Report Card : Games 29-31

Best offensive player

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Micah Potter has continued to be the shot in the arm this Wisconsin Badger team needed this season. Offensively Micah has been able to get whatever he wants in the pick and roll, pick and pop, and even in the post. The chemistry Potter has established with Trice has been remarkable, allowing them to orchestrate a two-man game for much of the time they’re on the floor together. Micah Potter averaged 11 PPG and 7.3 Rebounds during the final 3 games on 50% from the field and 40% from 3. Potters presence alone on the boards is game changing at times. Potter was the difference late in the game against Indiana, his inspired play down the stretch with 4 fouls was one of the biggest reasons we were able to secure the Big Ten regular season championship. 

Standout Game:  14 points / 11 rebounds against Indiana on the road.


 

Player Report Card

Trice: (C-) I’d like to preface this by saying I understand that Trice struggled mightily on offense the final 3 games, but credit Trice for evolving into a player who can still affect the game when his shots not falling. Over the final 3 games Trice averaged 5.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5 assists on 22% from the field and 23% from 3. Despite the numbers, Trice kept the offense flowing and more importantly put down the clamps on opposing teams point guards. Trice has continued to be the most consistent on ball defender this team has. 

Davison: (B+) Sure hope you didn’t fall of the Brad Davison bandwagon after his rough patch in the middle of the season. The Minnesota native has hit his stride at the right time, putting together some of his best performances during the winning streak. Over the last 3 games Davison has averaged 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists on 42% from the field and 46% from 3. That’s what you like to see from one of the most battle tested players on the team. Brad isn’t afraid to take the big shot, and he’s doing some of his best shooting here in March. 

Pritzl: (C+) The lone Senior on this team has been everything this team could ask for since Kobe King’s departure. Pritzl did struggle offensively against Indiana but put together some really solid performances the 2 previous games. Over the last 3 games Pritzl has averaged 8.6 points and 4.3 rebounds on 36% from the field and 38% form 3. Wisconsin is going to need Pritzl confident and letting it fly come tournament time, and lucky for the Badgers, Pritzl saved the best play of his career for his final act. 

Ford: (C+) It took a village to replace Kobe King, but I’m not sure anyone has elevated their game as much as Aleem Ford. Before King left, Ford was losing minutes and didn’t offer the team a ton when he wasn’t hitting from beyond the ark. Since then Ford has played with a confidence fans were hoping to see earlier in his career. Ford has been playing excellent on defensive rotations and continued to crash the glass like never before, averaging 6 rebounds per game over the last 3. While his shooting percentages haven’t been anything to write home about, Ford has still managed to put in 10.3 points a game on 39% from the field and 29% from 3. Aleem Ford’s shooting against Indiana kept us alive early in the Indiana game. 

Reuvers: (B-) Over the last 3 games Reuvers has averaged 11 points and 4 rebounds a game on 42% from the field and 50% from 3. Reuvers is one of the steadiest presences on this team, and doesn’t get the love he deserves. I think we’ve gotten to a point where we’ve begun to underappreciate Nate Reuvers. While he’s not perfect, all Reuvers has done this year is lead the team in scoring, blocks, and is the most irreplaceable defender in the program. His ability to defend ball screens, alter shots, and always be in position defensively is something most fans don’t seem to give enough credit for. I’ve said it many times over but I’ll say it again, Nate Reuvers is going to absolutely re-write the history books when it comes to blocked shots. Nate Reuvers is the anchor of this defense. 

 

Bench

Potter: (A-) Micah Potter has been a godsend this season. He’s not a perfect player defensively but nobody who understands a lick of basketball could argue that he hasn’t improved as the season’s gone along. Offensively, Micah Potter just became the first rotation player in program history to finish the season 50/40/90. Micah Potter is a game changer for this team, and continues to be this teams’ secret weapon. Having 6 legitimate starting caliber players is a luxury most teams in college basketball don’t have.   

Wahl: (D) Tyler Wahl is going to be a damn fine player for Wisconsin in the years to come, as for now he’s hit a bit of a Freshman wall and has seen his minutes decrease as a result of it (7 mpg). Over the last 3 games Wahl is averaging 1.3 points, 0.3 rebounds and 0 assists on 40% from the field and 0% from 3. Having a spark plug like Wahl on the bench is something that will come in handy a myriad of times before this season is over, but for now Wisconsin is riding out their experience with their top 6 players all logging heavy minutes. Wahl has just been a bit overmatched on opposing big men, and has got caught reaching a few times defensively. An offseason in the weight room is going to do this kid wonders. 

Anderson: (B-) Tre Mamba has continued to do exactly what’s expected of him, spelling the lead guards, running the offense, and remaining efficient from the field. In 13 minutes a game over the last 3, Anderson has posted averages of 2.6 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.3 assists on 66% from the field. I love that Anderson never lets the offense get stagnant, always looking to penetrate and kick. Fans need to understand just how much he’s having to gut it out to give the Badgers what he can. Anderson is playing through tremendous amounts of pain, and whether you think so or not this would be a different looking season without his contributions. Need proof, look no further than Trice and Davison stumbling down the stretch last season because they had no viable reserve to spell them. Coincidentally, this season they’re playing some of their best ball late in the season.  


 

Other Notes

 

Record during 3 game stretch (3-0)

 

Overall Record (21-10) 1st in the Big Ten !!

 

Ranked 22 in the KenPom Rankings / 18th in the AP

2018: 60% from the charity stripe

2019: 76.4% from the charity stripe

2018: 68.6 PPG | 61.7 DEF

2019: 67.2 PPG | 62.2 DEF


Hardware Rundown 

 

Nate Reuvers – 3rd team All-Big Ten

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D’Mitrik Trice – 3rd team All-Big Ten 

trice


Micah Potter – Big Ten 6th man of the year (Just kidding he got snubbed for a player who averages less points and rebounds per game while playing more minutes on worse shooting percentages). Makes sense if you don’t think about it. 

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Greg Gard – Big 10 coach of the year. 

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Big Ten regular season Champs !!

regular season champs

This has been one of the most unforgettable seasons in recent memory, due in large part to it being so unprecedented. This Wisconsin Badgers team is the first in Big Ten history to win the regular season title without a 1st or 2nd team all-conference performer. I think that speaks volumes to the way Coach Gard has coached the team this season, and the unselfish type of play he’s gotten from the players in the locker-room. This team bought in and played this season through more adversity than any program should ever have to endure. The sum of this team is greater than its parts and they played for something bigger than basketball, Howard Moore. 


Hot Take

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I’ve been tip-toeing around saying this for some time now, but I’m ready to admit that I believe Micah Potter is the most talented player on the Wisconsin Badgers. At present I’m not sure there is another player that can offer the Badgers what Potter has been able to. Micah Potter has been instant offense for the Badgers all year and is without a doubt the best rebounder on the team. I don’t think it matters what so ever if Potter starts for this team. His impact is felt in every game and with a full year in the system I think Potter will be much improved defensively. Potter’s bag runs deep: from the pick and pop, to the pick and roll, the face-up jumper, back to the basket, and even a step back jumper. A lot can change in a year but right now I think it’s possible that Micah Potter is the team’s leading scorer next year, even if he comes off the bench. 


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