Wisconsin Basketball Ranked in "Way-Too-Early Top 25" Projections
Though the college basketball season ended unprecedentedly earlier this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic concerns, many are already looking ahead to the 2020-21 season.
Pundits across the various media have started to unveil their "way-too-early" projections for next year. Quite a few are putting Wisconsin as a ranked team in their respective top 25s.
That being said, here is where they land according to some national experts:
ESPN's Jeff Borzello: No. 15 (from March 20)
From a few days ago, the ESPN scribe calls out Wisconsin's eight-game winning streak that culminated with a share of the conference regular-season crown with Maryland and Michigan State, among other things:
All five players who started the season finale against Indiana will be back, and all five will be seniors next season. Gard will have one of the most experienced teams in the country, one that has plenty of offensive balance: D'Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison on the perimeter, Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter down low, and Aleem Ford as a do-it-all glue guy. The Badgers also bring in a five-man recruiting class, led by ESPN 100 forward Ben Carlson. Potter could be the key. He was dominant at times late in the season, and he and Reuvers are brutal matchup problems for most opponents.
CBS Sports' Gary Parrish: No. 11 (from March 24)
The veteran reporter released his first set of preseason rankings on Tuesday, and he places the Badgers just outside the top 10. He notes how the program rebounded after Kobe King's departure to end the season with their previously mentioned streak, how the top five scorers from the 2019-20 season return, and praises redshirt junior forward Micah Potter.
NBC Sports' Rob Dauster: No. 17 (from March 24)
As the Badgers claimed the regular season title in 2019-20, Dauster believes the team will also contend next year:
Their frontline of Aleem Ford, Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter will be as good as anyone in the Big Ten, D’Mitrik Trice has developed into a solid shot-maker and Tyler Wahl is waiting in the wings as a super-sub. Throw in Brad Davison, and the Badgers will compete for the league title once again.
USA TODAY's Scott Gleeson: No. 8 (from March 18)
High praise from Gleeson here with a top 10 ranking for Greg Gard and his program in this one. Like the other writers, he references how many of the key players return for UW, and as he put it. He believes that "the recipe was a patient offense and disciplined defense that could be even better in 2020-21."
Besides misspelling Davison's name, the only thing I want to touch on here is the "patient" offense. Though that could described in that stereotypical fashion, you saw many glimpses where players on the court took quick shots when an open opportunity presented itself.