That is not because Wisconsin is a bad team or anything like that. It will just have to play two very tough opponents right off of the bat. The Badgers will open up the season against the St. John’s Red Storm and then they will take on the Florida Gators in the very next game.
Say what you want about the Red Storm, but this could be Steve Lavin’s best team yet. It helps that two players who averaged 14 or more points per game last season will be returning to the team, along with basically every other player. Plus, a five-star recruit is set to join the team.
The Red Storm did finish with a 17-16 record last season, so there is that.
As for Florida, it will be losing its top three leading scorers from last year’s team. However, everyone else will be back and the Gators had a lot of depth last season to say the least. Not to mention, they will be gaining some pretty good transfers and two five-star recruits will be joining as well (Chris Walker is not eligible to play yet).
The Gators have made the Elite Eight three seasons in a row now and Billy Donovan has turned them into one of the top teams in college hoops–watch out football program.
So, Wisconsin will have to play a top 10 team in Florida–blew the Badgers out last season as well–and a St. John’s team that has the talent to win the Big East Conference.
If Sam Dekker can become a star in his sophomore season and if the Badgers can be solid on defense once again, they very well could win their first two games of the season. It will not be easy, though, and Bo Ryan’s team will be challenged right away.