Today the post season begins for the men's basketball and hockey teams. The roundballers start with Ohio State in the Big Ten tourney, and on the ice the Badgers take on Minnesota State (Mankato) at the Kohl Center. Both likely need wins to get to the NCAA tourney. For the hockey team, they will need more than just winning this series with Mankato.
The top-seeded women's hockey team hosts Dartmouth to start the NCAA tourney tomorrow.
It goes without saying, but . . . Go Badgers! On Wisconsin!
Of course, this is a football blog, so we're in the pre-season. UW put up its linebacker preview today. As previously noted, Culmer St. Jean will move to middle linebacker, with Jaevery McFadden moving to the strong side. Blake Sorensen is the most likely starter on the weak side. I'm pretty comfortable with those three as the starters. St. Jean has been well regarded, but unlearned, from the start. With several years under his belt, the learning shouldn't be a problem any longer (and didn't look like it was his extensive action in the last two games last season). McFadden is moving to his more natural position on the outside.
The bigger concern, especially with the news that Hodge isn't coming back, is depth. Yes, everyone's excited about Rouse's talent, and we hear good things about Taylor, Hubbard, and Prather, but there isn't much experience there (practically none outside of special teams). Of the true freshman coming in, O'Neill and Fenton got the most press, but neither of them is likely ready to go this coming Fall.
In short, the problem with the linebackers isn't talent, it's depth.
On the plus side, the defense is much healthier this Spring than it was last year. Hopefully that pays dividends.