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Wisconsin Basketball Analytics: Why AJ Storr is the “Perfect Fit” for the Badgers



Wisconsin basketball transfer AJ Storr
Mar 9, 2023; New York, NY, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard AJ Storr (2) brings the ball up court against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Madison, Wis. –The Wisconsin Badgers just added a major piece to their basketball roster with the acquisition of A.J. Storr from the Transfer Portal. The 6-foot-6 guard from Peoria, Ill., had an impressive freshman year at St. John’s in the Big East, but with the arrival of Rick Pitino and the departure of Mike Anderson, Storr was in search of a new home. And after a competitive recruitment process, Storr ultimately chose the Badgers and head coach Greg Gard over top programs such as UCONN and SDSU.

Let’s explore how Storr’s “Analytics” makes him a “Perfect Fit” for what Wisconsin needs in the 2023-2024 Season and why he’ll play a pivotal role in the Badgers’ success next season.

Player Metrics – AJ Storr’s Season Trends:


Points/Shot Formula = Points / FGAs + (0.5*FTA)

Season Average = 1.07 Points/Shot

AJ Storr had an impressive season, scoring at least 0.80 points per shot in 27 out of 33 games. That’s only 6 cold nights all year, and a majority of those games came early in the season. Storr also had an unbelievable 13 games in which he broke the 1.20 Points/Shot barrier!!! That’s EXTREMELY efficient shooting

It looks as though his #’s did slide a bit down the stretch, but so did Essegians. You’d have to think that:

  1. Frosh Ceiling/Stamina plays a significant factor
  2. Teams begin to realize (as they did with Essegian) you cannot give him open looks.

Points Created/USG%:

Points-Created/USG% Formula = (Per40 Points + Per40AST Value) / (USG% * 100)

Season Average = 1.02 Points-Created/USG%

Normally, a Player’s Points-Created/USG% is HIGHER than his Points/Shot. This isn’t the case for Storr. Why is it usually higher?

Well, Assists allows you to create much higher value per “USG %” than just shooting because, unlike shooting, you only get an AST added to your USG unless it’s a make. So an AST, especially 3P ASTs, is a gold mine for adding value on a USG basis!! Storr turns it over more than he dishes to teammates for scores, so he dips in his Points/USG vs. Points/Shot.

Ball Security Factor:

Ball Security Factor Formula = DREB% + ( AST RATE – TO RATE) + STL%

Average Ball-Security Factor = 5%

This graph gives me the most hope for Storr to receive the level of minutes people expect him to get at UW next year.

You have to be able to take care of the basketball for Gard & Staff to give you consistent minutes. Limiting turnovers is the key tenant of Wisconsin Basketball, well, that and Man-Man defense. Through Storr’s first 16 games of college basketball, he ended roughly half of those at or below 0% Ball Security. That is not good. BUT!

In games 17-33, he had only ONE Game at or below 0% Ball Security!!

This is tremendous development in a single season and a terrific sign that lack of Ball-Security won’t limit the number of minutes he’ll see as a Badger!!!


USAGE % Formula = % of Team’s FGAs, FTs, AST, TOs while on Court

Average USG % = 20%

This chart is really interesting because when you compare AJ Storr’s Points/Shot chart to his Points-Created/USG% chart, you’ll notice that his Points/Shot are consistently high while his Points-Created/USG% are somewhat all over the place.

Here’s the dichotomy:

In games where Storr has a low usage rate (USG) of less than 20%, he has a Points-Created of more than 1.00 about 68.8% of the time.

However, when his USG is high (more than 20%), he only achieves a Points-Created of more than 1.00 about 47.1% of the time.

The advantage for Storr is that he’ll be playing alongside Essegian, which means they can share the production load. Thus reducing the pressure to perform, and their USG rates will depend more on how well they perform rather than forcing the issue regardless.

So that’s a primer on Storr and how he performed at St. John’s in 2022-2023 in the analytic metrics I care about. This leads me to my next topic and the reason why I think Storr is the “Perfect Fit” for us!!!

AJ Storr’s Shot Profile:

Yeah….that’s called balance.

  • He drives (More to his left than his right)
  • He shoots 3’s (More Guarded Looks vs. Unguarded, and you’ll see why!!)
  • He also gets into the Dribble Pull-Up

A True 3-Level Scorer!!!

How does this compare to the current Wisconsin Basketball Wing/Forward Production?

Last season, there was a lack of 3-point shooting and dribble penetration from the 3 and 4 positions (Wahl/Gilmore/Davis/Ilver). As you can see, Storr will bring that dynamic to Wisconsin Basketball immediately. This makes Storr the “Perfect Fit” for UW at these positions for 2023-2024!!

While the ability to Penetrate & get into the Pull-Up game is an important aspect of Storr’s game, where he really shines is in his 3P Shooting!!!

3PT Shooting:

How did he perform over the course of the 2022-2023 Season?:

Grey Bars = ATTs/G | Black Line = Game X Game 3P% | Red Line = Season 3P%

  • Storr hit his stride in games 11-24, raising his 3P % from 37%-47% in that time.

  • It looks as though Storr hit the same Frosh Ceiling that Essegian hit, with his 3P% dipping to 40.4% at Year-End.

Open vs. Guarded C&S 3s:

Here is an eye-popping graph.

AJ Storr is particularly deadly at shooting catch-and-shoot (C&S) 3-pointers when left open, but his shooting efficiency drops significantly when he is heavily guarded. On the other hand, when you look at Essegian, there is not much of a difference in his shooting efficiency between open and guarded C&S 3-pointers.

Grey Bars = Ungarded 3P ATTs | Red Line = % of 3P Looks Unguarded

This chart is telling me that having both Essegian and Storr on the court will result in them BOTH getting more open and high-quality 3-point looks, which will be a huge boost to their efficiency and for UW’s entire offensive efficiency in the upcoming season.

Just think how many times we had guys on the floor who you could be content leaving open freely (Gilmore/Wahl/Davis/McGee). With the additions of Noah Reynolds and now Storr, that simply won’t be an option for opposing defenses. UW will now have Five Players from the G/F spot that will constantly be stretching the defense!!!

Why Wisconsin Basketball is better because of Storr’s Commitment:

This is a Slam-Dunk get for GG and Staff! He’s a “Perfect Fit” for Wisconsin Basketball its current needs going into the 2023-2024 Season. Storr is a highly touted Wing/Forward who is also a 3-Level Scorer. Does that remind you of anybody who was missing from UW’s Roster this season???

Now I’m not at all saying AJ Storr is the next Johnny Davis. But there are a lot of similarities to their games. The switch-up is that Storr does a lot more of his “Damage” outside the 3P Line, whereas Johnny did a ton of his work inside it!

BUT….check out these two graphs!

Here’s a comparison of Frosh Johnny and Storr:

Chew on those graphs for a little while…

Where this puts Wisconsin Basketball in terms of 247 Composite Rating:

Refresher on the Calculation:

Player’s 247 Composite Rating * MPG/200 (200 = Total Minutes of 5 Players) = Player Score

Team Composite Rating = Summation of all Player Scores


The win prediction model has been quite accurate, with only a slight difference of -3% in the 2022-2023 season. Based on the projected lineup and minutes distribution using the 247 Composite Projection, UW is expected to comfortably win over 25 games next season with the addition of Storr.

It seems that GG and the coaching staff have finished their work in the Portal for now unless there are any more unexpected departures. With the arrival of Reynolds and Storr, along with Yalden, Winter, and Blackwell, UW’s 2023 class looks solid. This team is going to be a serious contender next season, with a possible Big Ten title and a spot in the Elite Eight within the next two seasons!

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 on Twitter @GardYourFickell

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Should Wisconsin Basketball Consider Hiring an Ace Recruiting Specialist?



Wisconsin Basketball coaching staff
Jan 7, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Greg Gard watches his team play against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the second half at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Greg Gard has been at the helm of the Wisconsin basketball program since 2015, taking over for legendary coach Bo Ryan midway through the season.

Coach Gard has had a successful tenure thus far, leading the Badgers to six NCAA Tournament appearances in his first eight seasons, winning two Big Ten regular season titles and two league Coach of the Year awards.

However, one issue that has plagued Gard and his staff nationally is their inability to bring in high-end talent consistently.

While Gard is considered an elite talent evaluator, as evidenced by the success of players he recruited and played a hand in developing, like Jordan Taylor, Ethan Happ, Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, and Johnny Davis, he has struggled to close the deal on some of the top recruits in the country despite the programs early involvement.

It’s on Gard to ultimately close the deal with recruits, and he could certainly stand to be more aggressive, but it’s worth acknowledging that Wisconsin basketball could benefit from making a change on his coaching staff if the athletic department is willing to fork over the money.

Why Greg Gard Should Consider Making a Change on His Staff

First things first, I’m not suggesting any Wisconsin coach get fired because we’re privy to a select tidbit of information. We’re not present behind closed doors to know the coaches’ relationships with players or their role in developing some of the young talents.

That said, we have access to a small amount of Wisconsin basketball recruiting information from 247Sports that I found interesting + worth discussing.

Assistant coach Dean Oliver, who has been on staff since 2017, has secured a verbal commitment from four players (Taylor Currie, Lorne Bowman, Connor Essegian, and John Blackwell) that he served as the lead recruiter.

For comparison, associate head coach Joe Krabenhoft has landed 14 commits during that same time frame. And Sharif Chambliss, who is entering his third season on staff, has yet to secure a verbal commitment, although he’s made strong inroads in the Milwaukee metro area, which has tremendous value–especially in the 2025 in-state cycle.

Adding Context to the Wisconsin Basketball Recruiting Situation 

Now, the context in this situation is important because coach Oliver isn’t acting as the lead for players in traditional strongholds like Wisconsin and Minnesota. Instead, he’s communicating with players who often know very little about the program and would have to travel much further than Krabbenhoft’s targets to visit campus.

These assignments are certainly no easy task, but at the end of the day, if that’s your role, then you need to execute well enough for Coach Gard to get those recruits on campus for visits and have the chance to close on recruits.

Not saying that coach Chambliss should get a pass here because it’s time to start seeing some returns from him as well. Still, Dean Oliver hasn’t been able to bring in impact recruits outside of Connor Essegian consistently (I can’t emphasize enough how great of a find he was).

But I think it’s fair to say that from a fan perspective, you’d like to see more success from your assistants on the recruiting trail. Closing rates are unimportant without context, and we ultimately have no idea how good at recruiting anyone is or isn’t. Still, the more challenging assignments have led to few wins outside of more common recruiting areas.

Some Thoughts on Wisconsin Basketball Recruiting

Wisconsin Basketball coach Greg Gard

Mar 28, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Greg Gard looks on during the first half against the North Texas Mean Green at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Suppose Wisconsin basketball decides it needs to allocate more resources to recruiting. In that case, I think Greg Gard would benefit significantly from prioritizing a coach outside his network, which has built a reputation as a top-notch recruiter.

Hiring an assistant coach known for his recruiting prowess could be the boost the Badgers need to elevate the program’s ceiling and work their way into the mix for some of the higher-ranked prospects in the country.

I firmly believe that Gard is an excellent in-game coach who gets the most production out of his players. Since taking over the Wisconsin basketball program, Gard has led the Badgers to the highest win total among Big Ten teams. He has also compiled the third most conference wins, despite averaging the No. 9 recruiting class in the B1G during that timeframe.

Still, his roster management and talent evaluations more recently have left the program with questionable depth and need an overall upgrade in talent from top to bottom.

Of course, bringing in a new assistant coach is not a guaranteed solution to Wisconsin basketball and its perceived recruiting woes. It will still be up to Gard and his staff to build relationships with recruits, sell them on the program, and close the deal.

Only time will tell if Greg Gard agrees and decides to make this move. Still, it’s certainly an idea worth considering because if Wisconsin can elevate its recruiting efforts even marginally, It could get the Badgers back on track and over the hump.

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 Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

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Wisconsin Basketball News: Badgers Contact Transfer Center, Schedule Updates, More



Wisconsin Badgers Basketball
Madison, WI, USA. 27th Dec, 2017. A basketball lies on the court before the NCAA Basketball game between the Chicago State Cougars and the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. Wisconsin defeated Chicago State 82-70. John Fisher/CSM/Alamy Live News

It’s been a busy week for the Wisconsin basketball program, ladies and gents, but fear not because BadgerNotes can help get you back up to speed with a roundup of some important Badgers news you may have missed.

Wisconsin Badgers Contact a Transfer Portal Big Man 

Greg Gard and the Wisconsin basketball coaching staff have been quietly active in the transfer portal, searching for some frontcourt depth after Noah Reynolds flaked on the Badgers and backed out of his commitment. 

According to The Portal Report, UW contacted Mississippi State grad transfer center Will McNair Jr, who recently entered the transfer portal. Vanderbilt, Nebraska, Tulsa, Temple, Georgetown, Western Kentucky, George Washington, UTEP, and several others are also in the mix. 

The 6-foot-10, 265-pound center averaged 3.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks while shooting 45.2% from the field in roughly 12 minutes per game for the Bulldogs.

McNair has 116 games of collegiate experience and is coming off a season where he finished with a 91.6 ORTG and a 0.2 PRPG, per Barttorvik, which would have been eighth on the Badgers this past season.

Wisconsin basketball has one scholarship left to fill this offseason and is kicking the tires on transfer portal depth at center who can rebound and protect the paint in a limited role next season. 

Wisconsin Basketball Has a Brutal Non-Conference Schedule

There is no right or wrong way to construct a non-conference schedule in college basketball. However, Wisconsin basketball is taking the road less traveled and scheduling one of the toughest groupings in the country ahead of an even more difficult Big Ten slate. 

Here’s a look at the games know will be on the schedule next season thus far: 

  • November 10: vs. Tennessee at the Kohl Center. 
  • November 14: Gavitt Games on the road vs. Providence
  • November 20 (Fort Myers Tip-Off): vs. SMU, Virginia, and West Virginia. 
  • November 22: Fort Myers Tip-Off continued. 
  • December 9: on the road vs. Arizona
  • I also feel comfortable saying that Marquette will be on the non-conference schedule; it just hasn’t been announced yet. 

Given the NCAA selection committee rewarding or completely discrediting strength of schedule last season, it’s fair to wonder if Greg Gard’s decision is a good call. That said, Wisconsin basketball returns a veteran roster and will be among the most battle-tested teams in the country come March.  

As it stands, BarTorvik has Tennessee (2), Marquette (4), Arizona (15), West Virginia (22), and Providence (48) all ranked as preseason top 50 teams. Buckle up, Badger fans. 

Other Wisconsin Basketball News

A source indicated to BadgerNotes and later confirmed that Greg Gard and the Wisconsin basketball program reached out to 2024 three-star power forward Dillon Battie out of Lancaster, Texas. 

Battie indicated that Gard reached out to him personally and told him he “really loves his game and sees how hard of a worker he is.” They also briefly discussed the Texas native coming out to visit campus. 

According to the 247Sports recruiting rankings, Battie is the No. 50 PF in the 2024 recruiting class and the No. 19 player in Texas. 

As it stands, the 6-foot-8 forward holds offers from Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Sam Houston State, SMU, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. Auburn, Virginia Tech, Colorado, and Illinois have also been in contact. 

Wisconsin basketball has been selective in its 2024 offers, with Jackson McAndrew at the top of its wish list. However, it’s notable to see them casting a wider net and identifying a tendency breaker at the position who is a superb athlete with a back-to-the-basket skill set. 

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 Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

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Why Wisconsin Basketball Doesn’t Need a Big Man From the Transfer Portal



Wisconsin basketball
Dec 6, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Steven Crowl (22) high-fives forward Tyler Wahl (5) during the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

Madison, Wis. — Much of the disdain from the fanbase this offseason is centered around the need for Greg Gard and the Wisconsin basketball team to land another big man in the transfer portal. 

The Badgers return a strong core of players in the frontcourt, including multi-year starters Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl. While some fans may be concerned about the team’s depth down low, there are several reasons why coach Gard and the Badgers don’t need to add another big man via the transfer portal.

First and foremost, both Wahl and Crowl will continue playing big minutes and provide meaningful contributions on both ends of the court. 

Wahl, a 6-foot-9 forward, started in all 32 games he appeared in last season and averaged 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. He was also third on the team in steals, with 39 on the season. And Crowl, a 7-foot center, started in all 35 games, averaging 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. 

While those numbers may not jump off the page, each player showed flashes of the ability to take over games throughout the season and figures to take on a similar, or in the case of Crowl, a more prominent role in the upcoming season. At worst, the duo is incredibly dependable and needs a complimentary piece or two to endure the grind of a Big Ten season. 

Wisconsin Badgers In-house Options in the Frontcourt

In addition to the starting tandem of Wahl and Crowl, the Wisconsin basketball team also returns senior forward Carter Gilmore. The former walk-on (might be a walk-on again, thank NIL) gained plenty of experience last season, logging minutes at both the “4” and “5.”

Gilmore, a 6-foot-7 forward, appeared in 35 games, starting three, and averaged 2.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, filling in for roughly 19 minutes per contest. Although he offered limited upside on the offensive end, he finished the season with a 0.4 PRPG, according to Barttorvik. 

The in-state product proved he could play a valuable role off the bench. He took care of the ball, rebounded, played excellent post-defense, and acted as a connector. 

However, Gilmore is best suited for a smaller, spark plug-type roll off the bench, filling in for 10 or fewer minutes a contest. 

Markus Ilver is someone that could push for minutes if he improves his strength in the offseason, and Chris Hodges is someone I simply don’t think has what it takes to play at this level. 

Which brings me to my next point…

Wisconsin Basketball Will Have More Talent/Options in 2023-24

Perhaps most importantly, people forget that Greg Gard and the Wisconsin basketball program have some talented incoming freshmen with the size and skill to contribute right away and should boost the Badgers’ frontcourt.

Gus Yalden and Nolan Winter, top 150 talents in the 2023 recruiting class, are further along in their respective developments than initially thought. Each has inside-out ability and a more developed skill set than the reserve bigs Wisconsin basketball had last season. 

Yalden is someone who I expect will make an immediate impact for the Badgers, particularly in the low-post, and Winter is an athletic big that can stretch the floor. 

All you want to fill is 10-20 competent minutes behind Crowl and Wahl if you’re coach Gard. The incoming freshman can fill that void and help them get their feet wet before stepping into more prominent roles in year two. 

Adding another big man if it was someone who doesn’t elevate the program next season doesn’t do anything other than stunt the growth of the incoming recruits. Adding a 7-foot rim protector like Chris Vogt would help the team, but it’s unnecessary, IMO. 

I fully expect one or both incoming frontcourt players to hit the ground running and provide depth, + push for the minutes asap. 

Final Thoughts on Wisconsin Basketball + Its Frontcourt Situation 

While some may be concerned about the Wisconsin basketball program’s depth in the frontcourt, there are several reasons why coach Gard and his staff don’t need to rush to add another big man in the transfer portal. 

With Wahl, Crowl, Gilmore, and the incoming freshmen Yalden and Winter, the Badgers have a solid group of players who can help them contribute now while grooming their younger players for the future. If it’s the right fit, take a chance on a guy. I’m pro anything that improves the team, but I don’t think it’s an absolute must. 

Fans should be excited about the upcoming season and the potential of this talented team because they’re returning all of their core players, added AJ Storr, and have a rock solid incoming 2023 recruiting class. 

It’s okay to be a glass-half-full guy from time to time. 

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 Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

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