With the NBA Draft early entrant deadline (April 26th) coming up, the transfer market heating up and no sports on the docket for the foreseeable future now is as good a time as any to take a look at the 2020-2021 college hoops season and make wild predictions about who will be ranked where.
When I started this post around 8:00 a.m. CT there was no word about Iowa’s Luka Garza entering the NBA Draft. As I sit down now, around 2 p.m. CT (damn kids keeping me from writing), there IS word of Garza maybe entering the draft.
It should be noted that he hasn’t closed the door on coming back to Iowa, but the Hawkeyes would probably fall down these rankings if he decides to keep his name in the draft pool.
So, without further ado, here is where the Badgers rank in some of these way-too-early polls for next season.
6. Wisconsin: The Badgers got a piece of the Big Ten regular-season title in their final game at Indiana. They will be picked with Iowa to make another run by returning the core of the team, a full season from Micah Potter and a heralded recruiting class.
After rattling off eight straight wins to close the season and win the Big Ten, Wisconsin loses only Brevin Pritzl from a well-balanced team and also brings in five freshmen. The tandem of Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter at center created headaches for opponents, and D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison are back again at guard. There’s a chance the Badgers hit their ceiling this season, but there’s also a real possibility they sustain their success. This was a tough year in the Big Ten, and they passed that test with flying colors.
11. Wisconsin (21-10)
The Badgers ended 2019-20 by winning their last eight games and finishing first in the Big Ten. They only lose one senior (Brevin Pritzl). Nate Reuvers, D’Mitrik Trice, and Brad Davison lead a team that could repeat atop the conference.
11. Wisconsin: Wisconsin got better after Kobe King quit the team in January - evidence being how the Badgers won eight straight games to close the regular season and shared the Big Ten crown with Maryland and Michigan State. Now the top five scorers from the final-game roster are expected back. The best of the bunch might be Micah Potter, who averaged 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 52.8% from the field. He’s among the reasons Wisconsin will have a chance to secure back-to-back league titles.
4. Wisconsin: It’s not often we see an all-senior starting five, but that’s what the Badgers will have as they bring back the entire core of the group that won a share of the Big Ten title. The three freshmen mentioned above (part of a five-man class) will push the older guys for minutes, and I expect 6-7 forward Tyler Wahl to take a significant step forward in his sophomore season.
In a majority of those polls, Iowa was ranked higher than Wisconsin and Michigan State was usually right around the same spot as the Badgers. It is pretty crazy to see UW in Seth Davis’ top-5 and Andy Katz’s top-6 if I’m being honest. I think the Badgers have a chance to be very good next year but I wasn’t sure if that was just me looking through rose colored glasses.