After the Wisconsin Badgers’ 63–60 loss to Michigan State on Friday in the Big Ten Tournament, the focus turn to the future.
That included whether all-conference, All-American forward Ethan Happ would return for his redshirt senior campaign in the 2018-19 season.
Happ told reporters—including the likes of the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jim Polzin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jeff Potrykus, and WOZN’s Zach Heilprin—that he will essentially declare for the NBA Draft but apparently will not bring on an agent.
Ethan Happ says he’ll put his name in for the combine. Will see what the feedback is. Also said the “report” of him thinking about being a grad transfer is bogus. Will go pro or come back to Wisconsin.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) March 2, 2018
That would give Happ the opportunity to accept an invitation to the NBA Combine (if that comes his way) but also come back to Wisconsin for his final year should he not receive the exact feedback he desires—which, according to his comments and reports, appears to be a first-round projection.
There is the NBA’s G-League as an option, the developmental league where former Wisconsin teammates Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, Duje Dukan, and Vitto Brown have seen action this year.
However, Happ is apparently not interested in that option. From Polzin’s article:
“Obviously, Nigel got his 10-day (contract with the Los Angeles Lakers) and that was special for him,” Happ said. “But that’s not where I want to be in a year. If that’s what GMs are telling me, where I’d be a late second round or a second-round pick, I’d rather develop in college than develop in the G-League.”
This is a smart move for Happ, one that he should take advantage of and exhaust every avenue to give himself the best evaluation for his future. Hayes did so before returning for the 2016–17 season, and it will bear watching what comes to be for one of the more special players to come into Wisconsin’s program in some time.
Obviously, if Happ returns for next season, Wisconsin reloads with him and Brad Davison, Khalil Iverson, Nate Reuvers, Aleem Ford, and Brevin Pritzl, among others. Guards D’Mitrik Trice and Kobe King should return as well after being held out for most of the year with injuries.
Regarding #Badgers Happ: Another writer and I discussed topic after interviews. (He can chime in if he chooses). Vibe we got is that Ethan is in a good place -- open mind -- and will listen to what NBA types say.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) March 3, 2018
Brad Davison to have shoulder surgery
Speaking of injuries, especially one that has been recurring since early in the season, Davison will have surgery on that left shoulder that has plagued him.
Brad Davison said he’ll undergo surgery for his shoulder when he gets back. Says he won’t miss any time next year.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) March 2, 2018
The reports linked above indicate an extensive rehab but also state that Davison believes he will not miss any of the upcoming season.
Listen to the emotional interview, courtesy of Heilprin’s report. The true freshman battled through pain the entire year, and his tears and somber voice after the loss show how much the game and season meant to him.