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Koenig, a star in the making

Koenig, a star in the making


Badgers 3-0 with sophomore at helm

He’s just the fill-in point guard for the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team.

But there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind that Bronson Koenig will be the next big thing in Wisconsin – something most in his hometown of La Crosse, Wis., already knew.

While he’s “filled in” for the injured Traevon Jackson at point guard, the Badgers have won three in a row, including a 69-64 victory Saturday on the road against Michigan.

Koenig had 13 points, just one turnover and this steal that led to one of his four assists …

When Jackson comes back, near the end of the regular season, Koenig may not give the senior his job back.

As a starter, Koenig has shot a ridiculous 57 percent from the field, including a blistering 10-for-19 from beyond the arc. He’s averaged 12.3 points in those four starts.

Coming off the bench was a different story. While his defense and ability to not make mistakes hasn’t wavered no matter his role, his shooting was very inconsistent, bordering on awful. The 6-foot-4 sophomore was averaging 4.4 points as the Badgers’ sixth man, shooting 39 percent from the field and just 5-for-29 from beyond the arc.

Funny what a little confidence does. Whether that confidence is simply from Koenig himself or if it’s what he’s gained from his coach and teammates, handing him the keys to the No. 5 team in the country, he’s become a threat again from the field.

He’s becoming a star in the making, albeit slowly – as we live in an impatient society. So far, we’ve seen flashes, like the steal and dish to Sam Dekker above, or when he carried the Badgers’ offense while Jackson sat with foul trouble in the first half of the Final Four matchup against Kentucky last season – scoring 11 in 16 minutes.

Right now, the Aquinas High School graduate is still a bit of a secret, sure to have his ups and downs. Next year, he’ll be all the hype. Things couldn’t be working out more perfectly for Koenig and the Badgers (18-2, 6-1).

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