Wisconsin Basketball Preview: #36
Overall Rank: #36
Conference Rank: #7 Big Ten Conference
2008-09: 20-13, 10-8
2008-09 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Bo Ryan (192-70 at Wisconsin, 222-99 overall)
Every season Wisconsin loses a key player or two, but they always come back and at least make the NCAA Tournament. In fact, most of the time under Coach Bo Ryan they win their first round game in the tournament as well. This season the big losses are Marcus Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft, the team’s top two rebounders, but expect the Badgers to back in the dance…and probably win a game.
Key Losses: G Joe Krabbenhoft, F Marcus Landry
This is a team that needs some depth in the paint and Coach Ryan hopes he can get it from Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz. Berggren redshirted last year and that year in the program should help immensely. The 6-10 Princeton, Minnesota product was a very highly regarded recruit and could immediately step into a starting role. Bruesewitz is an undersized 6-6 power forward, but he has the ability to play some minutes off the bench. The backcourt adds redshirt freshman Ryan Evans and incoming freshmen Dan Fahey, Jeremy Glover and Diamond Taylor, who will all battle for minutes off the bench.
The backcourt remains relatively intact with two returning players who averaged double digits in the scoring column. Jason Bohannon is the team’s main three-point shooting threat and will even occasionally get to the basket. However, Bohannon needs to work on that even more and turn into more than just a shooter. The bigger issue on the perimeter is replacing Krabbenhoft. Krabbenhoft was a great do-it-all wing who would use his size to get to the basket and hit the glass. Tim Jarmusz has been biding his time on the bench and he needs to turn into a more productive player now that he is an upperclassman. Jordan Taylor will likely be the backup point guard again and will compete with the newcomers for minutes off the bench.
The frontcourt may lack experienced depth, but Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil both had productive sophomore campaigns and showed plenty of potential. Those two split time at the four spot last year, but they could both be starting this time around. Leuer, a 6-10 junior, is the typical Wisconsin big man who can scorer inside and out. However, his lack of rebounding is a concern. Nankivil proved to be a dynamic scoring threat when he was on the floor, but he only averaged 14.0 minutes per contest. He can be a great inside/outside scoring threat with a little more strength and confidence.
Who to Watch:
Leuer and Nankivil could be in for surprisingly good seasons now that they have to step up and play a bigger role, but this team belongs to Trevon Hughes. The 6-0 senior was second on the team last year with 12.1 points per game and led the squad with 2.8 assists. Hughes is more than a scoring point guard though; he is also a superb defender and a very good rebounder for a player his size.
And it will be the defense and rebounding that will be the difference between a great season and just another NCAA Tournament trip for the Badgers. Last season the defense struggled early in the year, but made big strides as the season progressed. Yet, that does not necessarily mean the team’s defensive struggles are over since Landry led the team in blocks and Krabbenhoft was an extremely versatile defender. Those two were also the best rebounders on the team and somebody, preferably Jarmusz, Leuer and Nankivil, have to get tougher on the glass.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Trevon Hughes, Senior, Guard, 12.1 points per game
Jason Bohannon, Senior, Guard, 10.3 points per game
Tim Jarmusz, Junior, Guard, 3.4 points per game
Keaton Nankivil, Junior, Forward, 4.5 points per game
Jon Leuer, Junior, Forward, 8.8 points per game
Next Top 144 Teams