The Wisconsin Badgers have high expectations heading into the 2023-24 season.
After missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2017-18 season. The team is hungry to get back into the big dance. Wisconsin is returning all five starters, including the return of Tyler Wahl, who decided to return to the school for a fifth year.
Wahl’s return is massive. He’s one of Wisconsin’s best offensive players, and his presence makes Wisconsin a more dynamic offensive team. When Wahl had to miss three games last season due to an ankle injury, Wisconsin’s offense sputtered in those games because Wahl does most of his damage in the low post, and without that low-post threat, Wisconsin’s offensive became too reliant on shooting from the outside.
The Wisconsin Badgers weren’t the same even after Wahl returned from injury, and they missed the tournament. The glimmer of hope was making the NIT Final Four, but ended in a close 56-54 loss to North Texas.
I’m sure Wahl didn’t want his Wisconsin career to end that way, and Wisconsin Head Coach Greg Gard revealed why Tyler Wahl decided to come back.
Wisconsin Badgers Head Coach Greg Gard said star forward Tyler Wahl was itching to return for this reason.
Wisconsin Badgers Head Coach Greg Gard said this is why Tyler Wahl returned to the program for a fifth season.
“The common thing that came with Tyler, is there’s been no player in Wisconsin basketball history that’s won three Big Ten Championships. Gard said. He has the chance to be the only player in school history to do that.”
A big reason why Tyler Wahl came back for a fifth season?
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) September 29, 2023
This is a good motivation for Tyler Wahl, but why not strive for a little more? Wisconsin hasn’t made the third round of the NCAA Tournament since 2016, and they haven’t had any tournament success in Greg Gard’s tenure. A season shouldn’t be measured by how far a team goes in the tournament, but it’s also a little disappointing that Wisconsin strives only for Big Ten regular season championships.
In five years, if this goal gets accomplished, nobody will care but make a run at the Elite Eight, and that’s something that people will talk about. Those Big Ten regular season championships have been shared with other teams, so if Wisconsin notches another Big Ten regular season title but also has to share it with five schools, is the season still special?
This Wisconsin team is set up to be better than last season because they have veteran experience and young, talented recruits coming into the system. The talent on Wisconsin’s roster can strive for much better than another Big Ten regular season title. This is a make-or-break year for Greg Gard, but based on how he’s gotten his team to play in the face of doubt, this will be a successful season for Wisconsin.
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