#34 Wisconsin Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Wisconsin Badgers
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #7 Big Ten
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After a rare season missing the NCAA Tournament in 2018, Wisconsin had a bounce-back season last year. The Badgers won 23 games and earned a 5-seed in the Big Dance. Though they lost in the first round, Wisconsin has now made the NCAA Tournament in 21 of the last 23 years. Longtime star Ethan Happ has now graduated, but three experienced starters are back this year. Wisconsin has become a model of consistency in the Big Ten and should find themselves back in the NCAA Tournament hunt this season.
2018-19 Record: 23-11, 14-6
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Greg Gard
Coach Record: 80-47 at Wisconsin, 80-47 overall
Key Departed Players:
Ethan Happ, Forward, 17.3 ppg
Khalil Iverson, Forward, 6.9 ppg
Tai Strickland, Guard, 1.8 ppg

Charles Thomas, Forward, 1.6 ppg
Key Returning Players:
D’Mitrik Trice, Junior, Guard, 11.6 ppg
Brad Davison, Junior, Guard, 10.5 ppg
Nate Reuvers, Junior, Forward, 7.9 ppg
Brevin Pritzl, Senior, Guard, 4.8 ppg

Kobe King, Sophomore, Guard, 4.2 ppg
Aleem Ford, Junior, Forward, 3.1 ppg
Trevor Anderson, Junior, Guard, 1.6 ppg
Key New Players:
Micah Potter, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Ohio State
Tyler Wahl, Freshman, Forward
Life without Ethan Happ begins this season as D’Mitrik Trice, Brad Davison and Nate Reuvers will be the new core of the Badgers. All three players are juniors with starting experience which will help ease the transition. Trice started all 34 games at point guard last season and was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. Trice averaged 11.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 39% from three. Davison should be considered the likeliest to step up in Happ’s absence. Davison averaged 10.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals as a sophomore. Davison’s stats won’t blow anyone away, but his leadership and intangibles on the court are among the best in the NCAA. Reuvers could see a breakout junior campaign as the go-to big man this year. As a sophomore, Reuvers averaged just 7.9 points and 3.9 rebounds but did lead the team with 1.8 blocks per game. Reuvers has flashed talent over his first two seasons and the former top-100 recruit should be ready to become a top player in the Big Ten this year. Reserve guard Brevin Pritzl will be a senior this year after playing 19.6 minutes per game as the sixth man last season. Pritzl averaged 4.8 points and 2.4 rebounds while leading the team in 3-point accuracy at 41%. Kobe King played 19.0 minutes per contest as a redshirt sophomore and should see a bigger role this season. Aleem Ford started 20 games as a freshman before playing just 13.8 minutes per game as a sophomore. Wisconsin’s roster isn’t very deep so they will need King and Ford to step up in extended playing time this season. The return of back-up point guard Trevor Anderson will help as well after he suffered a season-ending injury just eight games into last year. Ohio State transfer Micah Potter could be an X-factor for the Badgers this year. Potter played in 59 games at Ohio State but averaged just 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game over two seasons. Potter has potential as a big man that can stretch the floor with his shooting and could fit nicely into Wisconsin’s offense. Lastly, true freshman Tyler Wahl is a three-star recruit that will be asked to immediately play a role at Wisconsin. The Badgers have a history of redshirting their freshmen, and their choice to play Wahl right away speaks to their thin roster depth along with their belief in Wahl’s potential. Wisconsin has been a bit up and down since Bo Ryan retired, and the loss of Ethan Happ should be Greg Gard’s biggest challenge yet. However, Wisconsin is still an experienced team that should be right back towards the top of the Big Ten this year.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.6 (276th in nation, 12th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.7 (9, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (146, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (15, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (240, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.9 (105, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.8 (332, 13)
Rebound Margin: -0.3 (208, 11)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (236, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.6 (7, 3)