Ben Carlson is coming into his sophomore season with a bit of extra motivation as he comes off the injury he sustained early on last season. The 2021-22 Badgers look a little different as they lose a lot of the senior talent they had a season ago. New faces mean new opportunities for younger players to make an impact on the program. One of these players will be Ben Carlson. How big of an impact will he have in 2021-22?
Ben Carlson’s Freshman Season Cut Short Due to Injury
Ben Carlson came to Wisconsin from East Ridge High School in Minnesota. Carlson is a former four-star recruit, ranked 88th in ESPN’s Top 100 in the 2020 class. With the returning cast of seniors that Greg Gard had back in 2020-21, Carlson was looking for his spot as a freshman. A starting line-up off all seniors, the Minnesota Mr. Basketball finalist found himself in the rotation off the bench.
In his first game as a Badger against Eastern Illinois, Ben showed spurts of great play in the 16 minutes that he saw the court. He finished his first career colligate game with 13 points and two rebounds.
With Greg Gard showing trust in Carlson, he was able to see himself implemented into the Badger’s rotation as the games went on. Unfortunately, Carlson suffered an upper-body injury that forced him to only play in seven games his freshman season. Carlson showed himself as a key interior guy in his shortened season, giving Badger fans hope that this year will be a break-out season.
Expectations for Ben Carlson for 2021-22
With Ben Carlson implementing trust into the coaches early on as a freshman, I believe that there will be a big leap for him this season. Wisconsin is in a weird spot in a very strong Big Ten Conference. Young is the theme for the Badgers this season, losing four seniors is why the Badgers are looking to find a new identity.
Ben Carlson will most likely see himself put into the starting lineup when the season starts. This is a bigger role than he saw last year, which will give him a lot of room to improve as the season moves along. I think this is the best-case scenario for the sophomore coming off an injury. The Badgers are going to have to find something outside of Davison, Davis, and Wahl, and I think Carlson is the next man up down low.
He can continue the stretch of great big men that the Badgers have seen over the years, all starting with a big leap this season.
Even though Wisconsin will probably not see the top of the conference this season, there is always time for improvement. I think fans see jumps from a couple of players, including Carlson coming off his injury from last year.
When I am not covering the Wisconsin Badgers for Badger of Honor, you can find me at my college basketball page on Twitter where I cover general college basketball. You can follow me at @worldofcollege1.