One of the few positives to come from Wisconsin’s Final Four falloff is that Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky’s announced they would be returning to the university for the 2014-15 season. A reassuring move to fans since both player’s had been climbing up the ranks has potential draft picks.
Don’t exhale just yet Wisconsin. The two have until Tuesday to change their minds. Although chances are slim that either of them pull a change of heart, the lure of millions may end up finalizing their decisions.
As of last week, nbadraft.net projected both Kaminsky and Dekker as second round picks in 2015. The second round is typically a dooming spot players who usually spend their time on the bench. Imagine if over the weekend an NBA inside source told either of the two that they would be a first round selection this year. Could that be all it takes for them to leave?
Kaminsky and Dekker made up for 37 percent Wisconsin’s points and rebounds. The two forwards are the foundation of UW. Wisconsin’s fate will come down to Tuesday. If they choose to stay, Wisconsin will become a major contender for a national championship. If they leave, Bo Ryan will have summer to repair his starting lineup.
With Dekker and Kaminsky on board, Wisconsin is a sure fire, top-ten preseason selection. They will be a popular pick to return to the Final Four. Dekker and Kaminsky staying would mean losing only Ben Brust; Wisconsin’s leading sharpshooter.
Wisconsin can make up for the loss in multiple ways. There are three players that they can take off the bench: Nigel Hayes, Duje Dukan, or Bronson Koenig.
The popular choice will be moving Nigel Hayes into the starting rotation. Hayes’ terrific freshman campaign earned him the Big Ten’s sixth man of the year award. If it weren’t for Dekker or Kaminsky, Hayes would of been a starter, and most likely the teams go-to scoring option.
Nigel Hayes in the starting lineup would move Sam Dekker to the small forward position, a much better spot for him. Dekker does most of his damage swinging around the court while looking for any kind of space. At the small forward position he would be able to utilize his athletic abilities. Dekker would become a nightmare for opposing teams. Dekker’s past year at the power forward position has given him experience in the post. Once he works on smaller players he’ll be able to score in bunches.
Wisconsin may find Hayes’ role off the bench more beneficial. Hayes coming off the bench creates a constant post presence for Wisconsin. That would leave Bo Ryan’s to make the decision between Dukan and Koenig.
Both players would nicely replace Ben Brust as Wisconsin’s sharp shooter. Their offense abilities were on full display against Kentucky. This has to have Badger nation excited. The difference between the two resides in their size. Dukan is much bigger that Koenig. Duje’s range allows him to play at both both guard and forward position. More minutes for Dukan would benefit Wisconsin defensively.
The precarious move for Bo Ryan, is to make Bronson Koenig a starter. Koenig holds the potential to be one of Wisconsin’s greatest passers. Bronson delivered some fantastic dimes last year. Koenig gave Wisconsin quite a lift against Kentucky when Traevon Jackson sat with foul trouble.
The problem is Koenig and Jackson are both point guards. For Wisconsin to make the most of Koenig’s minutes, he would need the ball in his hands. That would mean taking it away from Jackson, who has been running the point for the past two years.
The three-man battle for Brust’s starting position will certainly heat up once Wisconsin begins practice. That is if Dekker and Kaminsky stay.