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Wisconsin men’s basketball: UW keeps moving up way-too-early top-25 lists

Where does ESPN have the Badgers ranked now?

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

While there is still much uncertainty surrounding what college sports will look like this fall and winter, slowly but surely dates are being decided and decisions are being made. The deadline for players to withdraw from the NBA draft and maintain college eligibility will be either Aug. 3 or 10 days after the NBA draft combine, whichever comes first. So, we’ll know what rosters will look like in only ::checks calendar...sighs deeply:: a month and a half!

There are still some talented transfers in the portal and a few who have made their decisions that now need to wait for the NCAA to decide on their eligibility waivers. There are also still a few underclassmen who are weighing NBA Draft decisions.

Thankfully, the Badgers do not have to deal with any of that speculation this offseason. The same five players who started their final game last season against Indiana should be starting the first game of the 2020-21 season. Only one rotation player graduated, nobody transferred in or out and a big, talented recruiting class is coming in to push the upperclassmen.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at St. Mary’s Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Borzello of ESPN has been updating his Way-Too-Early Top-25 all offseason recently put out a new version. His top-five of Gonzaga, Villanova, Baylor, Virginia and Iowa remains unchanged, however there is a new team knocking on the door and that team is your Wisconsin Badgers!

After ranking No. 7 in his last update, Wisconsin moved up to No. 6 and Borzello seems high on their chances of being in the top-five at some point, while also shouting out former B5Q contributor Bart Torvik:

After starting the offseason ranked No. 15, the Badgers continue to rise in the rankings and are inching closer to the top five. Unlike with pretty much every other team in the country, nothing has changed, personnel-wise, for Greg Gard’s team. There have been no surprising departures and no transfer additions — just continuity from a team that finished the season as hot as any other team in the country. During the final month of the season, Wisconsin was 8-0 and had the No. 3 adjusted efficiency ranking, according to Will that carry over to next season? To live up to this ranking, it will have to, but the facts that all five starters from the stretch run are back and all five are seniors should certainly help. The Badgers were far more dangerous from the perimeter late in the season, shooting 41% from 3 in the final eight games. Gard will once again trot out five players capable of making 3s, which will pose problems for opposing defenses.

He also mentions what Wisconsin’s projected starting five will be:

D’Mitrik Trice (9.8 PPG, 4.2 APG)
Brad Davison (9.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG)
Aleem Ford (8.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG)
Nate Reuvers (13.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG)
Micah Potter (10.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG)

The B1G also has Michigan State at No. 8, Ohio State at No. 20 and Rutgers at No. 22. He placed Michigan and Indiana in the “next in line” category so the conference should be another gauntlet this year.