Wisconsin Preview Capsule
Last season: 27-10; lost to Florida in regional semifinals of NCAA Tournament
Coach: Greg Gard
Conference: Big Ten
Who’s gone: F Nigel Hayes, F Vitto Brown, G Bronson Koenig, G Zak Showalter, G Jordan Hill
Who’s back: F Ethan Happ (14.0 points, 9.0 rebounds) is the lone returning starter. One of the toughest big-man matchups in the country with his athleticism, one of Happ’s only weaknesses is a lack of an outside shot. G D’Mitrik Trice (5.6 points) hit 41 percent from 3-point territory off the bench as a freshman last season. He has the poise to take over the point guard job from Koenig. G Brevin Pritzl will get a shot to show off his 3-point range with more regular minutes. Swingman Khalil Iverson’s strength is athleticism in the paint.
Who’s new: A promising three-member freshman class could be called on to contribute early, especially Gs Kobe King and Brad Davison. The athletic, 6-foot-4 King was the unanimous prep player of the year in Wisconsin last season. The hustling Davison could be the next player that Badgers fans love and opponents hate to face.
The Skinny: A transition year for Wisconsin. The talent is there, but the Badgers lack the experience that fueled the program to new heights over the last five years. A summer exhibition trip of Australia and New Zealand did help with developing chemistry. A return to the NCAA Tournament will depend on 3-point shooting and how the supporting cast develops around Happ.
For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25