Following Wisconsin's Final Four loss to Kentucky earlier this month, both Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker told reporters they would return to Madison next season. Kaminsky, however, reportedly pondered the decision more seriously over the past few weeks, but he is nevertheless officially coming back for his senior season.
According to ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman, the 7-footer's NBA value ranged anywhere from the 25th pick to the 45th pick. Given this, it was a no-brainer for Kaminsky to return. His coming back also cements the amount of talent the 2014-15 Badgers will have, and it will be intriguing to see how much Kaminsky's NBA outlook varies over the next 12 months. Some big guys under Bo Ryan have shined in their junior seasons, only to play down to expectations in their last. Jared Berggren shot 37 percent from beyond the arc during his junior campaign, but fell to 25 percent the year after. Brian Butch shot 34 percent from deep as junior, and slipped to 30 percent as a senior. Jon Leuer also saw his field goal and three-point percentages drop from his junior to senior year. Still, the position has yielded improvement from beyond the arc, which I expect Kaminsky to do next year. In an effort to solidify himself as a lottery pick and help the Badgers cut down the nets, he needs to develop his post moves.
Mike Wilkson: In 2004, improved field goal and three-point percentages from 2003.
Keaton Nankivil: In 2010, improved field goal, three-point and free throw percentages from 2009.
With Kaminsky set to depart after next season, who will be his replacement in 2015? There's no true in-house option at the center position, which leaves it to the recruiting trail to fill the need. In particular, one notable name that stands out is Dominican High School product Diamond Stone. The No. 3 player in the 2015 class had an impressive weekend at the Under Armour Jayhawk Invitational, putting up 36 points and 16 rebounds against One Nation. In attendance for that dominant performance was seemingly any major college head coach you could think of. As we discussed back on April 23, it cannot be naive to think Wisconsin could attract top talent like Stone, given the team's recent NCAA tournament success. Ryan hasn't been particularly strong in signing players from the Milwaukee schools, save Milwaukee Vincent's Marcus Landry, but the Final Four run could erase this notion.
As a member of the USA Select 18U team, Wisconsin commit Ethan Happ took home the silver medal in the Albert Schweitzer Tournament. In the process, Happ garnered tournament MVP honors. Once again, the Badgers have another under-the-radar recruit, with most recruiting systems tapping him as a three-star prospect.
2015 defensive lineman target Kahlil McKenzie named his top five schools over the weekend, and Gary Andersen's squad made the cut. Since Andersen has taken over at the helm, the Badgers have been in the mix for top-tier talent, but have come up empty-handed. Will McKenzie's recruitment be the same way? It certainly could be, but it's a step in the right direction. 2015 tight end commit Kyle Penniston obviously thinks UW is the place to be for McKenzie.
Wisconsin softball continued its winning ways over the weekend against Purdue, extending its winning streak to 13 straight games. That streak is tied for the most consecutive wins in school history. Everyone in attendance was honored by the presence of men's hockey assistant coach Gary Shuchuck, who threw out the first pitch.
Mark your calendars -- former UW and curre t Philadelphia Eagles safety Chris Maragos will be signing autographs at Legends of the Field in Greenfield on June 26.
Spring games are largely used as quintessential scrimmages, but the ensuing videos show why they can also serve greater purposes. Kaiden Schroeder, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2009, scored a touchdown at Kansas State. Canaan Sandy, who suffers from Down Syndrome, scored one at Arkansas. Nice touches by both schools.
Videos of the Day
There are two notable No. 28s in Wisconsin football history -- running backs Anthony Davis and Montee Ball. To make everyone's Monday better, I might as well post videos of both. I remember being a very upset 12-year-old in 2004 when Davis and the Badgers laid an egg against Iowa on the last game of the season, when a win would've clinched a trip to the Rose Bowl, but Davis rushing for almost 5,000 yards over his career makes me forget about it. For Ball, he was one of the best to ever come through the program; that should suffice.