Connect with us


Tyler Wahl Will be the X-Factor for Wisconsin Basketball in 2023-24

Here’s why senior forward Tyler Wahl will be the X-factor for Wisconsin in 2023.



Wisconsin basketball forward Tyler Wahl
Dec 3, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Tyler Wahl (5) during the game against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to believe that Wisconsin basketball will return to action in a little over two months. The 2023-24 Badgers look to rebound after a tough season that saw them miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years.

The Badgers have improved during the offseason, as they return their entire starting lineup in addition to incoming freshmen and transfers. Of the returning starters, there is one that will be the most significant determining factor of the team’s success.

Here is why Tyler Wahl will be the X-Factor for the Wisconsin basketball program this season.

Tyler Wahl Will be the X-Factor for Wisconsin Basketball in 2023-24

The 2022-23 Wisconsin Badgers season was a disappointment. Despite coming out of the gates hot to an 11-2 and being ranked as high as No. 14 nationally, the team failed to maintain the same level of play and mostly nosedived for the rest of the season. The team’s struggles began immediately following Wahl’s ankle injury on January 3rd. Wahl, the 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward, missed the team’s next three games, all losses.

Even though the senior forward would return for the rest of the college basketball season, the effects of his injuries lingered in his performance and the success of the Badgers. Before the injury, Wahl appeared to be on his way to the best season of his collegiate career and a possible All-Big Ten team honors candidate.

Excluding the game against Minnesota, where he only played nine minutes before being removed, Wahl averaged 14.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game in Wisconsin’s first 13 games. He also obtained shooting splits of .428/.222/.672 over that time.

The trouble with his ankle turned Wahl into a completely different player. He saw a decrease in production in nearly every statistical category after his return, averaging 10.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.4 blocks to go along with shooting splits of .425/.400/.600 in the last half of the season.

Statistically, the drop-off in numbers doesn’t appear too significant other than with scoring, but the difference in Wahl’s production was evident from the eye test. In his first three seasons in Madison, it seemed almost automatic when he took a shot from the post. It was frustrating for fans and likely Wahl to see him miss so many attempts at the rim last season.

The injury also caused Wahl to make mistakes defensively that didn’t happen previously. There were noticeable occasions where Wahl would get scored on, and it just didn’t look right.

Ultimately, Wahl’s injury hampered his impact on games. For a player that excels at doing all of the little things right, Wahl must do all of them to the best of his ability. That simply couldn’t be the case last season.

Final Thoughts

The key to success for the Wisconsin Men’s basketball team in 2023-24 will be the Lakeville, Minnesota, native’s return to good health.

Tyler Wahl may not be considered the best player and may not jump out on box scores, but all of the little things he does add up to make his importance to the Badgers massive. Every great team has an underrated glue player that holds them together, and that’s what Wahl is in Madison.

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 Lucas Valind on Twitter @RealLucaso345

Follow this link and use promo code: BADGERNOTES for 25% off your next True Classic order.

Join the Badger Notes watch party and stream Wisconsin Badgers games by following this link.

*Subscribe to BadgerNotes After Dark on Youtube and wherever you find podcasts, the official Wisconsin Badgers podcast of the Big Banter Sports Network.

Lucas Valind is a correspondent for covering Wisconsin football and basketball. His previous bylines covering the Badgers can be found at FanSided's Badger of Honor and Dairyland Express.