Wisconsin Basketball: Breaking Down Every Addition and Departure

Dave RadcliffeContributor IIIMay 1, 2013

Wisconsin Basketball: Breaking Down Every Addition and Departure

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    There are several Wisconsin basketball players who saw their college basketball careers come to an abrupt halt in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64 against the Ole Miss Rebels. Most notably, three starting forwards won't be walking through that door ever again.

    Of course, that means there will be a number of fresh faces joining the Badgers next season. It's a talented group of incoming freshman, as ESPN Insider gave Wisconsin the No. 28 ranking in its 2013 class rankings.

    How much will the Badgers miss each departing senior? What role can we expect each recruit to assume in their first college season? We'll answer these questions while breaking down every addition and departure for Wisconsin.

Addition: Vitto Brown

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    Vitto Brown put up some eye-popping numbers in his senior year of high school, averaging 23.7 points and 13 boards a game. At 6'8" and 230 pounds, his body is already Big Ten-ready, and Brown will only continue to get stronger in college.

    He's a 3-star prospect according to Rivals, and a 2-star for ESPN, and because Brown doesn't need to take time to bulk up, it's entirely possible that he will become a rotation player right away.

    Brown can pick-and-pop and has a low-post game, while his length and athleticism make him a nuisance on defense and the boards. Brown should see minutes off the bench right away in a Badgers uniform with Wisconsin losing its entire starting frontcourt.

Departure: Jared Berggren

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    Perhaps Wisconsin's most effective defender because of his length and shot-blocking ability around the basket, Jared Berggren will certainly be missed next season.

    More was expected of the 6'10" forward in his senior year, since his three-point shooting took a hit and he didn't use his superior post skills to his advantage. Overall, the Badgers will have to try and replace his 11 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks that he put up each game.

    Is the player to do that Frank Kaminsky, who will likely slide into a starting role next season? Or will it have to be a team effort? Either way, the Badgers will be hard-pressed to find a player on next year's roster that can average more than two blocks a contest.

Addition: Riley Dearring

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    Riley Dearring is a 6'4" guard out of Minnetonka (Minn.) High School who averaged 14.5 PPG in his senior season. Both ESPN and Rivals gave him a 3-star rating.

    Dearring was a bit of an early bloomer and had to adjust his game in high school, but he has a great feel for the game as a result. He's very versatile and can defend at the 1, 2 or 3 because of his quickness and athleticism. Dearring is also probably the best outside shooter of Wisconsin's 2013 class.

    At only 170 pounds, he needs to build on his wiry frame so he can handle the rigors of Big Ten play. While he may be a good shooter, Dearring needs to be more consistent letting it fly off the dribble, and he has to move off the ball better to set himself up for better shots.

    With so many returning guards, Dearring is probably in line for a redshirt and likely wouldn't play much in his freshman season either way. But his shooting stroke and ability to defend multiple positions could change that, especially considering the shooting woes Wisconsin had last season.

Departure: Mike Bruesewitz

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    Loved by some, hated by many and respected by all, Mike Bruesewitz's four years at Wisconsin have come to a close, and the rest of the Big Ten couldn't be happier.

    The Bruiser wasn't particularly good at any one thing on the basketball court, but if there was anyone who showed more hustle and grit than Bruesewitz on a nightly basis, you'd have trouble finding him. That heart and desire will be missed during the 2013-14 season, although it shouldn't be difficult to replicate his numbers.

    Bruesewitz averaged 6.4 PPG and 5.3 RPG while shooting a tick above 40 percent from the field. He, along with Berggren, didn't really live up to the billing last season, although with Bruesewitz, the ceiling was never too high in the first place.

Addition: Nigel Hayes

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    The second prospect stolen from the Buckeye state, Nigel Hayes is a 6'7" forward out of Whitmer (Ohio) High School. A 4-star recruit and Top 100 prospect according to ESPN, he received three stars from Rivals after averaging 16.2 PPG and 8.8 RPG in his senior season.

    Hayes is a pretty good face-up shooter and has range back to the three-point arc. He can also score out of the post and rebounds well because of his length. He also uses that length to disrupt and block shots on the defensive end.

    At 215 pounds, Hayes could stand to add some bulk to his frame as someone who needs to bang around in the post to gain position. Speaking of the post, Hayes is still developing his moves on the block.

    Like Brown, it's entirely possible that Hayes sees significant minutes in his freshman season for the Badgers because of the lack of depth in the frontcourt.


Departure: Ryan Evans

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    Right from the get-go, Ryan Evans was part of head coach Bo Ryan's rotation at Wisconsin. For that reason, expectations were set high for the 6'6" forward, resulting in a rather disappointing final year for the Badgers.

    People will remember Evans' immense struggles at the free-throw line and all-around failure to put the ball in the basket, but that wasn't why Evans was on the court. His athleticism and strength led to rebounding and defense, and he was often tasked with shutting down the opponent's best player.

    At just 6'6", Evans was often faced with guarding bigger players. He averaged 10.1 PPG and 7.3 RPG, but only shot 39.5 percent from the field and not much better than that from the charity stripe. Badger fans are hoping they get better production out of either Brown or Hayes over the next four years.

Addition: Bronson Koenig

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    Out of La Crosse (Wisconsin) High School, Bronson Koenig was given a 4-star rating by Rivals and a 3-star rating by ESPN. He's a 6'3" guard who averaged 17.3 PPG and 4.0 APG in his senior season.

    Koenig could very well be the most prized 2013 commit for Wisconsin and could ultimately become the guy who always has the ball in his hands with the shot clock winding down because of his incredible vision and pull-up jump shot.

    His defense needs to come along, although he took a huge step forward between his junior and senior seasons and was named the top senior defensive player in the WSN Senior Boys Basketball awards. Koenig can also have trouble beating his man off the dribble and handling with his left hand under pressure.

    He could wind up being a special player for the Badgers. He has the talent to contribute right away, so he probably won't redshirt even with the bevy of guards on Wisconsin's roster. Koenig could even assume the sixth-man role like Dekker in his freshman season. 

Departure: Dan Fahey

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    A walk-on guard, Dan Fahey never saw meaningful minutes for the Badgers during his time at Wisconsin. He was someone who would receive mop-up duty when the Badgers had an insurmountable lead at the end of games or were on the wrong side of a lopsided game.

    Other than his locker room presence and being the guy who held everyone back on the bench after a big play, the third-generation Badger won't be missed at Wisconsin. He only averaged 1.1 PPG in 2.8 minutes per game in 10 contests during his senior season.

Addition: Jordan Hill

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    Jordan Hill is out of Phillips Exeter Academy (New Hampshire), where he averaged 14.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 2.5 steals per game in his senior season. A 2-star recruit per ESPN, he comes in at 6'3", 170 pounds.

    Hill is an explosive player because of his ability to penetrate the defense off the dribble. His rebounding numbers are impressive for a guard, so despite his size, he doesn't appear to be afraid to enter the land of the giants.

    It's difficult to classify Hill as a shooting guard—he's more of an off-guard—because he has to work on his outside shot. Even though he has a nice burst, that didn't result in him creating much for teammates during his senior season, so shooting and facilitating are two areas of concern for Hill.

    Like Dearring, Hill could be in line for a redshirt because he must put on more weight. As a guard at Wisconsin, Hill will need to develop his shot, considering how often the Badgers shoot the three. Between Dearring and Hill, Hill is more likely to receive a redshirt, but both might be sitting out their freshman year.

Departure: J.D. Wise

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    J.D. Wise basically falls into the same category as Fahey—someone who could never quite break into the rotation while only seeing playing time when the game was no longer in doubt.

    He played in the least amount of games for the Badgers last season, averaging 0.6 PPG in 1.4 MPG. Still, Wise was a nice story after making the team in an open tryout during his freshman season, sticking around for all four years with Wisconsin.

Addition: Aaron Moesch

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    A 6'7" forward out of Green Bay Southwest High School, Aaron Moesch is the sixth and final addition from the class of 2013. He received preferred walk-on status and averaged 18.4 PPG and 12.1 RPG in his senior season.

    Moesch has some upside because of his ability to handle the basketball and shoot from outside. He also has pretty good vision for someone of his stature, and that is in large part due to his high basketball IQ and ability to learn quickly on the court.

    His body isn't Big Ten ready, as Moesch only weighs in at 200 pounds. He made great strides between his junior and senior season and looks to be a player with more of a guard skill set than a guy who will battle down low. 

    Adding Moesch isn't a terrible idea considering the question marks the Badgers have at forward past Dekker and Kaminsky heading into next season. Still, it's unclear whether Moesch will ever contribute much at Wisconsin. He could take a redshirt along with fellow freshmen Dearring and Hill.