We led off Tuesday with some thoughts on Wisconsin's first open basketball practice of the season and, what do you know, we ended it with the Badgers' third hoops commitment for 2015. Not a bad Tuesday, eh? Especially for a football bye week.
UW practiced again on Tuesday, and JSOnline has some impressions for us:
Gasser appears much more comfortable driving to the basket and finishing this season.
Dukan is playing with so much more confidence than he was last year at this time that the difference is remarkable.
Watching Jackson and Koenig go head-to-head is entertaining. Jackson, by the way, appears poised to have an outstanding senior season.
Again, it's so early that nobody's really going to look bad. Unless they're really bad, in which case it might then be OK to ring some alarm bells. That said, it's enticing to see Duje Dukan grow into his 6'10 frame and appear as though he could be a viable sixth, seventh or eighth man in this offense.
As for the point guards, we're all hoping for way more Good Traevon Jackson and much less Bad Trae. If his decision-making holds up, he'll keep that starting job on lockdown. If Bronson Koenig continues to develop as planned, though... things are going to get real interesting, and in a real positive way. That'd be the closest thing to a football position battle to watch in preseason practices and non-conference play.
BadgerNation also has more observations from Tuesday's practice:
As previously reported, sophomore Nigel Hayes is down a good 15 pounds and clocking in around 235. It's a good weight for him, still allowing him to be active in the low block and giving him a touch more athleticism. It'll be interesting to see how much better he can handle opposing bigs this year.
Sam Dekker's defense is improving, likely picking up a few tidbits along the way during his stops at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Washington, D.C., and at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas. Dekker has added significant muscle and has even grown a couple inches, which has added some length to his defensive wing span. He rotated well and showed a willingness to fight through screens.