Amazingly we are just 5 days away from the start of the Badgers basketball season and tomorrow night is the exhibition game. All this means we are just Ryan Evans from things getting going and his play could be a key indicator of the season Wisconsin is about to have. He certainly was a key cog in last season's Sweet 16 run.

* 30.5
Evans was 2nd on the team last year in minutes played per game averaging 30.5 minutes a game. He was only behind Jordan Taylor's 36.0 minutes per game average. Those two were the only ones to average over 30 minutes played a game last season as well. Could Evans play even more minutes this season?

* 6.75
Last season Evans upped his rebounding to levels he's never seen in his career, averaging 6.75 rebounds a game compared to his previous high of 3.03 rebounds a game in his redshirt freshman season. 

* 58
Evans is the 3rd leading returner in assists with 58. He was topped by returning guard Josh Gasser (67), and fellow forward Mike Bruesewitz (63). Jordan Taylor paced the group last year with 147. Evans should start the season as the leader in assists as both Gasser (out for season with ACL tear) and Bruesewitz (laceration to right leg) aren't going to start the season on the court.

Andy's Projections: 29.5 min., 12.6ppg, 6.0rpg, 50 assists

Final Thoughts: Evans was a complete surprise to start last season and real catalyst to this team. If Taylor wasn't going it was Evans picking up the scoring slack. As one of three seniors in the frontcourt expect Evans to be a big time scorer again, but he may see fewer minutes because of the depth Wisconsin now has at all spots up front. It wouldn't surprise me to see Evans' numbers be pretty close to what he put up last season and if that's the case this team will be just fine.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, as well as Publisher of Big Ten site