UW Health Sports Medicine 

The Voice: 'Wisconsin Way' is working just fine

The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgIn an era of college basketball  "one and done" players and others who leave school early to chase their dreams of playing professionally, I bring you the Badgers' Dan Fahey (@DanFahey10), who earlier this week offered this little nugget via Twitter:

"Lot of people asking me if I'm leaving for the NBA. Just want to let everyone know I'll return for my senior year & seek my 4th career point."

In the brief history of Twitter, I nominate this as the best tweet in the history of tweets.

Then our very own Patrick Herb (@BadgerMBB) from UW Athletic Communications just had to deliver this cheap shot:

"That's good news...people definitely want to see how the career scoring race shakes out between you and @jd_wise22 (7 points)."

I think that should be a Flagrant 1, if not an ejection for Herb.

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On Tuesday, April 24, basketball fans will have one final chance to celebrate another successful season as the Badgers have their Sweet 16 Reception at the Kohl Center. Tickets are just $25, with a cocktail buffet and a cash bar. This tends to be a fairly informal event, as Bo Ryan addresses the crowd and Patrick takes a break from tweeting to help offer a season in review.  If you are a hoops fan, it is a fun evening.

Consider it one more chance to applaud the team, especially seniors Jordan Taylor and Rob Wilson for a job well done. For more details, just follow the link.

In the week following the national title game, it has been interesting hearing people talk about Kentucky's "one and done" players, and whether other teams can win in a similar fashion. Clearly in college basketball, there are different ways to be successful, be it style of play or how a program recruits.

I still like to believe there is no one set way to win. Perhaps Kentucky can keep winning with a new cast of one-year players, but that does not mean a school such as Wisconsin should try going that route. These are two different schools and two different programs, and what works for one may very well not work for the other.

Every school is different, and every school has its own mission statement. Make no mistake, the University of Wisconsin wants to win, but those within the university community are very comfortable with the type of athlete wearing a Badger uniform. Everyone wants to get the best players, but finding those who are the right fit academically and socially also remain very important.

This is in no way slamming Kentucky's method. Even if it is just for one year, as long as the players are doing the work in the classroom, what the Wildcats are doing is perfectly within the rules. If that does not happen, the program will pay a price, not unlike some other high-profile programs who fail to meet minimum academic progress requirements.

What I am saying is the "Wisconsin Way" is working just fine, too. The last player to leave early for the NBA draft was Devin Harris, yet the Badgers remain tournament regulars. The instant stars might be few and far between, but watching the development of the players is something loyal fans have embraced.

This year Kentucky had the most talent, and that group played together extremely well. Give them all the credit. But if you are a Badgers fan, do not be discouraged into thinking such a season is no more than a dream for your favorite team. This program continues to knock on the door, and as long as that happens, there is always a chance.

Now, let the scoring battle continue between Mr. Fahey and Mr. Wise.