Wisconsin Badger senior forward Nigel Hayes was named Big Ten Preseason Player of the year by a vote of the league’s media. Hayes is joined on the first team by teammates Bronson Koenig and Ethan Happ.
Hayes is the fourth Badger in the last 14 seasons to be named conference preseason player of the year. The 6’8 forward from Toledo, Ohio, joins Frank Kaminsky, Alando Tucker and Devin Harris as the only Badgers to earn the distinction.
Harris, Tucker and Kaminsky all went on to turn their preseason nominations into postseason Big Ten Player of the Year awards that season.
“While I appreciate the sign of respect this shows, preseason honors don’t really mean much,” Hayes said. “I’m much more concerned with postseason player of the year awards, because that would likely mean our team did something special this season.”
“If we win championships, everything individually will fall into place. Really, I just want to be Frank Kaminsky.”
Hayes was the only player to earn unanimous preseason all-conference team honors.