After testing the NBA Draft waters and seeing where he stood, Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ will withdraw from the Draft and return for his final year of eligibility with the Badgers. Happ announced the decision on his Twitter account.
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times first broke the news.
Happ told media members at the end of the season that he would likely return to Wisconsin if he did not receive a first-round grade. Throughout the past few weeks, Happ had worked out with numerous NBA teams, including the Cavaliers, Lakers, and Bucks to learn about where he could land in the upcoming draft.
Following a workout with the Detroit Pistons, Happ told the Detroit Free Press, “So far, with the teams I’ve worked out for, (the projection) has been late-second round,” Happ said. “With that, I’d rather go back to school. There’s no guarantees unless you’re early in the first round. There’s so much stuff that happens in the first 30 picks that there’s no way to guarantee a spot, but it’s great to get in as many teams as possible and they help to do that.”
Happ will return for his 5th year in the program, after sitting his freshman year during the 2014-2015 season, when the Badgers were the NCAA Tournament runner-ups. The red-shirt senior brings back a wealth of talent and experience that could help return the Wisconsin Men’s Basketball team back to March Madness following a relatively poor season, plagued with injuries, that saw the Badgers miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 19 years.
Despite the uncharacteristically bad season this past year, the Badger’s now will be a favorite to perform well in Big Ten play this coming season. Freshman phenom Brad Davison returns and D’Mitrick Trice and Kobe King will hope to rebound after a season spoiled by injuries. Happ’s last hurrah could be key for the development of sophomore Nathan Reuvers, as well as incoming freshman Taylor Currie. Both big men will look to continue their growth under the 2018 First-Team All-Big Ten honoree.