Wisconsin news and notes: How good will the Badgers be in 2014-15?

Jamie Squire

How good will Bo Ryan's squad be next season? Good enough to cut down the nets for the program's first national title since 1941? All that and more in Wednesday's Badger Bits.

Coming off one of the best seasons in recent memory and program history, the Wisconsin basketball team has high expectations for next season, based off the fact it returns 82 percent of its offense and loses only one solid contributor in Ben Brust. This then begs the question: how good will Bo Ryan's squad be next season? Big Ten Powerhouse writer Kevin Dlugos breaks down the complex, yet simple question. I wouldn't be surprised if Bo Ryan's squad makes a trip to Indianpolis for the 2015 Final Four. I don't want to put the pressure on the Badgers by saying it's a Final-Four-or-bust 2014-15 season, but they're going to be really good. For the first time since I can ever remember -- and I've been following Wisconsin basketball for awhile -- the lineup could extend to as many as nine guys. Traevon Jackson and Josh Gasser will man the backcourt. I think Sam Dekker will move back to his original swingman position with Nigel Hayes and Frank Kaminsky rounding out the rest of the starting five. That still leaves Bronson Koenig, Duje Dukan, one of the redshirting guards (either Zak Showalter or Jordan Hill) and Vitto Brown. The talent is there, it'll just come down to execution to make back-to-back trips to the Final Four for the first time in school history.

Speaking of Bo's boys, Frank Kaminsky became a national icon with his exhilarating performances in the NCAA tournament, especially after he posted 28 points and 11 rebounds against Arizona in the Elite Eight. He chronicled that experience with Victory Lap. After reading the article, Kaminsky comes off as a quietly cocky guy. I have no problem with that, and the thing I respect most about that is the fact that he plays with a chip on his shoulder. For most guys who don the red and white uniform, none of them are looked at by the high-profiled teams in the country, like the Kansas', Dukes, Kentuckys and so on. Still, they band together as a unit, with no player thinking he's ahead of the team, and advance to NCAA tournament every year. It's boring, but players like Kaminsky and others produce.

I must have stayed awake till 2 am after our game because I couldn't stop thinking about having an opportunity to play in the Final Four. For basketball players, that is a dream. It's not something you kind of want, it's something you want more than anything else.

IT'S A WISCONSIN BASKETBALL DAY AT B5Q. Kidding aside, the NCAA is an absolute joke of an organization with all of its tedious and undesired rules, but one was lifted one on Tuesday, allowing unlimited meals for student athletes. Kaminsky's tweet makes a cameo, and it should come as no surprise with Kaminsky being a former avid eater of Qdoba. The Wisconsin offensive linemen probably threw a party when they heard the news.

If the 2014 TV schedule is any indication of the football team's reputation, it's absolute abysmal. Gary Andersen and co. are not yet scheduled for any primetime games aside from the Aug. 30 opener vs. LSU, but I'm not shocked; the schedule is a joke outside of that first game. Like I said Monday, the Badgers should boast a considerably good record, but the rest of the nation's eyes will not be opened to it.

Quick Hitters

Jake and Scott recapped spring football, replayed interviews with notable players from Saturday's spring game and discussed Matt Flynn's return to the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday night's Kielbasa Kings episode.

Who will emerge next season as a reliable wide receiver? This and more is discussed between Buckaround and Fox Sports Wisconsin's Jesse Temple.

Following up her Big Ten Player of the Week honors, third baseman Michelle Mueller received two more awards, this time on the national level, as she was named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division 1 National Player of the Week and USA Softball National Player of the Week.

Former Wisconsin skaters Jake Gardiner, Jake McCabe and Craig Smith were selected to represent the USA in next month's World Championships.

Video of the Day

The 2010-11 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm winner and team MVP, No.16 Scott Tolzien was the prototypical game-managing quarterback for Bret Bielema and Paul Chryst during his time in Madison. Tolzien completed 73 percent of his passes with only six interceptions his senior season, but -- not to be a Debby Downer -- the 2011 Rose Bowl against TCU was not his finest hour. He passed for only 159 yards, and a critical two-point conversation pass was knocked down by linebacker Tank Carder in the waning seconds.


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