After the new NCAA Tournament bracket came out, some (okay, a lot) Wisconsin fans were scratching their heads. It seems as though the Wisconsin Badgers will have to pull off a miracle upset for a chance to continue playing in the tournament past round two. Recent history proves that the Badgers are up to the task. When looking for an upset caused by the Badgers, you don’t need to look any further than the 2015 NCAA Tournament, when Wisconsin beat the previously-undefeated Kentucky Wildcats to advance to the NCAA Championship.
These Badgers were so fun to watch. They were so dynamic and all were capable of going off on any given night. They were captivating and made us love to watch them. We know that some of these players still suit up for the Badgers, but where is the rest of the team Wisconsin grew to love?
Duje Dukan was the ultimate sixth man for the Badgers. Dukan was a redshirt senior when the Badgers made their great run in 2015 season. Coming off of the bench, he averaged 4.7 points per game. Beyond his Badger career, Duje joined the Sacramento Kings for the NBA Summer League. Dukan played in his regular season NBA debut on April 13, 2016, where he played for 24 minutes and gained six points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal. Dukan was released by the Kings last summer and signed a three-year deal with the Croatian team Cedevita Zagreb. The team and Dukan mutually terminated his contract and he is now playing for the Windy City Bulls, a developmental league team based in Chicago.
Traevon Jackson is a former Big-Ten Honorable Mention. Throughout his career with the Badgers, he averaged 7.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. In 2015, Jackson was the starting point guard and ultimately added another level to the Badgers offense. In a January game against Rutgers, he was forced to the sideline after fracturing his foot, allowing Bronson Koenig to start the first batch of games in his career. Jackson made his return in the NCAA Tournament and averaged over eight points per game and 2.6 assists. After leaving UW-Madison, Jackson joined the Washington Wizards for NBA Summer League and was acquired by the Iowa Energy, an NBA Development League team.
Josh Gasser started in 144 games, which is the most under former head coach Bo Ryan. Gasser was was named to the Big Ten’s All-Defensive team three times and a 2014 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. He averaged 7.3 points, 1.9 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game. Gasser has the most wins in Badger Basketball history and started every game he was eligible but four in his freshman year. Once his Badger career concluded, Gasser signed a Summer league contract with the Brooklyn Nets and played for Löwen Braunschweig of Germany’s Basketball Bundesliga.
Sam Dekker left the Badgers after his junior year, but not before racking up rewards and stats. Throughout his career with the Badgers, Dekker earned the honors of 2013 Big Ten Honorable Mention, 2013 Big Ten All-Freshman Team, 2014 Second Team All-Big Ten, 2015 NCAA West Region’s Most Outstanding Player, and 2015 Second Team All-Big Ten. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 18th pick in the 2015 NBS Draft. Dekker continuously gets more playing time with the Rockets and scored a career-high 30 points on the same night of his first start earlier this season.
Frank Kaminsky had the most hype surrounding him entering the 2015 season and he certainly lived up to it. As a Badger, Frank earned the 2015 Wooden Award, 2015 Naismith Trophy, 2015 Oscar Robertson Trophy, 2015 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (Center of the Year), 2014-15 AP, Sporting News & USA Today National PoY, 2014-15 Consensus First-Team All-American, 2015 All-NCAA Tournament Team, 2014-15 Big Ten Player of the Year, 2014-15 First-Team All-Big Ten, 2014 NCAA Tournament West Region MOP, 2014 First-Team All-Big Ten, Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week on January 5th 2015, and six-time Big Ten Player of the Week. Frank was drafted with the ninth pick of the 2015 NBA Draft to the Charlotte Hornets. Kaminsky scored a career-high 24 points on February 15, 2017.
Basketball (and life in general) have led these five men into many different directions and places around the world. By looking at their Twitter accounts, they still manage to root on their Alma Mater passionately. Some even let their true emotions show when the Badgers seeding was revealed for the 2017 NCAA Tournament:
Don’t worry Frank, we felt the same way.