Chucky Hepburn (B)
7.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals.
(.383 FG% / .883 FT% / .308 3P%)
Chucky Hepburn became the first badger’s freshman to start at point guard since Devin Harris, and so far, it’s easy to see why.
Hepburn has shown good control of the offense and often makes the correct reads, even if they don’t show up in the box score. It seems as though Hepburn can penetrate and get in the lane with a high rate of success, so I’d love to see him look to score more often around the rim. He’s struggled from downtown, but truth be told – I don’t really have an issue with the looks he’s taken.
I’ve been most impressed with Chucky Hepburn as an on-ball defender. He’s instinctual, fights to get over the top of ball screens, beats the offensive player to their desired spot, and plays with active hands.
Chucky can impact games even if he never takes a single shot from the field, he’s that good of a defender. He’ll make an all Big-Ten defensive team at some point in his career, mark my words. He’ll find his niche in this offense as the season progresses, but I’ve been highly encouraged with what I’ve seen so far.
Brad Davison (A-)
15.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists.
(.409 FG% / .838 FT% / .339 3P%)
Brad Davison has proven to be one of Wisconsin’s most irreplaceable players this season. He’s been invaluable as a shot creator and a much-needed threat from downtown. Essentially, UW can’t be without one of either Davis or Davison on the floor because of what they’re bringing offensively.
Brad has shown a propensity to let it fly this season, knowing this young group is more reliant on his scoring than in years past. Truth be told, it doesn’t matter what the shooting splits look like, because he’s playing his role perfectly. Badger fans should be thankful Davison came back for the extra season.
Johnny Davis (A+)
20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals
(.458 FG% / .821 FT% / .407 3P%)
I’m not sure what I can say about Johnny Davis that hasn’t already been said, because he’s been nothing short of remarkable for UW. Davis has blossomed into a true star for the program, and has elevated his game in seemingly every aspect. He’s been the team’s best play-maker and facilitator due to the added attention he’s been given. Johnny has also improved as a shooter and has been actively hunting his shot – which has been encouraging to see. He’s embraced his role for the badgers, and knows exactly how important he is to this team.
Johnny Davis’s ability to penetrate and get to the rim at will has bailed UW out whenever the offense seems to fall flat. Enjoy the ride this season, because if he continues to play at or near this level, he might jsut be NBA bound.
Tyler Wahl (B+)
8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.5 blocks.
(.459 FG% / .737 FT% / .000 3P%)
Tyler Wahl has taken a noticeable jump in his junior season. He’s gone from a hustle player, unafraid of doing the dirty work – to the programs most versatile lockdown defender – impacting games on both ends of the floor. Wahl has also found his offensive niche as UW’s low post presence and the team’s third scoring option.
It’s truly hard to measure just how important Tyler Wahl is to this young badgers’ team. He’s become a leader and now he’s found his identity on both ends of the floor. Terrific start for the Minnesota native.
Steven Crowl (B)
9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists.
(.426 FG% / .769 FT% / .304 3P%)
I would say Steven Crowl has been exactly who I thought he would be this season. He’s shown flashes of the player he can become once he continues to fill out his wiry frame. Crowl’s floor vision, willingness to pass, and feel for the game have looked encouraging for the big man thus far.
Crowl often finds himself getting pushed around down low (although this was expected), and needs to better identify the way’s he can score the ball regardless of the size he gives up. He frequently hesitates when down on the low block and that’s often enough to lose his position. He’ll be able to score with a baby hook far more often if he seeks it out (Crowl has good touch around the rim).
Above all, Crowl needs to work on staying out of foul trouble. He’s important to this offense as a floor spacing big, and he’s only going to get better as he learns on the job. Plenty to be excited about with Steven Crowl.
Lorne Bowman (B)
4.3 points, 1 rebound, 0.4 assists.
(.444 FG% / .667 FT% / .533 3P%)
After a year away from basketball, badgers point guard Lorne Bowman is back with the program and providing a much-needed spark for Greg Gard off the bench. Bowman plays the game at a unique pace and is so smooth with the ball in his hands.
Bowman has seen his role increase as the season has progressed, and for good reason. He’s been consistently looking to score and make an impact on offense when most of the players off the bench haven’t been able to provide much in the scoring department. Thus far, he’s been borderline automatic from three (53%), and he’s been able to break defenders down to get to the basket. It’s easy to see what Greg Gard likes in Lorne Bowman, and he’ll be a fun player to watch moving forward.
Carter Gilmore (B-)
1.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists.
(.273 FG% / .667 FT% / .000 3P%)
Carter Gilmore is probably underappreciated by the fanbase, and that’s a shame. Gilmore has given Greg Gard some really good minutes off the bench this season and has seen his opportunities increase due to the struggles of Ben Carlson.
Gilmore is a versatile defender who plays with intensity, and is always looking to make the right play when he’s on the floor. There is clearly a level of trust between Gilmore and Gard, if he’s able to add a little bit more offensively as the season progresses, he’s going to be one of the more important players off the bench this season. He also leads the team in assist to turnover ratio (3:1).
There is something to be said about a low usage player that can help spell the high volume shooters, without trying to do too much. Gilmore knows his role.
Chris Vogt (B-)
0.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.5 blocks.
(.125 FG% / .833 FT%)
I ask that you not worry about the fact that Vogt provides very little by way of offense, and instead focus on the things he does do well. Vogt was brought in to play in tandem with Steven Crowl and be the big bodied defensive presence UW needs for matchups with bigger lineups. Vogt has done a nice job on the glass, sets good screens, and has been able to alter shots at the rim. Hard to ask for more than that from Vogt.
Vogt has also really struggled with foul trouble, which will need to be cleaned up because he’s going to be even more important to this team come Big Ten play. Vogt was brought in to give UW exactly what he’s provided.
Ben Carlson (C-)
2.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists.
(.364 FG% / .500 FT% / .000 3P%)
The season is still very, very young but it’s hard to think of a player who has disappointed more than Ben Carlson this season.
Offensively, Carlson just really needs to see the ball go through the hoop. He’s been hesitant around the rim, and hasn’t been the floor spacer Wisconsin was counting on at the beginning of the season. Now, I definitely think he can still give Wisconsin some good minutes off the bench, but right now he just looks lost.
Defensively, Carlson has played pretty well and has been a solid rebounding presence when called upon. Here’s to hoping Carlson is able to turn things around after a slow start, because I had initially thought he’d be more of a 6th man for this team, and that just hasn’t been the case. There is ample time to turn things around.
Jahcobi Neath (INC)
2.3 points, 1 rebound.
(.182 FG% / .750 FT% / .000 3P%)
Jahcobi Neath missed a chunk of the teams’ games early in the season with a lower body injury. So, I don’t feel as though I can accurately grade Neath’s impact with the small sample size I’ve been given.
I will say this though, his size/versatility will certainly come in handy off the bench this season. Hopefully, he’ll be able to find a role offensively – because UW could use an added scoring punch off the pine. Physically, Neath looks the part, but he hasn’t impressed me on either end of the floor. It’ll be interesting to watch him gel with this roster.
Jordan Davis (INC)
2.2 points, 1.2 rebounds.
(.833 FG% / .750 3P%)
To be quite frank, Jordan Davis has consistently produced in his limited opportunities. I’m a bit surprised that he hasn’t gotten an extended look due to his useful 3&D skill-set.
It’s no secret this team has had it’s struggles shooting, and Davis would seem to be an upgrade off the pine in that department. But, I also don’t know who you take minutes from to get him more time on the floor. All I’m saying is that Davis has looked sharp in the minutes he’s been given, and I think he has what it takes to contribute if called upon.
Markus Ilver (INC)
1.3 points, 1 rebound
(.143 FG% / .750 FT% / .000 3P%)
I thought it was a bit of a curious decision for Markus Ilver to opt against taking a red-shirt this season, but that was his decision to make.
Albeit a small sample size, Ilver just doesn’t look ready to contribute yet. He’s further along physically than I expected at this point, but he’ll need to focus on becoming a more disciplined player on both ends of the floor before he can get an extended look off the bench.
I still really like Ilver’s long-term upside, I just don’t think he’s going to contribute this season.
OVERALL RECORD 7-1
Ranked 27th in KenPom Rankings
22nd in the AP poll
OFFENSE: 70.6 PPG (Adj. Offensive Efficiency – 51)
DEFENSE: 59.1 PPG (Adj. Defensive Efficiency – 16)
Offensive distribution per KenPom
30.3% of points on 3’s
48.5% of points on 2’s
21.2% of points from the FT line
As Always Give us a follow on Twitter at @Badgers_Notes for more badger basketball news, recruiting and analysis.
Find More of our work at https://badgernotes.com/