Brad Miller

Sizing up Wisconsin stars' NBA potential

Sizing up Wisconsin stars' NBA potential

This story was born from a conversation at the United Center.

While waiting to broadcast Michigan State's Big Ten tournament semifinal game, Rick Mahorn watched Wisconsin take down Purdue. Asked which Badger had the most pro potential, the man with the Twitter handle of @Badboyhorn44 didn't hesitate: "Nigel Hayes."

Not Frank Kaminsky. Not Sam Dekker.

Mahorn picked the 6-foot-7 Hayes, who's expected to return for his junior year. Hayes didn't attempt a single 3-pointer as a freshman but has hit 35 of 92 (38 percent) this season and boosted his rebounding from 2.8 to 6.3 per game.

The Tribune spoke to analysts Doug Gottlieb of CBS Sports and Jim Jackson...