Badgers' Gard weighs in on return of Hayes - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers' Gard weighs in on return of Hayes

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VERONA (WKOW) -

Badgers men's basketball coach Greg Gard spent his afternoon on the University Ridge Golf Course. He was hitting the ball around for the Overtime Club Golf Outing with a big smile on his face after learning just the day before his star player, Nigel Hayes, would be returning for his senior season.

"Happy for him and proud of him because it's not an easy process to go through."

Gard believes this process will help Hayes grow for his senior season after absorbing some constructive criticism from NBA front offices.

"I think that you're always looking to hear, 'You're the best, the greatest.' So, sometimes honesty is the best teacher. I think, obviously, that people were very honest with him, and he was very honest with himself in terms of what he felt was best for him and his future."

Hayes' decision to return also happens to be what is best for the Badgers. They now return their entire regular playing rotation from last year's Sweet Sixteen squad. Gard understands the expectations will be lofty for next season.

"This is a big summer for a lot of these guys. We've never had a group of freshmen have this much experience. We also have a huge corps of returning veterans. So, to be able to work through that, improve day-by-day, not try to make the process go faster than it needs to go should or should go...We'll get everybody together, 17 players, as we get back here in mid-June and take it one step at a time." 

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