Report Card : Games 19-24

Best offensive player

 

trice

D’Mitrik Trice is in the midst of playing the best all-around basketball during his time at Wisconsin. I’ve been plenty critical of Trice throughout the years, especially during stretches earlier in the season where his consistency was a serious obstacle for this team. Those days seem to be behind us, as Trice has taken to playing more of a true point guard role for the Badgers. Trice has taken it upon himself to be more of a facilitator for this team. Seemingly seeing the floor more clearly than he has in the past, something has clicked for the RS Junior. Trice has brought a newfound energy on the glass as well, rebounding at a clip we’re not accustomed to seeing. Trice is finding a way to impact games when his shot isn’t falling, and with that the offense has begun to follow. Trice has scored in double digits 5 of the last 6 games, is averaging 5.6 assists, and 5.6 rebounds a game over the last 6. Trice deserves a lot of credit for the way this team has played as of late.

 Standout Game:  11 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists against Nebraska at home. 


Best defensive player

 

Simply put, Nate Reuvers is the best defensive big man on the team, and quite possibly the most irreplaceable defender Wisconsin has. His ability to alter shots, defend ball screens, and anchor the defense goes under appreciated due to his difficulty staying out of foul trouble. Reuvers was responsible for 20 fouls in his last 6 games, something thats going to need to be cleaned up. Reuvers has registered 13 blocks in the last 6 games and is on the fast track to being the schools all time leading shot blocker.

 Standout Game: 4 Block performance against Nebraska at home. 

 


Player Report Card

Trice: (A-) Only one game under 5 assists during this stretch, D’Mitrik Trice is evolving into a true point guard for this team. I would argue that Trice has been the best perimeter on ball defender all season for the Badgers. Trice’s ability to get over ball screens and defend the pick and roll has been something this defense has leaned on all season. Trice has played an all-around brand of basketball on offense. This version of Trice is a difference maker.

Davison: (D-) Other than the Nebraska game at home, Davison just hasn’t been able to offer much of anything on the offensive end. Davison served a 1 game suspension against Michigan State, and averaged only 6 points per game on 29% shooting in the other 5 contests. Davison is a player the Badgers are going to need to find his groove offensively if they’re going to get hot.

King: (INC) King up and left the program, best wishes to King and his family. Here’s to hoping King finds what he’s looking for.

Ford: (B-) This 6-game stretch has to be looked at under two separate lenses, before and after Kobe King left the program.

Before King left (Games 1-3): 6.6 PPG | 40% FG | 33% from 3

After King Left (Games 4-6): 11.3 PPG | 52% FG | 46 % from 3

Ford has really started coming into his own since the departure of Kobe King. The void left by King was never expected to be filled by any one player, but Ford has really risen to the occasion. Ford is playing with more confidence, making plays around the rim, and crashing the glass harder than usual. Ford playing with this level of confidence is a welcome sight for a team that needs multiple players to step up.

Reuvers: (B) Nate Reuvers has really become a consistent scorer for this team. Not exactly a go to, need a bucket type of player, but in the flow of the game Reuvers has been steady player for Greg Gard. Reuvers scored in double figures in 5 of the last 6 games. Reuvers has really settled into his role on this team. The Juniors efficiency on offense still leaves something to be desired, only shooting 40% from the field the last 6 games. However, Nate more than makes up for it by what he provides on the defensive end of the floor.


 

Bench

Pritzl: (B+) With the exception of the Minnesota game, Brevin Pritzl has really risen to the occasion for Wisconsin. The Senior has averaged 9.5 PPG while shooting 41% from 3. Having a player that packs the scoring punch of Pritzl off the bench (and sometimes the starting lineup) is a luxury not many teams have at their disposal. Pritzl is an effective rebounder while on the floor and is a quality defender on the opposite end of the floor. With the loss of Kobe King, Pritzl becomes one of the most important players on this team, and we’ve begun to see Pritzl run with the opportunity/extra shot attempts.

Potter: (B) Micah Potter has been a Rockstar on offense and is finally beginning to hit his stride. Over the last 6 games Micah Potter has averaged 8.8 PPG and 6.1 rebounds off the bench. Not to mention Potter has the highest ORtg% on the team, shooting 51% from the field and 38% from 3 over the last 6 games. The only thing that’s kept Potter from playing additional minutes and making a larger contribution, has been his struggles on the defensive end, particularly on ball screens and pick and roll. The Identity of the Badger team is its defense, and if you’re making mistakes your minutes are going to limited, plain and simple. Potter has since started to clean things up on the defensive end. It’s not always pretty, but the improvement is clear. So much of the problem was his inability to play at the beginning of the year and being worked into a rotation 10 games into the year. Micah Potter’s presence is very important to this team, and if the defense continues to improve, expect some big offensive games from Potter like his 11-point 15 rebound game against Minnesota. Potter is the team’s best rebounder, has the best footwork and touch around the rim, and can stretch the floor. To say this team needs Potter is an understatement.

Wahl: (C-) I would like to preface this by saying I am the president of the Tyler Wahl fan club, and I think Wahl is going to be a phenomenal and beloved player at Wisconsin. That being said Tyler Wahl is incredibly raw on the offensive end of the floor and is struggling mightily. The hustle plays are still there and its expected that at some point all Freshman will go through a slump, and that’s exactly what Wahl is in right now. Over the last 6 games, Tyler Wahl is shooting 31% from the floor and 11% from 3, in expanded opportunity none the less. That’s not to say he’s not providing useful minutes off the bench, he brings energy on both ends of the floor, sets good screens, and cuts hard on offense. These things matter. Tyler Wahl is realizing just how hard it is to compete in the Big Ten and he’ll only benefit from this moving forward.

Anderson: (C-) Anderson gives you something every time he’s on the floor. It might not always come in the form of stuffing the stat sheet, but you know what you’re going to get from the guy: he’ll take care of the basketball, penetrate and kick, work hard on D, and knock down the occasional 3. Anderson provided a spark for the Badgers against Ohio State, scoring 8 points in what proved to be a critical contribution. I look forward to seeing what Anderson looks like a full year removed from his knee injury.


Other Notes

Record during stretch (3-3)

Overall Record (14-10) 7th in the Big Ten.

Ranked 32nd in the KenPom Rankings

2018: 60% from the charity stripe

2019: 75.4% from the charity stripe

2018: 68.6 PPG | 61.7 DEF

2019: 65.9 PPG | 61.4 DEF

The Badgers are 11-1 at home this season, and 136-26 at the Kohl Center in conference play since 2000. Simply put, at home this team is capable of beating anybody. Finding a way to win on the road is another story, not just for Wisconsin but all Big Ten teams. Home teams in the Big Ten have won 76% of their home games. This is the strongest conference in college basketball this year bar none.


 

Hot Take

fire

Wisconsin can be a better team without Kobe King, maybe not on paper but on the court. It’s never beneficial losing one of the most skilled players on your roster, let alone your best playmaker. However, the identity of this team is it’s defense, and King left something to be desired on that end of the floor. This unit has a chance to come together on the defensive end of the floor and play with greater size/be more physical. Its all about the players that are willing to buy in, and it would appear the Coach, the players, and the program have come together in the wake of everything that’s transpired this season. Gritty Not Pretty.

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