After the win in last week’s opener versus Cop-In State, the Badgers avenged last year’s lost with a statement win at Xavier on Tuesday night. Senior Ethan Happ contributed 30 points and 13 rebounds. But this year, the team is focusing less on individual stats and accolades, something that student team manager Josh Wax says he has noticed already.

“They’re more team oriented this year, and really focused on playing in the system and doing what they do best together instead of — I mean — whatever you saw last year.”

Wax says that this year is a redemption season for the Badgers. By getting back to playing Wisconsin basketball — tough defense and efficient offense — Wax says they can achieve their goal of returning to the NCAA tournament. During the Wisconsin-Xavier game’s watch party at the Kohl Center, we caught up with a few Badger faithfuls to hear their thoughts on this season.

“Big Ten ranking we might be — optimistic me is like 3 or 4, realistic me is like 7 or 8.”

“We do have enough shooters around Happ to be successful — win most home games, steal some on the road as well.”

“I’m hoping Final Four, Big Ten Championship, make up for some football loses.”

Wisconsin is just outside the AP Top 25 poll at number 29. The team hopes to build on their early-season success at this year’s Battle for Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving break.

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