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Wisconsin men’s basketball: Can the Badgers contend for the Big Ten in 2023?

Have the Badgers made enough changes to contend in the Big Ten in 2023?

We are now two months into the college basketball offseason, and there’s been a number of changes throughout the conferences. Yet, it seems like the Wisconsin Badgers had themselves one of the quieter offseasons in the Big Ten.

Former Badgers guard Jordan Davis transferred out of the program after averaging 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Davis signed with Illinois State and will have a new opportunity to hopefully reach the level of play that many had for him.

And former guard Jahcobi Neath, unfortunately, transferred out as well after an injury-riddled season where he played just 27 minutes. Neath moved back to Canada and signed with a Canadian basketball team.

The Badgers then brought in guard AJ Storr from St. John’s where he averaged 8.8 points on 40% 3-point shooting. Storr will likely compete for a starting role. Who’s spot he would take is yet to be determined, but a Hepburn, Essegian, Storr, Wahl, and Crowl starting five could be possible...and lethal.

Besides these transfers, the Badgers had themselves a relatively quiet offseason - and that’s a good thing.

The program is bringing back essentially its entire roster with a big transfer addition and the incoming recruiting class. This class includes:

  • 4-star: 6’9” forward Gus Yalden
  • 3-star: 6’10” forward Nolan Winter (Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year)
  • 3-star: 6’3” guard John Blackwell
  • 6’4” guard Jack Janicki (walk-on)

Also, I guess Yalden and Nikola Jokic are on speaking terms (as seen below), so he must be pretty good.

Anyways, at one point in the 2022 season, the Badgers were 11-2 and ranked 14th in the nation. Everything seemed to be flowing until Tyler Wahl got injured and it all fell apart. But until then, the Badgers seemed like they were making a run for the Big Ten title again.

After adding Storr and bringing in 4 additional recruits, it’s clear that the Badgers are in a much better state than they were last season. They have 4 players averaging double-digits in the starting lineup and now multiple players to provide quality depth off the bench. As long as the team can steer clear of injuries for the most part, then this team is set up to succeed.

Also, don’t forget about 2x Big Ten Coach of the Year Greg Gard is leading the way.

So is it too much to believe that this team could put it together this season and be a favorite to contend for the Big Ten?


But hey, ESPN has the Badgers at #22 in their way-too-early top 25.