With the likes of Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, Zak Showalter and Vitto Brown graduating, the 2017-18 basketball season for the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball program will allow some fresh faces to come to the forefront.
For the upcoming season, head coach Greg Gard and the Badgers will welcome seven new players, including two red shirt freshman from last season to the program. Here are the new kids on the block.
Kobe King, Wisconsin’s Mr. Basketball for 2017, will look to make an immediate impact on the team. The shooting guard from La Crosse, is rated by 24/7 Sports as a 3-star recruit and averaged 27 points per game in high school last season. King is an explosive guard who will look to spread the floor and create his own shot.
— Kobe King (@KingKobe27) September 16, 2015
Maple Grove guard and 4-star recruit Brad Davison will also look to fill the gaping guard hole made by departing seniors Bronson Koenig and Zak Showalter. The athletic 6-foot-3 shooting guard also could’ve been found on the football field where he won many accolades, including AP All-State recognition. The Davison and King dynamic will be something that will only get stronger as they progress through the ranks of the program.
After lots of Thought & Prayer with my Family, Im very excited to become a Badger 🔴⚪ Thankful for this Opportunity 🙏 pic.twitter.com/HrzS0Tk3Jk
— Brad Davison (@braddavi34) July 11, 2016
Here’s where things get interesting. Six-foot-nine Nathan Reuvers seems to be a mold of the classic Wisconsin big man. Reuvers can work the inside game, but his shot from behind-the-arc is just as impressive. Critics question whether or not his thin frame will be able to defend larger men in college, but look for Reuvers’s game to only improve as he gets more game time experience and defends returning redshirt junior and AP All Third Team member, Ethan Happ. Reuvers will gain crucial skills from defending Happ in practice, similar to that of Happ when he had to defend Frank Kaminsky back in 2014-15. It’s clear that paid dividends could yield similar results with Reuvers.
— Nathan Reuvers (@Reuvers35) May 18, 2016
When Greg Gard went down to IMG Academy looking to recruit D’mitrik Trice, he came home with not only Trice, but a quietly recruited and highly athletic, Aleem Ford. Ford redshirted during the 2016-17 season, and will look to compete for a rotational role. If Ford can show early on that he can defend and be trustworthy on the offensive side, Ford may work his way into the starting five. To gain a spot Ford would likely have to outplay Khalil Iverson, who is returning following a sophomore campaign that saw him vastly improve both his regular and three point field goal percentages. It remains to be seen how quickly Ford can fulfill his potential as a highly athletic wing 3 and D wing.
Walk-on Michael Ballard will look to compete for minutes for the upcoming season, but it may be difficult for him to crack the rotation. Ballard can hit the three ball, and there’s never been a better time to contribute to a program after losing substantial pieces like Koenig, and Showalter in the back court.
Walt McGrory is the all-time leading scorer at Edina High School, registering 2,126 career points. McGrory averaged 26.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game his senior year. After turning down scholarship offers from Brown, Drake, Furman, Maine and South Dakota State, McGrory will look to play some minutes and make an impact among a guard-heavy recruiting class.
New year. New faces.
Meet Walt McGrory pic.twitter.com/QdBDGwxk1v
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) June 29, 2017
Wisconsin is not known for scooping up transfers, but Trevor Anderson may be the perfect addition to the program. Unfortunately, due to NCAA regulations, Anderson must sit out the 2017-18 campaign, but will be eligible to play in the 2018-19 season.
Taking A Leap Of Faith!! 🔴👐🏻⚪️ pic.twitter.com/Qt8e8wcRwV
— Trevor Anderson (@TreMamBa15) May 3, 2017