Best offensive player
Averaging 14.7 PPG and 5.7 assists during the last 4 game (all wins), including an unprecedented 65% from 3. Trice registered games of 28 points (Michigan), and also a career high in assists (9) against Rutgers. D’Mitrik Trice is playing the best basketball of his career right now, and elevating the play of everyone around him. Trice’s in season development has been one of the most impressive we’ve seen under Coach Gard.
Standout Game: 28 Points on (10-16 from the field, and 5-6 from 3) 4 assist night against Michigan on the road.
Player Report Card
Trice: (A-) Trice has continued his progression as a point guard and has ultimately been the catalyst for this teams offensive resurgence. Trice’s command of the offense has allowed the Badgers to play at a slightly faster pace that has allowed others to play more freely. Trice has been the engine for a surging Badgers team.
Davison: (B+) Brad Davison followed up one of his worst offensive stretches of the season, with arguably his best. Over the last 4 games Davison is averaging 13.5 PPG on 50% from the field and 56% from 3. Brad Davison seemed to forget about his shooting woes during a 30 point, 5 rebound, 4 assist night against Nebraska on the road. Against Nebraska, Davison tied the program record for 3’s in a game with (8) also held by Bronson Koenig.
Pritzl: (C) I think its fair to say at this point that Pritzl has been a better fit in Gard’s system than Kobe King was. This isn’t to take a shot at King, but more to point out the way everyone has benefitted from the additional spacing on the floor. Pritzl has been an above average defender, keeps the ball moving on offense, and Brevin is always a threat from deep. Pritzl’s arsenal was on full display against Rutgers when he posted 17 points on 7-10 from the field and 2-3 from 3. Other than the Rutgers game, Pritzl hasn’t been the most efficient from the floor, only connecting on 33% from 3 in the last 4 games. Pritzl’s confidence is unwavering right now and doesn’t let one bad game get to him. Pritzl is one of the most important Badgers in the rotation.
Ford: (B) On any given night, the Badgers will beat you with balanced scoring from 3 or 4 players. Ford has elevated his game, playing more aggressive offensively, on the glass, and being an active/willing defender. Over the last 4 games Ford is averaging 10.5 PPG and 7.2 rebounds on 50% from the field and 44% from 3. Simply put, Ford has run with the expanded opportunity and has become someone this team can count on. The RS Junior has been able to thrive in the hybrid forward position, finally getting the opportunity to play more out on the wing some against bigger lineups. This is who the Badgers thought Aleem Ford was going to be last year before he got injured. Thank you, Alando Tucker for taking him under your wing.
Reuvers: (B-) Nate Reuvers has settled into his role for this team, becoming a consistent scoring option and defensive stopper. You know what you’re going to get from Nate, double digit points and a face up big man that can step out and hit the 3. If I had to have a gripe about Reuvers game, it would be that ideally, you’d like your big man to have better shooting percentages from the field. Over the last 4 games Reuvers is averaging 11 PPG on 40% from the field and 33% from 3. You’d like to see more work around the rim from Reuvers but that’s just not a strong suit of his at the moment. Reuvers greatest asset he brings to the team is his steady defensive presence. His ability to defend the pick and roll and ball screens in general is something Greg Gard holds in the highest regard. Reuvers will always be in the lineup during the closing minutes for this team, because Greg Gard cares more about preventing the other team from scoring than a guy who can go and get a bucket on his own.
Potter: (A-) I don’t have enough good things to say about Micah Potter. The rust has been more than knocked off at this point. Over the last 4 games, Micah Potter has averaged 12.7 PPG, 6.2 Rebounds on 61% from the field and 53% from 3. Did I mention he’s only averaging 19 minutes per game during that stretch? While Potter is not a finished product on the defensive end, his improvements and willingness on that end of the floor have been evident. Micah Potter is coming along nicely on the defensive end which is the only thing keeping him from playing more minutes at this point. I don’t think its unreasonable to say that Micah Potter is this teams best offensive player. Don’t believe me? Potter is on pace to be the only Wisconsin rotation player to ever finish the year with 50/40/90 season from the field. As I mentioned earlier in the year, Micah Potter could very well be the 6th man of the year in the Big Ten.
Wahl: (C+) Tyler Wahl has seen a dip in minutes but truly embodies his role on this team. While only playing 10 minutes per game, Wahl is averaging 2.7 PPG, 1.2 Assists, and 1.5 Rebounds on 83% from the field and 50% from 3 during the last 4 games. Wahl is slowing down offensively and letting the game come to him, taking smart shots, and bringing his consistent energy on the defensive end. Most of the upper classman are playing heavy minutes right now, and Wahl has settled nicely into his role, giving the Badgers exactly what they need at the Forward position off the bench.
Anderson: (D+) Anderson has seen his minutes decrease over the last 4 games, only averaging 12 minutes a game, but still offering a change of pace early in games. Anderson’s job is to run the offense while Trice and Davison get some rest. Anderson has done just that, getting teammates involved while averaging 1.7 Assists a game over the last 4.The down side however is Anderson has not made a shot from the field in the last 4 games, while showing defensive lapses from time to time.
Record during 4 game stretch (4-0)
Overall Record (18-10) 2nd in the Big Ten.
Ranked 28th in the KenPom Rankings
2018: 60% from the charity stripe
2019: 76.9% from the charity stripe
2018: 68.6 PPG | 61.7 DEF
2019: 67.6 PPG | 62.4 DEF
At present, this Wisconsin basketball team is the 2nd ranked free throw shooting team in school history. Its been a night and day difference from a year ago, i’d even venture to say the strengths of this team (Defense/Free Throw Shooting) could put the team in position win some games in March.
This has been Greg Gard’s finest coaching job yet. Yes, I understand Gard took over a 9-9 team his first year on the job and righted the ship, leading Wisconsin to a 22-13 record and a trip to a NCAA tournament. Famously ending in a Sweet Sixteen. However, the adversity this team has faced this year trumps those accomplishments in my eyes. The cards were stacked against this team from the beginning, with the tragedy involving Howard Moore (if you haven’t watched the Big Ten Network special on Howard Moore, do so). Coach Gard rallied this team that struggled to find their identity on the court without Micah Potter (thanks NCAA), but once again righted the ship. Finally, the whole Kobe King/Eric Helland situation, that resulted in Wisconsin losing its second leading scorer to transfer.
All that Coach Gard has done this year is lead Wisconsin to an 18-10 record, 2nd in the Big Ten in quite possibly the deepest pool of teams in conference history. Since Micah Potter has become eligible, Gard has a record of 13-5 and has Wisconsin going dancing. We are very lucky to have a leader like Coach Gard at the helm.