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Wisconsin Basketball Embracing Competition: ‘It’s Open Season on Minutes’

Wisconsin basketball boasts significantly greater depth than last year, setting the stage for intense competition among players vying for playing time.



Wisconsin Badgers Basketball head coach Greg Gard
Feb 14, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Greg Gard reacts to a foul call during the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Gard and the University of Wisconsin basketball team are gearing up for the upcoming 2023-24 season with a newfound sense of competition and intensity.

While the Badgers basketball team returns all five starters from last year’s underachieving squad, Wisconsin’s head coach is making it clear that no one’s minutes are guaranteed.

“I haven’t named any starters yet; it’s open season on minutes,” Gard said during his press conference at local media day.

Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Still Evaluating Roster, Playing Time

Despite having the most returning production in the Big Ten, Greg Gard emphasized the heightened level of competition within the Wisconsin basketball team during his media day session.

He revealed that he keeps a private list of observations and evaluations from each day, and this list sees daily changes as players vie for playing time.

“We’ve got competition in practice at all positions, and when you have that competition around you, you can’t get complacent, or somebody is going to pass you…and they embrace it,” Gard told reporters.

Last season, the Wisconsin basketball coaching staff faced depth challenges, but this year has a chance to be different. The Badgers return 10 players that appeared in at least 14 games a year ago and eight that played in 24 or more contests.

With the addition of St. John’s transfer AJ Storr and an impressive freshman class featuring Gus Yalden, Nolan Winter, John Blackwell, and walk-on Jack Janicki, the competition for minutes has intensified.

The coaching staff intends to explore various lineup possibilities even after the season starts — which means the battle for playing time and spots in the rotation promises to be a compelling storyline throughout the Wisconsin basketball season.

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