Best offensive player
Kobe’s selection here has less to do with his scoring average and more to do with the fact King gave us a glimpse of the scorer many of us think he can be. King had a 24 point outing against Indiana and followed that up with 18 points against Rutgers. While King wasn’t always the leading scorer, its clear he’s beginning to understand how important he is as a playmaker to this offense. If Wisconsin is going to make a run at the tournament they’re going to need King to remain aggressive and take on a more consistent scoring load.
Best defensive player
Nate Reuvers has registered multiple blocks in 5 of the last 6 games. Registering block totals of 1, 3, 2, 2, 3, and 2. While Reuvers still has room to grow as an all-around defender, he’s on track to becoming the programs all time leader in blocked shots.
Player Report Card
Trice : (C) This grade is saved by his 31 point outburst against UW Milwaukee and 21 against Tennessee. Prior to these last two games, Trice has been the biggest obstacle for the teams overall success. Its a guard driven league and when your lead guard has played poorly for this long, the team struggles. This being said, basketball is a game of averages and they generally even out. I expect Trice to ride this momentum and start stringing together good games. The team goes as Trice goes it would seem, so the Badgers will likely resemble something closer to what we expected now that he’s making shots again.
Davison : (C-) Has only scored more than 3 points in 2 games during this stretch. Offensively he’s done too little creating and often stagnates the offense entirely by stopping ball movement. The one thing that you can say for Davison is he still finds a way to impact the game even if he hasn’t been able to score.
King : (B) Has circled back to his bread and butter, relying on his mid-range game to get things going. King scored 24 against Indiana on 10-15 from the field, followed up by 18 against Rutgers in what were near perfect offensive games. Kobe is beginning to create more for others and its helping the flow of the offense. King gets a pass for his 0 against UWM due to him clearly being shaken up.
Ford : (C+) Quietly stringing together some complimentary performances on more consistent shooting from beyond the arc (43%). Ford is likely to lose minutes with Potter coming back, but will be a necessary piece moving forward.
Reuvers : (B-) Has put together some strong performances but consistency is the biggest issue here. One thing Reuvers needs to start doing better is take care of the ball, Reuvers leads the team in turnovers. Reuvers has to make better decisions in the post if they’re going to capitalize on each possession. For a team that slows it down the way the Badgers do, each turnover is amplified. The addition of Micah Potter should help keep Reuvers fresh, in fact he may be the biggest beneficiary.
Pritzl : (C) Pritzl was the teams catalyst against Tennessee, scoring a season high 17. All in all the Badgers need to see a lot more moving forward, this team needs Pritzl hunting his shot. Potter should help create more spacing for shooters like Brevin. Look for his stock to improve in the games to come.
Potter : (C) Long anticipated wait, appeared to be playing at 110mph his first few minutes against UWM but settled in and really made a big impact on the floor. Micah added 12 points and 5 rebounds including 6 for 6 from the stripe in his first game back. Tennessee was a different story however, fouls piled up and ultimately Potter was unable to make an impact. Potter is going to fill a lot of the voids this team had. We can finally get a look at what this team should have looked like from the start.
Wahl : (B+) As cliche as it is, Wahl continues to do all the things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. Takes whats given to him on offense, crashes the boards, and plays with consistent energy. If I had to point out a negative, i’d say his finishing around the rim needs to improve. Going to have a great career at Wisconsin.
Anderson : (C) With Anderson what you see is what you get, earned the additional playing time while it was there for the taking. Produced a season high 11 point game at Rutgers, and stepped up in a game where the team needed a playmaker. Appears to be getting healthier every day.
McGrory : (INC) Much to the disappointment of the fans, Walt has not recieved any meaningful minutes during this stretch. What he gave to the team early in non-conference games was meaningful and made an impact.
Hedstrom : (INC) Hedstrom is out for the season with a knee injury. Best wishes to Hedstrom on his recovery and heres to hoping he comes back stronger.
Record during stretch (3-3)
Overall Record (7-5)
2018: 60% from the charity stripe
2019: 78% from the charity stripe
2018: 68.6 PPG | 61.7 DEF
2019: 69.3 PPG | 62.4 DEF
Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. With the exception of Tennessee, this is a team that just can’t seem to get it done on the road. At the Kohl Center this team consistently shoots the lights out and brings a special kind of intensity that could easily land this team in the top 6 of the Big Ten in conference play. However when on the road, this looks like a bottom 1/4 of the league team. Something has to give and I think if Trice is able to keep things going Wisconsin has a chance to make a tournament run.
Micah Potter’s return is going to filling the void this team has been missing. While its obvious this team needs a playmaker, that player just isn’t on this roster. A big man who can bring energy, rebound, and pose a threat down low does happen to be on the roster. No thanks to the NCAA the Badgers are just now at full strength and won’t have to play small as often as they’ve been forced to thus far. Reuvers has clearly been gassed late in games and the combo of Ford/Wahl just isn’t big enough to hold down the fort in Big Ten play, Potter offers an answer to both of these issues.