Frank Kaminsky and Wisconsin still beat the NCAA Tournament Odds

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Earlier this year, Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky dropped 43 in a non-conference game. It shocked all of us “experts” considering that Kaminsky entered the Kohl Center that night boasting a career average of 3.2 points per game and a total of 26 points scored on the season. Although Wisconsin was eliminated in heart breaking fashion in the final seconds of the national semifinal, it doesn’t diminish the fact that the Sconnies went a lot farther than the odds makers thought they would.

The other day I asked Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan, how has Frank Kaminsky gone from the Frank Kaminsky we used to know to the Frank Kaminsky that we now know?

Ryan’s response: “If I said coaching, would it get me any points? (laughter) I didn’t hear a response.”

Ryan then continued explaining the development of the main who was averaging just four points a game before the season.

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“He’s just a tough young man who really wants to be a player, who has physically and mentally matured into what he feels he’s comfortable with as far as his body and mind are concerned.

“He’s learned how to be stronger.  He’s learned some nuances defensively of positioning and balance. He’s improved in every phase of his game.”

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Kaminsky didn’t exactly have his best game on Saturday night, but his overall performance in March madness was nothing short of stellar and next level worthy. With his size, he’s a bonafide NBA prospect, after being completely obscure just a few short months ago. And the best part for the Grateful Red in Madison is that Kaminsky is returning to school, as is the core nucleus.

After finally getting Bo Ryan over the hump and advancing to the Final Four, a repeat performance seems very possible. Wisconsin only loses sharpshooter Ben Brust and the oddsmakers will no doubt look at Wisconsin as one of the tourney favorites next. Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year Nigel Hayes should step into a starting role and make the Badgers a bigger, more physical team with Sam Dekker sliding back to his more natural small forward spot.

The Badgers will likely be in the top five in most preseason polls.

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