Wisconsin Basketball will exceed expectations in 2022-23

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 15: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 15: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Wisconsin Basketball team has been one of the most underrated programs in college basketball for years. In most years, Wisconsin will exceed expectations.

The Big Ten preseason media poll came out last month, and the results do not look like many are riding with the Badgers for the upcoming season. Wisconsin will be without their All-American and leading scorer, Johnny Davis, as well as their on-court coach and emotional leader, Brad Davison, in 2022-23. With low expectations, this is why the Badgers will exceed them this season.

Wisconsin Basketball will exceed expectations in 2022-23

While the two players you thought of the most when thinking about the Badgers team from a year ago may not be returning, they still do return a lot of familiar faces. Three members of last season’s starting five are returning for the Badgers, with Chucky Hepburn, Tyler Wahl, and Steven Crowl.

Hepburn and Wahl are the two that are expected to contribute the most to the Badgers. In the same poll mentioned earlier, Hepburn and Wahl were voted Second Team All-Big Ten. Both players were unsung heroes for the Badgers a season ago and will hopefully up their game this season with the expectations that they’ll be the team’s leaders.

The biggest difference between last season’s Wisconsin team and this season will be their continuity. A year ago, the team had a lot of players who were getting their feet wet in college basketball for the first time. This year, they return three players who started on last year’s team and will have a few more bench options who played in 2021-22.

Only a year ago, the Badgers were picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten. At one point in the year, they were ranked higher than 10th in the country. They may not go that far in overperforming their expectations this season. Still, their success in outperforming expectations in the past gives encouragement that they will finish higher than their ninth-place projection this season.

The Badgers have started the season unranked in four of the past five seasons. On three of those occasions, they’ve finished the season ranked. There is no reason to expect that this season will be any different.

The Badgers have the reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year, Greg Gard, at the helm again in 2022-23. Gard has won the award twice in the last three seasons. The commonality in both times he won the award is that his teams seemingly came out of nowhere to claim a share of the conference title.

Gard has consistently found ways to get the best out of his players over the last few seasons. He’s even shown a willingness to adapt to the teams that he has and adjust their style of play to fit his players. Gard has regularly put his players in positions to succeed, and there are no grounds to believe that he won’t continue to do so with his current roster.

Wisconsin usually gives fans a quality team to cheer for, and we should expect that they will do more of the same this season. Hopefully, the team will again prove doubters wrong, as they’ve done so many times in the past.