Expect Consistency From Wisconsin Badgers Basketball
Wisconsin’s season was filled with ups and downs last year. All in all, it was a success compared to the expectations coming into the year. The Wisconsin Badgers were supposed to be in rebuilding mode in the ’21-’22 season after a disappointing season, mass exodus, and some drama hinting at a leadership crisis.
Johnny Davis, a sophomore from LaCrosse that blew up on the scene at the start of last season, was the biggest reason for those increased expectations. His performance in the Maui Invitational, when he scored 71 points in the three games against Texas A&M, Houston, and St. Mary’s, helped Bucky take home the trophy to open the eyes of many. His athleticism was the team’s biggest weapon in the season ahead.
Wisconsin’s offensive struggles in 2021-22
At times, Wisconsin relied too much on Davis bailing them out on the offensive end. The ball movement took a hit, and Davis was asked to do too much against stifling B1G defenses. Along with that was poor passing numbers. The Badgers as a team doled out a measly 11 assists a game and ranked 310th out of the 352 teams in division 1 basketball in that category. It also led to poor shooting from the floor, only making 42% of their shots which was good for just 279th in the country, most notably from beyond the arc, where they only converted 30.6% from long distance, which put them at 319th. That ultimately did them in during their round of 32 loss to Iowa State 54-49 when they shot less than 30% from the field and went 2-22 from three.
This year though much has changed. Davis has moved on as an NBA lottery pick to the Washington Wizards, Chris Vogt, the relief for Steven Crowl, has graduated, and Brad Davison finished his 14th year and will be playing overseas this year.
What does this mean for Bucky?
It’s going to be a change in philosophy. Instead of running an offense through one player, Wisconsin hopes to be able to hit you with multiple weapons. This versatility will give the Badgers more options for running their offense based on how defenses are playing or who is playing well on any given night. The “give Johnny the ball and get out of the way” offense Wisconsin lulled into led to some stale outings when it wasn’t working for one reason or another. While there is nobody touching Davis when it comes to talent on this current squad, they’ll be less apt to run an offense relying on a single player with the pieces they have now. Wisconsin had five players score three or more points a game. Look for that to increase to seven or eight.
That said, while the floor is higher than it was last season for this team, the ceiling is also lower. From what we’ve seen so far, there is no generational talent on this team, and it will depend on players like Tyler Wahl, Chucky Hepburn, and Steven Crowl to improve enough to move this team forward.
Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Adam Hefty on Twitter @AdamHefty
*Chat about this article over at Badgers After Dark
*Subscribe and listen to the BadgerNotes.com podcast (as seen on Apple, Google, Spotify, and wherever you listen to podcasts).