10 Burning Questions About Wisconsin Basketball

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Mar 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Nigel Hayes (10) and guard Bronson Koenig (24) share a laugh late in the game during the second half in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center. The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Michigan Wolverines 71-60. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Can Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig be stars?

Both Hayes and Koenig having been widely praised this preseason, with Hayes earning numerous All-American selections, while Koenig was named to the All-Big 10 team. In order to contend for the Big 10 title, Hayes and Koenig need to be that good. But it isn’t unreasonable to question whether they are quite at that level. For starters, Hayes benefited a lot from mismatches last season. While defenses were focused on Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, Hayes was able to fly under the radar. But he will not have the same luxury this year. The best defender on every team will guard him, and every single opposing coach will draw up a game plan just to contain him. Hayes has the physical tools and skills to be a star. But it may not be as smooth of a transitions as anticipated.

Meanwhile, Koenig was very efficient last season. But it will be much harder to be that efficient with the ball in his hands a lot more. He is going to have to shoot a lot. If both Koenig and Hayes can be the stars they have the potential to be, Wisconsin will contend. But it is no sure thing that they will be.

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