The Wisconsin Badgers did not make the NCAA Tournament a season ago, and they are hoping to get back there this season with head coach Greg Gard. Last season, Wisconsin had a 20-15 overall record and a 9-11 record in the BIG10 Conference. The Badgers lost to the North Texas Green Eagles in the NIT Final Four.
Wisconsin is always dealing with a tough BIG10 Conference every single year. The Athletic ranked the Badgers as the 15th-best team in college basketball in their preseason Top 25 poll. The only team in the BIG10 Conference ranked ahead of the Wisconsin Badgers was the Michigan State Spartans, who was ranked sixth.
No other teams from the BIG10 Conference were ranked on this poll. The BIG10 Conference had many teams make the NCAA Tournament a season ago. Some of the other teams that Wisconsin will have to look out for as the season goes on are the Purdue Boilermakers, the Indiana Hoosiers, the Maryland Terrapins, the Northwestern Wildcats, the Illinois Fighting Illini, and the Iowa Hawkeyes. The one sleeper team in the BIG10 Conference could be the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The BIG10 Conference schedule for this season had yet to be announced. The Wisconsin Badgers will begin the 2023 college basketball season on Wednesday, November 1, when they face UW-Stevens Point at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin at 7 p.m.
CJ Moore and Sam Vecenie said about the Wisconsin Basketball Program heading into this season in the Athletic:
“Wisconsin returns its starting five and then adds a solid recruiting class, headlined by St. John’s transfer AJ Storr. The Badgers needed to get bigger athlete on the wing, and Storr was one of the sneaky big adds in the Big Ten. He averaged 12.3 points over his final 16 games last season and was one of the best freshmen in the Big East. He looked even more impressive this summer playing for the Bahamian National Team in two games against argubaly the best team in college basketball. Combined with sophomore Connor Essegian, Wisconsin has one of the most talented 2-3 combos in the Big Ten.”
Wisconsin Badgers Potential Lineup For the 2023-2024 College Basketball Season
The potential starting lineup for the Badgers this upcoming season will be Chucky Hepburn and Connor Essegian at guard, A.J. Storr at wing, Tyler Wahl at forward, and Steven Crowl at center. Some of the key players off the bench this season for the Wisconsin Badgers will be guards Max Klesmit and Kamari McGee, and forwards Gus Yalden and Carter Gilmore.
Chucky Hepburn played 35 games last season for Wisconsin. He was the Badgers’ best player a season ago and averaged 12.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 1.5 SPG. Hepburn shot 37.7% from the field last season as well.
Steven Crowl also played in 35 games a season ago for the Wisconsin Badgers. He averaged 12.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 2.5 APG. Crowl also averaged 0.5 BPG and shot 51.0% from the field.
Moore and Vecenie added:
“Wisconsin incoming freshman Gus Yalden is another player who could surprise. In warmups, it looks like Yalden is in the wrong sport and should be playing left tackle. But the man nicknamed the Gus Bus has extremely soft hands and touch and knows how to throw his weight around. He’ll be a weapon off the bench. An offense that struggled last season should improve. This is about as high as you’ll probably see Wisconsin anywhere in preseason rankings. We’re buyers.”
The Wisconsin Badgers will have some tough out-of-conference games to start the season, and it will put this lineup to the test. They will host the Tennessee Volunteers on Friday, November 10. Some of the other tough out-of-conference games will include the Providence Friars on November 14, the Virginia Cavaliers on November 20 in the Fort Myers Tip-Off, and then will either play the SMU Mustangs or the West Virginia Mountaineers two days later, an in-state matchup with the Marquette Golden Eagles on December 2 and the Arizona Wildcats on the road on December 9.
This is going to be a tough, challenging road out of the gates, but the Wisconsin Badgers will need these games in order to help their NCAA Tournament resume this season.