10 games have already passed in the Wisconsin basketball season. Today, the Badgers sit at 7-3 and 1-0 in the Big Ten. It was a slow start to the season, but Wisconsin has won six of their last seven games. They own wins against Virginia, Marquette, and Michigan State, It’s been a challenging schedule as well. Here is what we know about Wisconsin basketball after 10 games.
Wisconsin Basketball Has Much Better Depth Than Last Year
The depth on this basketball team is much better than last year. Freshmen Nolan Winter and John Blackwell play a huge role in that. Add in transfer A.J. Storr and this team can go as much as 11 deep. Last season, you only felt comfortable with the Badgers going seven or eight deep.
Not only is the depth better, but after Wisconsin basketball only lost one player from last year’s team, these players have a year under their belt and have more experience. That is already paying off. I don’t think last year’s team beats Virginia, Marquette, or Michigan State.
All of this is being done with Connor Essegian slowly working his way back from an injury. Last year, Essegian played 27 minutes a game. This year? He’s only averaging seven minutes. Because of the early season success, the depth is allowing him to work his way back and not rush. It will pay off in Big Ten play.
The Freshmen Class is Off to a Good Start
There’s no doubt the Gus Yalden situation is weird. We still have no idea if he will redshirt or sit on the bench his freshman year. I still believe he will have a great career in Madison. It just seems like it’s taking a different route than most of us thought.
On the other hand, Wisconsin basketball freshmen John Blackwell and Nolan Winter have solidified themselves in the rotation. Blackwell is averaging 9.9 points a game in 18 minutes,. He’s also shooting 50% from the field and 52% from three. He’s becoming one of the five best players on this roster fast.
Nolan Winter is averaging just over two points a game in nine minutes of action. He’s shown flashed with his footwork and his ability to shoot the three. With Steven Crowl and Carter Gilmore here this year and next year, there is plenty of time for Winter to get his feet wet. Next year, he looks like a starter.
Wisconsin Basketball is One of the Best Teams in the Big Ten
I don’t think the Big Ten is as good this year as it has been in the last five years. I have had a chance to watch every team at least once. Wisconsin, Illinois, and Purdue seem to be the top three teams right now and I don’t think it’s close.
Wisconsin basketball also has some of the best depth in the conference, and potentially the best depth. Purdue has some really nice wins already, but the Badgers have three quad one wins already.
The Big Ten season is long and a grind. Right now, I don’t think it’s out of bounds to say the Badgers can win 14 conference games. Purdue and Illinois will be tough games, but I don’t see a third team right now that is better than the Badgers
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