ESPN Includes Wisconsin in Latest ‘Way Too Early Top 25’ Rankings

The Badgers get an early recognition for the upcoming season.

Immediately after UConn won a second championship in as many years, ESPN released an updated ‘Way Too Early Top 25’ ranking for the 2024-25 season. Despite the high probability of Wisconsin losing several players in the transfer portal, including star AJ Storr, ESPN still slots the Badgers in at number 24.

The loss of AJ Storr hurts the Badgers, especially given the dynamism he provided on the offensive end, but Greg Gard still has Max Klesmit, Chucky Hepburn, Steven Crowl and John Blackwell coming back to form the core of his 2024-25 team. Wisconsin had its best offense last season since Bo Ryan was in Madison, but that led to huge issues on the defensive end of the floor. Gard will have to find better balance if the Badgers are to advance out of the first weekend for the first time since 2017.

While returning key starters from a 22-win team is certainly nice, the Badgers still have a lot of questions to answer in the portal and on the defensive end. The Badgers are remaining active in the transfer portal, so the potential for improving the team there could completely change the outlook of the team. There’s certainly a glaring hole in the front court that needs to be addressed with the departure of Tyler Wahl. Defensively the Badgers were not on the same page last season. Mental lapses and poor communication doomed them in many games and, transfers or not, Greg Gard needs to get that sorted out.

If we’re being honest, 24 still seems too high for Bucky. Storr is a bigger loss than ESPN gives credit for and even with him, the Badgers were still trounced in an embarrassing tournament game. Further judgment can be withheld until the transfer situation sorts itself out, but for the time being the Badgers seem potentially a little overrated.