A look at 2013/2014: Badgers and Golden Eagles
What a run for the Marquette Golden Eagles in the 2013/14 season. And for the Wisconsin Badgers as well, even though they were taken out in their first game of the tournament. Both teams were pleasant surprises this year in their own right. Marquette, for making it to the elite eight and Wisconsin, for competing in a very tough Big Ten conference in a year they were picked to finish at, or near the bottom.
Not only did both teams finish strongly, but next season the two schools have top notch freshmen coming in. The 2013/2014 season and beyond look very promising for the Badgers and Golden Eagles respectively.
SG Trent Lockett - graduating; PG Junior Cadougan - graduating; SG Matt Thomas - possible transfer; G Jamal Ferguson - possible transfer.
SG JaJuan Johnson - Southwind HS Memphis, TN; SF Deonte Burton - Vincent HS Milwaukee, WI; PG Duane Wilson - Dominican HS Milwaukee, WI; PG John Dawson - Clovis HS Clovis, NM; PF Jameel McKay - Indian Hills Community College Milwaukee, WI.
Overall Class Ranking
ESPN.com - #11 in the nation
Rivals.com - #7 in the nation
Scout.com - #7 in the nation
Next season outlook - Losing two starting guards is not good for any program, but Marquette will not be want of senior leadership next season. Vander Blue, Jamil Wilson, Davante Gardner and Chris Otule all return and will be more than enough in that department for coach Buzz Williams.
If Williams can find a healthy balance between his returning veterans and the highly ranked newcomers, the Golden Eagles will be a formidable opponent for any squad, especially come tournament time. They will compete for a conference title in the new Big East in 2013/14.
C Jared Berggren - graduating; F Ryan Evans - graduating; F Mike Bruesewitz - graduating
PF Nigel Hayes - Whitmer HS Toledo, OH; PF Vitto Brown - Bowling Green HS Bowling Green, OH; PG Bronson Koenig - Aquinas HS LaCrosse, WI; SG Jordan Hill - Phillips Exeter Academy Pasedena, CA; SG Riley Dearring - Hopkins HS Minneapolis, MN.
Overall Class Ranking
ESPN.com - #28 in the nation
Scout.com - #29 in the nation
Next season outlook - For Bo Ryan to have a nationally ranked recruiting class is something in its own right. He went into Ohio and "stole" two athletic big-men in Brown and Hayes and is getting a very talented PG in Koenig.
Ryan is very conservative when it comes to letting his players learn during games. Very few freshmen get playing time and even fewer have been able to start. Ryan is known for not playing freshmen, but may have to bend his rules a bit for this group of highly recruited ball players.
Getting Josh Gasser back and having a year under Sam Dekker's belt will make this team competitive. This could be a rebuilding of sorts for Ryan and the Badgers, but as we all know, that's not a term Ryan is familiar with. A Big Ten title run is certainly a possibility next season, watch out in 2014/15.