Leading up the season we are doing a countdown of the Top 100 players in college basketball. These rankings are based on a poll made up of 14 CPP writers. These writers span from UCLA to Seton Hall so there is very little bias. Each day we will release the latest player on our ranking with a small write-up. Be sure to check out the rest of the Top 100 articles!
2016-2017 Stats: 14 ppg, 9 rpg, 2.8 apg
Why They Are Here
Happ is an excellent traditional big man for the Badgers, coming off of a strong sophomore campaign during which he built of a surprising, albeit great, freshman year. Happ is patient, methodical and precise around the basket, with good footwork and the ability to finish with either hand. Playing a larger role on last year’s Sweet 16 Wisconsin team, he’s undersized for his position (he operates more as a center) but is still one of the most efficient and productive players in the country.
Role on This Year’s Team
Ethan Happ was an AP third team All-American last season, and every player on the top two AA teams have moved on from NCAA basketball. The door is wide open for Happ to be one of the best players in the country this season. The catch, however, is that his success will rely a lot on his teammates. Wisconsin lost three of their top four players, all of whom were excellent playmakers. Who’ll be able to distribute the ball effectively to Happ in a position where he can make a play around the rim? More often than not, he receives the ball with his back to the basket and goes to work from there. His rebounding numbers will continue to be excellent, and since he’ll likely be the focal point of the offense, his scoring numbers will be up as well.
College Season/NBA Prospects
Happ needs to make some serious improvements if he plans on being an effective NBA player. In his two years at Wisconsin, he has exactly five field goal attempts outside of the paint. He’s made two of them. He’s wildly efficient inside the lane, but wildly inexperienced outside of it. He needs to work on his shooting in order to find success at the next level, especially considering his lack of size to play center in the NBA. It’s been made known that he’s worked on his shot in the offseason, but it didn’t show much in Wisconsin’s trip to Australia this summer. Barring a huge jump in NBA potential, Happ will probably stick around for his senior season, so this year will be a good opportunity for him to work on his tools that can get him to the next level.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Top 100 player.
Photo via Jessie Schoville/The Daily Cardinal