The No. 7 ranked Wisconsin Badgers are in the midst of the toughest part of the Big Ten season and will be forced to play without guard Traevon Jackson for the next six weeks. Jackson suffered a broken right foot during the team’s 67-62 loss to the Rutgers Scarlett Knights and underwent surgery this past Thursday. Jackson will begin the rehabilitation process in about two to three weeks before attempting to return prior to post-season play.
Jackson, who averages 9.4 points and 2.9 assists per game, is frequently the team’s go to scorer down the stretch and often times is the Badger with the final shot. In Jackson’s absence, head coach Bo Ryan will rely heavily on sophomore backup Bronson Koenig to distribute the ball and lead the Badgers’ offense. Jackson joins big man Frank Kaminsky on the sideline after the preseason All- American sustained a concussion in the previous contest. Kaminsky’s status remains up in the air, and in the meanwhile, the Badgers will have to make due without two of their best players. Despite the key losses, Wisconsin is lucky enough to be in the Big Ten conference during a down year and should be able to persevere without too many damaging losses. Arguably their most challenging test remaining will be against the No. 14 ranked Maryland Terrapins. The Badgers will travel to the unfriendly confines of the Xfinity Center for the first time since Maryland has joined them as members of the Big Ten conference.
In 2014-15, Wisconsin holds a 13-2 record and has their eyes set on a No. 1 seed even with the injury ravaged roster. Nonetheless, coach Ryan’s squad should have enough depth to remain in good standing and a strong finish to the year could persuade voters to put them atop a region.
*Section Photo credit to Al Messerschmidt, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Richard Mackson, USA Today Sports.