To say that when Greg Gard took over the Badger basketball team a little over a year ago that the team was in turmoil, that would be a little bit of an understatement. The team had lost to Western Illinois, at home……Bo Ryan was not invested in what was going on at practice, he was more distant with recruiting than he had been in the past the summer prior, and it was clear that something was not right with the team that had a 9-9 record. Bo Ryan then stepped down in a sudden change that caught everyone off guard. He used Gard’s father Glen’s passing as an excuse for the timing (which is complete BS), but nonetheless the reigns were turned over to Coach Gard effectively immediately. Gardo had big shoes to fill and expectations were high after 14 years of winning 73% of games and 71%! of BIG Ten conference games with Bo at the helm.
Gard took the opportunity and absolutely ran with it, as the Badgers went 13-3 the remainder of the season and ended with a Sweet 16 loss to Notre Dame. Fast forward to this year and the Badgers are in the hunt for a BIG 10 Championship and have 22 wins for only the 15th time in program history. He has locked up multiple 4 star recruits and the next Badger superstar in Tyler Herro, who is a 5 star top 25 player nationally. Outside of Brian Butch (the only McDonald’s All-American to redshirt in the history of College Basketball) and Sam Dekker (who went to Wisconsin because of his love for the Badgers and not because he wanted to get taken out of the game every time he made a mistake), the Badgers have never seen this many high profile recruits which is a credit to Gard’s ability to connect with players at a level Bo was never able to. Gard is highly respected across the country including praise from Tom Izzo and Mark Turgeon for the job he did with the team last year, and he is a true players coach. He is a Wisconsin guy who bleeds Red just like the rest of us, in fact he is just like one of us which is why players are responding and recruits are committing at the rate they are.
Wisconsin fans are in good hands for many years to come, enjoy the ride.