It may seem like college basketball will never come back, but lo and behold, Wisconsin's annual Red/White Scrimmage is on October 26th. That's only two months from now!
Anyways, the Badgers are a popular pick to win the Big Ten championship this season and with four out of five starters returning (and the reigning B1G Freshman of the Year too) Wisconsin is one of a handful of teams that could make a Final Four run.
It is tough to look at Wisconsin and find any weaknesses heading into this year, but if you dig a little deeper there are some areas of concern. Their field goal percentage could be improved (45.9% last year, good for 86th in country) and they could always hit the offensive glass a little harder (217th in the nation, but not really an area of focus for UW as they are more concerned with getting back on defense), but these aren't the real problems facing the Badgers this year.
The Badgers only lost one major contributor from last season, three-point specialist and surprisingly great rebounder, Ben Brust. He shot 39.3% from distance last year, which was third best on the team (Zach Bohannon was first at 2-for-3, while Josh Gasser was second, shooting 43.1%) and was first on the team in attempts (244) and makes (96, which was 49 more than Gasser made).
Wisconsin is a team that historically had relied on making a butt-load of three pointers, and this past year they attempted the 15th most in the country, so losing Brust is going to be a big hole to fill. However, there are people lined up that could take some of the pressure off of Gasser to make all the three pointers. Sam Dekker shot nearly 40% from three during his freshman season, but that dipped to 32.6% in his sophomore campaign. There will be some progression back towards the mean for Dekker, and after a summer growth spurt and confidence boosting summer camp run he should be the guy the Badgers look to for outside scoring.
The nice thing about Wisconsin is that all of the players on the court (except for Nigel Hayes) are a threat to score from three, even starting center Frank Kaminsky (who continues the long Wisconsin tradition of enormous white dudes that can drain threes). While Brust was the main sniper, a committee of Badgers should be able to shoulder the scoring load from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Bronson Koenig should also be a guy that gets more shots this year, and hopefully after another year of practice he improves his long distance stroke.
As I was writing this, it has become quite clear to me that Wisconsin should not have many weaknesses this year. The only thing that could derail a historic season is injury (*knocks on wood*) or Godzilla attack (*prepares Godzilla shelter*). If the Badgers can find a couple of guys to make a few more three pointers, they should be the most complete team in the B1G and one of the most complete teams in the country.