Badgers offense has big shoes to fill in 2020

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks forward (⬆️ UP)

Sure, you could say when isn’t Giannis trending up? But he actually had four straight games with (gasp!) 23 points or fewer heading into this week. He then went off with back-to-back 32-point games against Minnesota and Sacramento (adding 17 rebounds vs. the Timberwolves) and accounted for 24 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and three steals in a loss in San Antonio. So, yup, trending back up (or is it up, up?).

Badgers 2020 football offense (⬇️ DOWN)

We’re sure Paul Chryst will find a way to reload (grabbing a four-star running back out of New Jersey – hmm, that sounds familiar – this past weekend didn’t hurt), but it won’t be easy. Jonathan Taylor and Quintez Cephus – Wisconsin’s leading rusher and receiver this season – along with center Tyler Biadasz, declared for the NFL draft. Offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen might follow suit, meaning the Badgers would have to replace nearly the entire offensive line and not to mention hope someone can step up and create the holes left by Taylor, Cephus and Biadasz. That’s why Chryst is paid the big bucks.

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LeRoy Butler, former Packers safety (⬆️ UP)

It took a while, but Butler was finally named a Hall of Fame finalist. He’s not home yet, but Butler crossed one major hurdle – just getting to the vote (he had been a semifinalist the past two years). Butler might be best known as the originator of the Lambeau Leap – and perhaps that’s clouded some to as how good of a player he was. The four-time All-Pro selection had 38 interceptions and 20 1/2 sacks in his career over 12 seasons with Green Bay and was the first defensive back in NFL history to record both 20 INTs and sacks. Here’s hoping Butler has one more leap in him – to Canton.

Micah Potter, Badgers forward (⬆️ UP)

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but since Potter has been eligible to play (yeah, we didn’t get that NCAA ruling either), Wisconsin is 4-0, with wins over Milwaukee, at Tennessee, Rider and at then-No. 5 Ohio State. Potter is only averaging 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds over 12.3 minutes while shooting 41.2% from the field but it’s hard to argue with 4-0.

Markus Howard, Marquette guard (⬆️ UP)

For the third time in the Steve Wojciechowki era, Marquette beat Villanova. This time, the Wildcats were ranked 10th in the nation. Propelled by Howard’s 29 points, the Golden Eagles led for most of the game and held on for a 71-60 victory. The star senior guard followed it up by dropping 39 points in an overtime loss to Providence on Tuesday, nailing six 3-pointers in the process. It was Howard’s fourth game of the season with 6+ makes from downtown. He’s nailed 57 3-pointers this season, which ranks second in college basketball.

Craig Counsell, Brewers manager (⬆️ UP)

Counsell got another vote of confidence from general manager David Stearns, as he agreed to a three-year extension that will keep him in Milwaukee through the 2023 season. Hired in 2015, Counsell has compiled a 405-381 record over four campaigns. He led the Brewers to the postseason in 2018 and 2019, the franchise’s first back-to-back playoff appearance since 1981-82.