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Badger basketball superlatives for a new season

Remember your high school yearbook? Yeah, it's time for Badger Superlatives.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Wow, it's mid-November already. School has been back in session for some time now and sweet, sweet basketball is upon us.

When it comes to getting to know this year's Wisconsin Badgers, I'm reminded of those yearbook superlatives we probably all voted on at some point in our lives, whether in middle school or senior year of high school. You might have liked them, hated them, or loved to make fun of them.

Well, here at B5Q we aren't waiting until the end of the year to hand our superlatives, so you don't have to wait to quibble with or make fun of ours.

Best Celebrity Look-Alike

Matt Ferris vs. Matt Leinart


(sorry Trae, you're exempt here...)

Best Dancer

Jordan Hill

I could have just given Hill a "Smooth" award for his Cali swag/hair/fashion skills. Nevertheless, we recognize the importance of the dance circle leader, for pre-game, post-game and locker room situations. With Evan Anderson gone, Hill has verrrry large shoes to fill. I think he's up to it (see: Hill cameos on court and street). Runner-up: Hayes -- You already know how I feel about his perfect entrance to the Red/White Scrimmage.

Best Hair/Best Dressed

Sam Dekker

A tweet from last month about awesome hair at Utah State got me thinking about Wisconsin's recent run of strange hairdos, despite their reputation as a team of buzzcuts. From Zach Bohannon's Republican comb-over to Ryan Evans' flattop and the style explosion that was Mike Bruesewitz.

I think Dekker would be legitimately hurt if he didn't win this category after stepping up his game to the bro-hawk/faux-hawk last year. He cares how he looks -- his suit & sock duo from the exhibition against UW-Parkside proved it. Runner-up: Hill went with the flattop this summer, but he's brought it down to a fresh fade look with a stylized curve shaved into the top.

Best Nickname

Frank Kaminsky

Consider this your weekly installment of Detective Frank Kaminsky. This week: Det. Kaminsky discovers the truth about the connection between Leinart and Ferris. But how can he prove it without the help of sidekick Jordan Smith, who's behind bars for rigging this year's All-Bro Team voting? Runners-up: Frank the Tank, Fups, Big Daddy Fups, Sleepy-faced Assassin, Joe College, Uncle Frank, Stretch ... you get the idea.

Class Clown

Nigel Hayes

Shoot, Hayes got votes in half of these categories, but there's no way to deny he's the entertainer on the team. Whether he's cracking jokes to reporters, telling deliberately awful jokes as Nigel Burgundy for his "Hayes for Days" reports, or flexing on camera for no reason at all, Hayes is a unique and colorful personality.

Life of the Party

Jordan Smith

The Victory Lap blog named Smith to the Big Ten's All-Bro Team last year, if that matters to you. Any guy rocking a Hugh Hefner costume for Halloween is going to get the votes 9 out of 10 times.

Most Artistic

Vitto Brown

The velvety sounds of Brown singing the National Anthem before a preseason game or scrimmage is quickly becoming UW's version of playing "My Old Kentucky Home" as the horses come out at Churchill Downs or the call of "Gentlemen, start your engines" before the Indianapolis 500, signaling that another historic run may commence. It's the little details that make the difference. On a team full of talented youngsters, Brown's pipes take the artistic cake.

Most Athletic

Zak Showalter

Yes, this skews a little heavy to a "best leaper" award, but so what. When he's in the game Showalter can usually be found high up in the air around the rim, hoping for just the right ricochet to slam home. Hope he gets one this year.

Most Hardworking

Bronson Koenig

One of the first things to come out of Bo Ryan's mouth when explaining what he likes about Koenig as a player is how hard a worker he is. His basketball hero is Kobe Bryant, so the insatiable will to succeed makes sense. The hunger started early for Koenig, as detailed in a recent profile by Wisconsin Public Television. Not only does that make his a great role model for other young Native Americans, but it will help transform him into the next great point guard at Wisconsin. Runner-upEthan Happ. Not only has Happ worked himself onto the cusp of a deep playing rotation at forward with seemingly no available time for him, but hard-working also describes his style of play on the court itself. Happ is the guy fighting for every rebound, hustling for loose balls and blocking shots.

Most Likely to Become President

Traevon Jackson

I'm basing this on Jackson's on-the-job-training in a leadership position. He's been humbled a bit over the past few years, yet his self confidence remains steadfast. One of Jackson's points of emphasis in the off-season has been serving others and enabling his teammates to succeed, which I'll gladly tie into a life of public service for the purpose of this sports blog column. With his involvement in various off-the-court endeavors, like Athletes in Action, Jackson would have a head start locking up conservative block vote too. Besides, Jackson also has the famous family pedigree that often helps in these types of situations.

Most Likely to Succeed

The most traditional category, but I couldn't pick a winner. Give it to the whole team. Lame, I know. Next.

Most Photogenic

Riley Dearring

There is a child-like quality to Dearring in that, whenever he smiles, it's not calculated at all. The smile just bursts out of him. And he is usually smiling in the interviews, pictures, and videos I've seen. Dearring seems like a happy dude.

Player You Wish You Knew Better

Duje Dukan

Feels like we should know more about a fifth-year senior who practically grew up around Michael Jordan. Think about all those good, old-school Chicago Bulls stories he's not sharing with us. Last month's Grantland piece about Chicago's Nikola Mirotic was a good start though. It was laced with references to Dukan and his father Ivica, and certainly worth a read. Runners-up: Any of the recent walk-ons -- Aaron Moesch, T.J. Schlundt, and Ferris -- for obvious reasons.

Teacher's Pet

Josh Gasser

Sorry Josh, but it's true. Bo Ryan loves you. And the rest of Badger Nation does too. The guy just consistently makes all the right plays -- when to shoot, when to pass, who to pass to, defensive rotations, going after loose balls ... Gasser is UW's glue guy alright. And for this coach, that's a huge plus.


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