Badgers Men’s Basketball: Redemption

Men’s basketball is in full swing this year. Led by redshirt senior Ethan Happ and fourth-year coach Greg Gard, it's safe to say that the Wisconsin men’s basketball team is off to a pretty good start this season.

 

Last year, the Badgers finished their season 15-18 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten. With departures from Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, Vitto Brown, Zak Showalter and Jordan Hill, the team typically lined up with Ethan Happ, Brad Davison, Nate Reuvers, Brevin Pritzl and Khalil Iverson. This led the way for a relatively new and young team, with just under half the players in their first or second season with the team. However, for the first time since 1998, the team failed to reach the NCAA Tournament and participate in the coveted March Madness.

With all five starters from last year back, the team had five departures with Aaron Moesch, Matt Ferris and T.J. Schlundt graduating, Andy Van Vliet transferring to the College of William & Mary, and Alex Illikainen leaving the program. This year the team welcomes Kobe King and D’Mitrik Trice back after their injuries along with five freshmen: guard Tai Strickland, forward Taylor Currie, walk-on center Joe Hedstrom, and walk-on guard Carter Higginbottom. Sophomore Owen Hamilton will redshirt this year after transferring from Northern Illinois.

 

Happ returns for his final season at the Kohl Center after initially declaring for the NBA Draft in the spring. Happ starts the season ranked 8th in the university’s history for points, 2nd in rebounds, 17th in assists, 6th in blocks and 3rd in steals.

 

This year, the team has adopted the motto “For the Culture.” In an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, Davison notes that the team has better relationships with one another and spends much more time together than last year, leading to a better connection on the court. This motto represents bringing the program back to its roots and taking a twist on its identity.

 

The team is currently ranked 25th in the country by the Associated Press. The season just began so there are plenty of games to catch whether it be on TV or right on campus at the Kohl Center. On Wisconsin!

 

Games This Season:

HOME, Tuesday, November 27th:  vs North Carolina State // 8pm

Friday, November 30th: @ Iowa // 7pm

HOME, Monday, December 3rd: vs Rutgers // 7pm

Saturday, December 8th: @ Marquette // 4pm

HOME, Thursday, December 13th: vs Savannah State // 7pm

HOME, Saturday, December 22nd:  vs Grambling State // 11am

Saturday December 29th: @ Western Kentucky // 4:30pm

HOME, Thursday, January 3rd: vs Minnesota // 8pm

Sunday, January 6th: @ Penn State // 6:30pm

HOME, Friday, January 11th: vs Purdue // 8pm

Monday, January 14th: @ Maryland //7:30pm

HOME, Saturday, January 19th: vs Michigan // 11am

Wednesday January 23rd: @ Illinois // 8pm

HOME, Saturday, January 26th: vs Northwestern // 1:15PM

Tuesday, January 29th: @ Nebraska // 7pm

HOME, Friday, February 1st: vs Maryland // 8pm

Wednesday, February 6th: @ Minnesota // 8pm

Saturday, February 9th: @ Michigan // 11am

HOME, Tuesday, February 12th: vs Michigan State // 6pm

HOME, Monday, February 18th: vs Illinois // 7pm

Saturday, February 23rd: @ Northwestern // 7:30pm

Tuesday, February 26th: @ Indiana // 8pm

HOME, Saturday, March 2nd: vs Penn State // 12pm

HOME, Thursday, March 7th: vs Iowa // 6pm

2019 Big Ten Tournament: Chicago, Illinois // March 13-March 17th