The 3rd Man In

Meet the 2014-15 Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Badgers head coach Bo Ryan returns almost everyone from last season’s Final Four squad, giving him one of the most talented teams in program history. The Badgers are a legitimate National Championship contender, possessing excellent size and athleticism. The Milwaukee Panthers will have the opportunity to play the Badgers in Milwaukee this season, and here is a preview of who they will be forced to defend:

Starters

44 Frank Kaminsky (7-0 Sr. C): The Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year and a projected first round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Kaminsky has had a solid start to the season. He is a dangerous player, who has shown he can do it all, possessing the ability to be a force underneath the basket, while also being a solid three-point shooter.

The seven-footer is averaging 16.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, while shooting 54.5 percent from the field including 43.8 percent from three-point range.

Kaminsky will present a matchup problem for Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter with his size and excellent athleticism.

10 Nigel Hayes (6-8 Soph. F): The reigning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, Hayes is now getting the chance to start in his sophomore season. He has taken advantage of this opportunity averaging a near double-double with 11.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest.

Panther forward Matt Tiby will start opposite of Hayes, and despite them both being about the same size, Tiby will have his hands full against the talented Badgers forward.

15 Sam Dekker (6-9 Jr. F): Dekker is an extremely talented player, and has been regarded as a likely first round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, but he has gotten off to a slow start this season. He is averaging only 10.7 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the floor including a disappointing 29.2 percent from three-point territory.

Despite Dekker’s struggles this season, expect him to have a big night against the Panthers, as he will also be a matchup problem for Coach Jeter, who usually plays three guards at once.

21 Josh Gasser (6-4 Sr. G): Gasser is in his fifth and final season with the Badgers, and he is the undisputed leader of this talented squad. He is averaging 6.7 points per game on 45 percent shooting including a team-high 46.4 percent from behind the three-point line.

12 Traevon Jackson (6-3 Sr. G): Jackson is also in his final season with the Badgers, averaging 10.1 points and 2.9 assists per contest on 45.7 percent shooting.

Key Reserves

13 Duje Dukan (6-10 Sr. F): Dukan was ineligible for the Badgers’ first two games but since his return, he has provided Coach Ryan with scoring, rebounding and energy off the bench. He is averaging 7.1 points and 4.1 rebounds on 43.6 percent shooting in seven games this season.

24 Bronson Koenig (6-4, Soph. G): Koenig is the backup point guard for the Badgers. In nine games, he is averaging 4.3 points and 2.7 assists per contest.

30 Vitto Brown (6-8 Soph. F): Brown gives the Badgers tremendous size off the bench, and has averaged 3.3 points and 2.6 rebounds in eight games this season.

3 Zak Showalter (6-2 Soph. G): After redshirting last season, Showalter has seen action in seven games this season averaging 2.7 points per game in limited time off the bench.

Stay tuned to The3rdManIn.com for the the preview of the Milwaukee Panthers big game against the challenging Wisconsin Badgers.

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