Khalil Iverson is expecting more of himself and his teammates during his senior season with the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team this coming winter.

The Badgers finished 15-18 last season and did not play in any postseason tournament, snapping a string of 19 consecutive years in which they earned a berth in the NCAA tournament.

"Nobody was happy with the way things finished last season," said Iverson, a 2015 Delaware Hayes High School graduate. "We're tired of hearing everyone say how we've fallen way off. We want to make sure that it was just a bump in the road.

"We had some injuries and things didn't go our way, but now we've got to get back and start a new streak (of reaching the NCAA tournament). We also want to contend for the Big Ten (Conference) title."

Iverson, a 6-foot-5 guard, averaged 8.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.9 blocks last season as a first-year starter.

"My goal is the same as it's always been," he said. "I want to help the team anyway I can on both ends of the floor. I know my main role is as a defensive guy and I like the challenge of guarding the (opponent's) best perimeter player."

Still, Iverson and coach Greg Gard are expecting more production this year.

"I think we're going to see Khalil really come into his own," Gard said. "He got that starting experience last year and it's going to pay dividends. He's a young senior. He just turned 21.

"He's been focused on improving his perimeter shooting this summer. He made huge strides on the free-throw line last year, 15 to 20 percent better, and we expect that to extend to the perimeter. His ball-handling also improved, and he's always been a strong defender and good rebounder."

Last season, Iverson made 107 of his 196 field-goal attempts (54.6 percent) despite going 0-for-24 from 3-point range. He shot 68.3 percent from the free-throw line, converting 69 of 101 attempts.

Iverson said he now feels more confident with his outside shooting.

"I think I'm making progress," he said. "I've been in the gym quite a bit trying to hone my shot. I spent a week in Indiana with my shooting coach (Joey Burton) working on the consistency of my perimeter shot. If I can shoot more consistently, that will give me better driving lanes or open my teammates and make my defender more honest.

"I think I also need to increase my rebounds by two or three a game and be more active on the boards. I can give us a few more possessions from rebounds or hustle plays on both ends of the floor."

As a sophomore, Iverson played in 35 games and averaged 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. He appeared in 34 games as a freshman.

"He came along quite well as a first-year starter last year and he was our most consistent and best defender," Gard said. "He can guard multiple positions.

"Offensively, if he can force his defender onto the perimeter, it will create more space for him. Then he can put the ball on the floor, beat his defender and attack the rim more often or force help defense and find a teammate. He's a willing passer."

Iverson has made many highlight-reel dunks in his first three seasons with the Badgers.

"I think the two highlight plays I liked best were a dunk coming off an out-of-bounds alley-oop from (2017 graduate) Bronson Koenig against Penn State as a sophomore and a reverse dunk against Michigan State last year."

Iverson is hoping to open more eyes as a senior.

"I want to continue playing basketball after Wisconsin, whether that's in the NBA or overseas," he said. "I'm going to weigh my options. You can only play basketball for so long and I want to continue as long as I can, wherever I can."

But Iverson, a sociology major, also has a clear career path.

"I enjoy working with people with disabilities," he said. "When we get time, that's always something we try to do, giving back to the community and recognizing how fortunate we are."

As a senior at Delaware, Iverson averaged 16.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 2.9 blocks and 2.0 steals in leading the Pacers to a 20-5 record and a Division I district runner-up finish.

He recently spent some time in Delaware and helped Pacers coach Jordan Blackburn with the program's annual youth camp.

"That was a fun time," Iverson said. "All the kids were asking questions and listening to what I have to say and they're all treating me like I'm some big star. I love kids. It's always great to get back here. I like to visit my old teachers and coaches at Hayes. It's always a fun time."

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek