Wisconsin Badgers junior forward Nigel Hayes will have high expectations this year as The Sporting News today has named him a pre-season first team All-American.
Hayes is joined on the Sporting News preseason All-America team by Ron Baker (Wichita State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Georges Niang (Iowa State) and Marcus Paige (North Carolina).
A third-team All-Big Ten selection a season ago, Hayes was also named to the 2015 All-Big Ten Tournament Team. Last year, the Badgers (36-4) upset unbeaten Kentucky 71–64 in the Final Four in Indianapolis but lost to Duke in the 2015 National Championship Game 68-63, going for their first title in 74 years.
This winter, Hayes will lead a Badger basketball team that lost both Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky to the NBA draft.
Hayes started all 40 games on the Badgers’ 2015 Big Ten champion and Final Four team. He ranked third on the team in scoring (12.4 ppg) and second in rebounds (6.2 rpg). He shot 49.7 percent from the field and went 40-of-101 (39.6 percent) from three-point range. On defense, he led the Badgers in steals (34) and finished third in blocks (16).