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Wisconsin Basketball Position Preview: Wings

This is a preview of Wisconsin Basketball’s wings, which consists of shooting guards and small forwards. This is the second article of a three-part series.



Key Losses

Zak Showalter 

Don’t underestimate how important Showalter has been to Wisconsin’s success over the last few seasons. He was a perfect glue guy that always brought his contagious energy and toughness to every single game. He was a key part of Wisconsin’s second Final Four run, and helped the team get to consecutive Sweet 16’s during his two seasons starting at shooting guard. While he was never a volume scorer, he provided consistent shooting and timely drives while also playing tight defense on the opponent’s best guard.

Nigel Hayes 

No matter how much flak Badger fans may have given him over his inconsistent shooting, it is impossible to write the history of Wisconsin Basketball without highlighting Nigel Hayes. In his first two seasons, he was a huge part of the most successful Wisconsin teams in program history. In his next two seasons, he took a leadership role, helping to make the transition from Bo Ryan to Greg Gard seamless. Last season, he averaged 13.1 points per game from the small forward position while simultaneously being the best defender and leader on the roster. He also had the clutch basket against Villanova to get to his fourth Sweet 16. Say what you want, but it is going to be tough to replace an all-time winner like he was.

Key Returners

Brevin Pritzl 

After missing his true freshman season with a broken foot, the highly touted class of 2015 recruit became a contributor off the bench last season. However, it wasn’t with his shooting like everyone expected. Despite three-point shooting being his claim to fame, Pritzl only hit 24% of his long balls last season. Instead, he made an impact by doing all the little things. He defended, hustled, and provided an energy boost. While he needs to keep that up this season, he also must become a scorer. He is an excellent shooter. He hit them in high school, in practice and in Australia. Now, he needs to become a reliable sharpshooter and scorer in real games for the Badgers.

Khalil Iverson 

Out of all the members of the 2015 recruiting class, Iverson has made the biggest impact for the Badgers. Whether it is his electrifying dunks, his great defense, or his outstanding rebounding, Iverson always seems to make plays for the Badgers. However, now that he will likely enter the starting lineup, he needs to show consistency on offense. In his first two seasons, he really only scored on fast breaks, backdoor cuts and put backs. In order for Wisconsin’s offense to reach its full potential, he needs to be a threat to score on drives and jump shots. His defense and rebounding has the chance to be elite. Wisconsin needs him on the court as much as possible. But his offense needs to take a jump for that to happen.

Key Newcomers

Kobe King

Despite being only a true freshman, King may already be the most versatile offensive player on Wisconsin. He can score from all three levels: Beyond the arc, mid-range and at the basket. While he may not open the season as a starter, he is going to be one of Wisconsin’s best scorers. If he can prove that the defensive drop off from him to Iverson isn’t too much, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him earn a starting spot at some point.

Aleem Ford 

After redshirting last season, the hype around Ford this offseason was off the charts. He was thought to be a possible starter, and maybe even the second best player on the team. However, after a quiet stint in Wisconsin’s trip to Australia, the buzz surrounding Ford mostly subsided. But he still has the tools to have a breakout season off the bench. He has solid length and athleticism, while also boasting the offensive skills needed to provide a scoring spark for the Badgers. He’ll likely see some time at both the three and the four, although at this point, it’s unclear how much.

Brad Davison

Davison was talked about in-depth in the point guard preview article. But he’ll also likely see some time playing at the two alongside Trice or in three-guard lineups. He has a good shooting stroke and a glue guy mentality like Showalter and Josh Gasser. Greg Gard is going to have a tough time keeping him off the floor.

Projected Depth Chart

Starters: Pritzl, Iverson

Next: Davison, King

Next: Ford

Overall Expectations

This unit has the potential to be really strong. Pritzl and Iverson will be a good defensive tandem starting on the wing. They both play with a lot of energy and heart. There will also surely be an uptick in their scoring. Meanwhile, the Badgers bring a ton of quality depth off the bench. Davison, King, and Ford are all going to be really good players for Wisconsin. All three can provide instant offense. If the two starters take the expected jump, the Badgers may be even better on the wing from top-to-bottom than they were last season.

For the point guard preview, click here. Big men will be up next.

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Badgers Basketball

Former Badger Jon Leur traded to Milwaukee Bucks



They say you can always go home, and for one former Wisconsin Badger he’s coming back to a state he called home for four years.

Former Badgers forward Jon Leuer was traded early on Thursday morning from the Detroit Pistons to the Milwaukee Bucks. In exchange for Leuer, the Bucks gave up the 30th overall pick in tonight’s NBA Draft and traded away Tony Snell.

Last season, Leuer played in 41 games for the Pistons and made just one start. He averaged 3.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in his ninth season in the NBA.

Leuer is a very similar player to Snell, but comes at a much more team-friendly salary.

In trading away Snell, the Bucks free up an additional $4 million in salary this year and another $12 million next year.

This could be seen as a way for the Bucks to pony up the big money that Khris Middleton wants from the team in order to stay in Milwaukee.

As for Leuer, he is 17th on the all-time Badgers scoring list with 1,376 points to his name. He also finished his career with 551 rebounds.

Leuer’s final season in Madison was his best statistically, as he helped lead the 2010-11 Badgers team to the Sweet 16. He averaged 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game that year.

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Badgers Basketball

Badgers basketball land Davis twins



After missing out on the Hauser brothers late last month, the Wisconsin Badgers added a different pair of siblings on Saturday night.

Following an offer to the brother of 4-star shooting guard Johnny Davis and an appearance at a team camp this weekend, the Davis brothers announced their pledge to the Badgers according to Badger247.

It took less than a week after head coach Greg Gard gave the O.K. to offer Jordan for the pair to commit to Wisconsin.

Johnny held offers from Marquette, West Virginia, Iowa, Minnesota, DePaul, UNLV and others.

Jordan had offers from UW-Milwaukee and Green Bay, while also becoming a sought after recruit on the football field as well. Once he became serious about wanting to play basketball first, it seemed like a matter of time before Wisconsin offered.

That time came after seeing Jordan play in a camp last weekend.

It also came because it was time to figure out if Johnny was serious about the Badgers or not.

With the July evaluation period coming up, Wisconsin’s coaching staff put the final chips in the middle with this recruitment and it appeared to pay off.

Johnny joins as the No. 141 ranked player in the country and the No. 14 ranked combo guard in the nation according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

The twins will join Detroit, Mich. native Lorne Bowman in the 2020 class.

Wisconsin still has one scholarship available in the class as well, which is likely being held for 5-star and Wisconsin native Jalen Johnson.

After missing out on talented in-state players over and over again, this was a major win for Gard and his coaching staff considering how hard schools like West Virginia and Marquette were after Johnny’s commitment.

As for Jordan, it appears the coaching staff believes he is improving enough to get a scholarship and continue his improvement with this program.

Offers don’t come out just because it may win over a different recruit at Wisconsin. That wasn’t Bo Ryan’s style and it also isn’t Greg Gard’s style.

The trio of players put the Badgers at No. 8 in the country and No. 3 in the Big Ten in the 2020 class as of today.

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Badgers Basketball

Former Badgers get No. 2 seed in The Basketball Tournament Columbus regional



Who doesn’t want $2 million? That’s the prize at stake for winning The Basketball Tournament and a group of former Wisconsin Badgers want in.

On Tuesday it was officially announced that the Kohl Blooded team — spearheaded by former Badgers point guard Kam Taylor — will be the No. 2 seed in the Columbus regional.

They will take on No. 7 seed Mid-American Unity, which is making its second appearance in the TBT after a year off. That group represents teams from across the Mid-American conference.

As for the Badgers, the roster will be made up of some very strong names from the past. The headline names include members of the back-to-back Final Four teams in Nigel Hayes and Vitto Brown. Also joining will be Jordan Taylor, Ryan Evans, Trevon Hughes and recent grad Charles Thomas. You can see the full roster here.

The regionals will take place July 19-21 in Columbus with the winner of this regional meeting seven other winners in Chicago for championship week.

All games will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, so you should be able to find them either streaming or on cable television.

Kohl Blooded vs. Mid-American Unity will tip at 1pm ET on Friday, July 19.

The winner will take on the winner of Red Scare (Dayton alumni) and The Region (players from Northwest Indiana) in the regional semi-final the next day.

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Badgers Basketball

Badgers play final card in attempt to land 2020 G Johnny Davis



A week after losing out on Joey and Sam Hauser, the Wisconsin Badgers basketball program needs some positive momentum on the player acquisition front.

With three scholarships available in the 2020 class and two top in-state players in their sites, the Badgers coaching staff has been about as patient as possible.

On Wednesday, Badger247 reports that UW has offered Jordan Davis, the twin brother of top target Johnny Davis. It’s not a walk-on or grayshirt, but a full scholarship offer.

After two years of waiting for that offer to come, it finally did.

Jordan is an unranked player in basketball at this time, but I expect that to change once the scouting services catch wind of this offer. Johnny Davis is the No. 131 ranked player in the country, a 4-star rated prospect and the No. 3 ranked player in the state of Wisconsin in the 2020 class.

With the brothers set to make a weekend visit for team camp in two weeks, this is a move that undoubtably puts the pressure squarely on Johnny Davis at this point.

Simply put, the Badgers need to know if Davis is going to commit or if they need to move on.

Offering Jordan a full ride is about the only thing left in the Badgers quiver at this point. If getting the dream of playing basketball together at the same school and in-state no less doesn’t tip the scales, at least the Badgers know they can move on.

Is it a desperate move? In some ways one could see it as such. Clearly the Badgers want Johnny in a major way and they see offering Jordan as a critical move that could separate themselves from the competition.

However, this also isn’t a coaching staff willing to just throw away a scholarship in an effort to get a coveted player to play for them. That’s simply not Greg Gard’s style.

Jordan is also a player they see as a contributor, or he wasn’t getting an offer. Plain and simple.

There’s no doubt that this move ups the pressure, like I mentioned before. But, that’s not a bad thing, as UW needs to know where they stand heading in to July’s evaluation period.

If the Davis brothers can’t commit or at least internally give the coaching staff the information that will make them feel comfortable, they need to start getting offers out to other big time players whom they’ve been waiting to offer.

Consider UW is an underdog to land in-state five-star prospect Jalen Johnson, and you have to consider this move a smart one for the long term prospects of the 2020 class.

Will the Davis twins jump at the offer to play together at Wisconsin?

Some in the recruiting world believe this was the situation that was holding Wisconsin back all along. So, don’t be surprised to see this affect the recruitment of both players in a big way.

As for Jordan, his game has also caught the attention of Iowa and Minnesota and he did have scholarship offers from both Green Bay and Milwaukee prior to this one.

What may have really held the Badgers coaching staff and others back was the fact that Jordan is also a good player on the football side and wasn’t sure which sport he wanted to pick.

It seems like UW has gotten the clue that Jordan may be more receptive to a basketball future and pulled the trigger on the offer.

We’ll see how much longer the two stay uncommitted, but don’t be surprised to see something happen following July’s AAU season.

Letting that play out and getting all the offers out there on the table is just a smart move for the twins. From there, it’s up to them and clearly the Badgers have left no stone unturned in this situation.

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