Basketball

Thinking back to the 2021 squad, where are they now? The Badger Herald

Thinking back to the 2021 squad, where are they now?  The Badger Herald

As the 2022 Wisconsin Badgers exceed expectations, it’s a good time to see how this team has changed and improved from the team a year ago.

The 2021 Badgers finished the regular season with an 18-13 record, going 10-10 in the Big Ten and losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Baylor, who ended up winning the NCAA Championship.

The Badgers team was led by senior point guard D’Mitrik Trice, who averaged 13 points, three rebounds and four assists per game. Trice ended his career with the Badgers as the third-All-Big Ten team selection, providing Wisconsin with a consistent and reliable ball handler to run the point.

At the end of his tenure at the UW, Trice signed to play abroad in France with FOS Provence Basket of the LNB Pro A league. He played one season, averaging five points, one assist and one rebound per game before signing with Śląsk Wrocław of the Polish Basketball League, where he has yet to play in a game. Trice will continue to look to build on his international basketball career and find a team where he is able to play at a high level.

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The Badgers took a hit after the 2020-21 season when it came to their big men, losing significant pieces to Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter. Potter averaged 13 points, five rebounds and two assists per game, while Reuvers had six points, three rebounds and one assist.

Potter was an important part of the team, providing great size and an inside scoring touch that the 2022 squad could surely use. He went undrafted in the 2021 NBA draft, but then signed with the Miami Heat for the summer league and signed a G-League contract with affiliate Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Potter has played very well in the G-League, averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per game. His performance earned him a 10-day contract with the Detroit Pistons earlier this NBA season, but his contract was not renewed after it expired. Potter is still looking to retire from the G-League, and his performance certainly shows signs of hope.

Reuvers finished his college career and joined a Croatian League team called Cibona, which also plays in the ABA league.

Another big loss for the Badgers at the start of the 2022 season was forward Aleem Ford, who averaged nine points and five rebounds per game. Ford was a constant piece for this Badgers team, starting every game of the 2021 season. His game steadily improved during his time at Madison and hasn’t stopped improving since he left.

Ford was drafted first overall from the Puerto Rican Baloncesto Superior Nacional in a team called Leones de Ponce. He now plays for the Lakeland Magic of the NBA G-League, the Orlando Magic affiliate. He signed a 10-day contract with the Orlando Magic in December and played in one game, scoring two points. Similar to Potter, Ford had a great opportunity to play in the NBA thanks to strict COVID protocols.

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Finally, the children who never left. Junior forward Tyler Wahl and senior guard Brad Davison are both 2021 contributors still on the team, and they’re both playing better than ever.

Wahl is averaging 12 points and four point five assists per game – now the biggest inside scoring threat on the team. Although relatively undersized for a big man, Wahl plays the role and constantly finds a way to get buckets in the paint. It’s impossible to measure how important Wahl is to this team because he brings a style of play that no other player brings.

Davison is proving he made the right decision to stay with Wisconsin for another year, averaging 11 points and four assists. The energy Davison brings to every game is unmatched, and his maturity and experience helps lead a new, relatively young team. He’s also a big player, consistently hitting big shots late in the game when the team needs him the most.

The 2021 Badgers weren’t the best team in college basketball, but they had a lot of talent on the roster and it’s starting to show now. With several players in the G-League and others in Europe continuing to up their game, the future looks bright for the Badgers no matter where their paths may take them.