The Big Ten announced their postseason awards last night, and Nigel Hayes and Ethan Happ led the way for the Badgers like they have all season. Nigel was named a First Team All Conference performer alongside Uthoff, Ferrell, Valentine, and Hammons, while Happ headlined the All Freshman Team and took home Freshman of the Year honors. Bronson was also named to the third team.
These were all pretty predictable awards, although I still thought they’d find a way to give Diamond Stone FOY just because of his name. The beauty of it is that Ethan will still be in Madison for another 3 years, and he’s shown serious flashes of how legit he can be in the coming years. He’s the type of guy that could easily contend to be a First Team All B1G player for the next 3 seasons, and there’s not many of those that come around. If Nigel stays for his senior year and Bronson can return to the form we’ve seen from him in the past, that’s 3 of the top players in the conference coming back next year, and we could be right back in the conversation to contend for the B1G title. Not bad for a program that looked to be headed for a serious rebuilding phase about 2 months ago.