Freshman Ethan Happ’s decision to redshirt last year may have salvaged Wisconsin’s season this year.For the better part of this season, Happ’s name was chained to comparisons of previous Badger great, Frank Kaminsky. Every time Happ was mentioned, immediate comments loaded with similarities to last year’s national player of the year followed.But for Happ, living up to the expectations left by one of the greatest basketball players in school history would only prove half the battle during his first year on the court.Understanding the value of learning from — rather than competing against — eventual first round draft picks Sam Dekker and Kaminsky in last year’s campaign led Happ to redshirt his first season with the Badgers.“Going against Frank and Nigel [Hayes] and Sam every day in practice made my game jump a lot more than playing six to eight minutes [off the bench] would have,” Happ said in October before the season began.Men’s basketball: Happ’s emergence vital in Badgers’ midseason resurgenceThis was not the year the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball anticipated. The Badgers, who entered the season ranked No. Read…Under new head coach Greg Gard, Happ quickly began to blossom into the player that many fans had expected to see one day, but certainly not this soon into his career. The forward began to rattle off double-doubles night after night, finishing the season with yet another freshman school record by claiming 10 of these feats in one season.All of a sudden a team that had started conference play in shambles, losing four of its first five games, was turning into a legitimate contender after rolling to a seven-game win streak.After Happ’s game-winning layup against Michigan State, Wisconsin would finish the regular season with 11 wins and only two losses, both of which came against top-15 opponents on the road.Men’s basketball: Happ’s game-winning layup pushes Wisconsin over No. 4 Michigan StateIt was another game for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team and another down-to-the-wire finish, and for the first time in Read…Happ’s integral role in the team’s success did not go unnoticed nationally either. Despite competition against freshmen projected as first-round NBA draft picks, Happ’s 12.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game earned him the 2016 Big 10 Freshman of the Year award, becoming only the second player in school history to achieve this honor. He was named to the conference All-Defensive Team after leading the Big Ten in steals.Now with the team’s leading scorer junior forward Hayes uncertain about his future in Madison, Happ’s sophomore season could serve as a glimpse into the future success of University of Wisconsin’s men’s basketball for years to come.
Vasco, Apr 14 (PTI) Title aspirant Aizawl SC will be looking to garner full points when they take on Churchill Brothers in their crucial round 16 match of the Hero I-League, at Tilak Stadium here tomorrow. Aizawl FCs hopes of landing their maiden I-League title were dealt a blow by defending champions Bengaluru FC who struck deep in stoppage time through Marjan Jugovic to break Khalid Jamils boys hearts. With three rounds to go, Aizawl are now tied on 30 points each along with Mohun Bagan at the top and three points above East Bengal who are on third place. Aizawl, who got relegated last year but got a chance to play this season after three goan clubs (Dempo SC, Salgaocar FC and Sporting Clube de Goa) pulled themselves out of the I- League, are in race for their maiden I-League title along with Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. Aizawl coach Khalid Jamil is optimistic that his team can will the title. “We are just three round away and tomorrows match is crucial in our race for the title. We need to win to keep ourselves in race for the title. “The boys have been positive and have come all along the way and now they need to keep themselves focus and win tomorrows match before we play against Mohun Bagan at home next for the title clash,” said Jamil. “The last time we played against Churchill Brothers we won convincingly but after Derrick Pereira took over the reins they are a transformed side as they humbled Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal before they drew their last two matches against Shillong Lajong and Mumbai. We need to put up collective performance and not feel the extra pressure of winning the title,” stated Jamil. Churchill Brothers, who have pulled themselves out of relegation, are placed sixth with 17 points from 15 matches and are now looking to finish among the top five. The former Shivajians boss will look to stick with his top performers, especially Ansumana Kromah who has been in blistering form. He will be partnered by Anthony Wolfe upfront who was among the scorers against the gaffers former side. Adil Khan and Rowilson Rodrigues will look to helm the defence while Bektur Talgat will be charged with marshalling the midfield. All eyes will obviously be on the find of the season so far – the nippy winger Chesterpoul Lyngdoh who has been giving full backs nightmares. PTI MCS ATK ATKadvertisement