about three months since the Wisconsin Badgers were walking off the floor at AT&T Stadium after suffering a heart breaking at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats in the Final Four. It was a magical ride the Badgers gave us that ended so close to the championship game. One of the key figures in that run was Sam Dekker, and it’s this off season that will prove to be a very important one for the Sheboygan, WI native.
Dekker was poised and positioned to be “The Man” of the 2013-14 Wisconsin Badgers. That did not quite come to fruition as Frank Kaminsky burst on the scene and Dekker took a back seat to the big man.
But it wasn’t a horrible season for Dekker by any means. He averaged 12.4 points per game while grabbing 6.1 rebounds. He also averaged a solid 10.4 points a game through the NCAA Tournament, including tying for a team-high 15 in the Final Four against Kentucky.
Solid numbers a year ago yes, but I want to see Dekker be more aggressive this season. There were times last year where in the first half of games it looked as if Dekker would completely take over. But as the game went on, he kind of moved from the driver’s seat to the back seat. Some of that can be contributed to adjustments that the opposition would make and other players would need to step up. Some can be contributed to Dekker being hesitant at times.
This is the off season for Sam Dekker to bring everything together. He’s already off to a good start by impressing many at the recent Kevin Durant Skills Academy.
Sam Dekker. Sam Dekker. Saaaaaam Dekker. #NikeSkillsAcademy
And something that I loved seeing was how Dekker re-watched the Kentucky game and was motivated to get back to work with the guys and get back at it better than ever.
Rewatched the Kentucky game this morning in the airport. Let’s go get better!!
— Sam Dekker (@samdek1) June 30, 2014
It’s very important that not just Dekker but the rest of the Wisconsin Badgers get better this off season. They are heavy favorites to get back to the Final Four and the work they put in now will be a determining factor if they make it to Lucas Oil Stadium in April.