College basketball fans usually look to incoming freshmen to revitalize a team over the offseason, but sometimes the key to a big year is hiding in plain sight. Former reserves or little-noticed starters can develop into team leaders, much as Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky did in 2013-14 after two anonymous years on the bench.
Next year’s Badgers feature another fine candidate to go from the second unit to a primary role in the offense. Energetic forward Nigel Hayes showed enormous promise as a freshman reserve, and now he’ll get his shot as part of a starting lineup that's bidding for a return to the Final Four.
Read on for more on Hayes’ prospects in Madison, along with 14 more lesser lights from 2013-14 who are set to make huge gains in productivity next season. The highest-ranked players here are the ones who have the farthest to go—that is, the ones with the least starting experience and the worst performance so far.