You have to wonder what's happened to the Wisconsin women's basketball program. The team hasn't enjoyed much success since Jane Albright was the coach, and that was more than a decade ago. A popular trope back then held that UW had advanced as far as it could under Albright and needed a new coach to reach the next level of success.
Riiight. Albright left in 2003 when the powers-that-be on Monroe Street wouldn't grant her a contract extension. She took eight consecutive winning seasons with her, as well as five trips to the NCAA tournament in nine years. By comparison, subsequent Badger teams have posted only five winning seasons and a lone trip to the NCAAs in the past 11 years.
Things don't seem to be improving under third-year coach Bobbie Kelsey. She came to Madison by way of Stanford, where she was an assistant coach who helped guide the Cardinal to four Final Fours. Her leading scorer this season is Michala Johnson, a junior who transferred here from perennial megapower Connecticut to play with her younger sister, Malayna. However, the pedigree of those highly successful programs has yet to rub off.
After a 78-68 loss at Big 10-leading Penn State Sunday, Wisconsin has lost eight of its last nine games and stands at 10-15 on the season. In losing to Minnesota last Wednesday, the Badgers managed only five points in the game's first 13 minutes. Yikes.
Unless the Badgers can fashion a nice run to end the year, they'll have three straight seasons under Kelsey in which they've won no more than a dozen games or finished better than ninth in the Big 10. You don't have to be Pat Summitt to scan the season statistics and see that the team just doesn't possess enough talent right now. Only six players have logged appreciable minutes, and there's no reliable scorer beyond Johnson.