With the Wisconsin Badgers losing four of their starters and 63 percent of their scoring from a year ago, there are a lot of question marks facing the 2017-18 team. Wisconsin has made the NCAA Tournament 19 seasons in a row, but this season will provide that streak with a huge test.
Wisconsin does still have Ethan Happ, but he is surrounded with a lot of returning unproven, inexperienced underclassmen. However, they do bring in a highly touted recruiting class that should help Wisconsin succeed in one of their rare rebuilding seasons.
Kobe King was the first of three Wisconsin scholarship recruits to commit to the program. King, an in-state recruit from Bronson Koenig’s hometown of La Crosse, is a four-star recruit and is the No. 37 ranked shooting guard in the class.
He is slightly undersized at just 6’3, but he has the potential to be an effective weapon on offense. He is a good slasher, can score from all three levels, and has the athletic ability to finish at the rim.
While there is no doubt that he will eventually become a good scorer for the Badgers, it remains to be seen if he can crack the rotation in year one. D’Mitrik Trice and Brevin Pritzl have the upperhand to earn the starting backcourt roles, but after that, it is anyone’s guess. If King can show the coaches that he can defend well enough for this level, he could be an immediate impact player off the bench.
Wisconsin’s second commit in the class was 6-9 center Nathan Reuvers out of Minnesota. A 247Sports four-star recruit and the No. 64 ranked player in the nation, Reuvers is ultra-skilled and has a terrific shooting stroke.
Finally! It seems like Wisconsin can never land tall white guys that can shoot. In all seriousness, Reuvers has the potential to be a Jon Leuer type player for the Badgers.
Reuvers is on the skinny side right now, but if he can bulk up before the season starts, he will have a serious chance to earn a lot of minutes. He needs to prove that he can be a good enough rebounder and defender for the Big Ten first, but he has the chance to earn a starting spot. With his ability to stretch the court, he could be the perfect compliment to Ethan Happ for the next two seasons.
Wisconsin’s final scholarship freshman for 2017 was Brad Davison, also out of the Gopher state. It can’t make Minnesota fans happy that Wisconsin was able to snag two four-star recruits out of their backyard, can it? Davison is the No. 23 ranked point guard and the No. 104 ranked player in the country by the 247sports composite rankings.
He is also quite literally a parent’s dream child. In addition to be the star point guard and quarterback, Davison was the 2017 Scholar Athlete in Minnesota, while also logging over 120 hours of community service.
Davison is just as good on the court. His natural leadership abilities will make him an effective floor general for the Badgers. He is also an excellent shooter from three-point range. Davison has the easiest path to early minutes of of the three freshman. He is the only other point guard on the roster except for sophomore D’Mitrik Trice. While Trice had a solid freshman season, Davison should be able to earn a lot of playing time as his backup.
All three freshmen have work to do in the offseason, but they all have a very good chance to play early minutes for the Badgers. This is going to be a young Wisconsin team. In order to keep the tournament streak alive, Wisconsin’s freshmen must contribute in a big way.