Dekker, now 6'9'', looking for big junior season - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Dekker, now 6'9'', looking for big junior season

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MADISON (WKOW) -- By this point in his career, Sam Dekker was expected to be the face of the Badger men's basketball program. Instead, entering the 2014-15 season, it's Frank Kaminsky front and center of all the Badger buzz. Kaminsky blew up in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and enters this season as the unanimous favorite to win the Big Ten's Most Valuable Player award. For those on the outside, the expectations begin with Kaminsky, but for Dekker, his personal hopes have never been higher.

"Most basketball players want to be the best they can be, be great and that's something I want to be," Dekker said.

"I just want to be the best that I can be and I just feel that I'm no where near my ceiling yet."

The top of Dekker's head has never gotten so close to ceiling of the Kohl Center. Dekker is now listed at 6'9'', two inches taller than last season. He's also up to 230 pounds.

"He realizes that he's 6'9'', 230, whatever. Just saying that, that's big, so he's got to use that to his advantage," senior guard Josh Gasser said.


It was a big summer for Dekker, who was dominate at the LeBron James Skills Academy, drawing praise from some of the best minds in the game.

"I just went out there and played my game. It was good to get out there and play basketball again and learn a lot from some of the best players in the world," Dekker said.

Dekker's teammates have noticed his he's more physical and powerful on the floor, but the biggest difference with Dekker lies within his head.

"Just confidence. I'd say that's the main thing," senior guard Traevon Jackson said.

"Just to see his mentality of wanting to dominate every single play. He believes that he's the best player on the floor and that's great to see."

"I have a different mindset on life completely and I think that's what's helped me tremendously on the court and just has made me a better overall person," Dekker said.

Like Kaminsky, Dekker was one of five guys selected onto the Big Ten's preseason first team. When talking about individual accolades Dekker said those generall come with team success, which seems to be everyone's primary focus.




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