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Wisconsin men's basketball: Red/White scrimmage recap

What stood out from this year’s Red/White scrimmage Sunday?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 16 Big Ten Conference Tournament - Michigan State v Wisconsin Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After returning to the NCAA tournament last year, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team returns a lot of potential. While practices recently started back up, Greg Gard’s squad played in their annual Red/White scrimmage game for thousands of fans in the Kohl Center.

Here are the takeaways from today’s action:

The standouts

  • Aleem Ford —> The junior forward looks much stronger than a year ago, and he had a solid scrimmage. While he struggled from the field, shooting 1-for-9, he was able to get 11 total points. The lone bucket he scored outside of the free throw line was a pretty spin towards the rim with his back to the basket.
  • Micah Potter —> The junior may not be immediately eligible, but he was the most impressive on the day. He was all over the court, and had a presence about him on both ends. Potter tallied nine points and eight rebounds in only sixteen minutes on the court. He has tremendous size and strength, and also showed the ability to hit from behind the arc as well as in the paint. The transfer will be a big time addition for the Badgers when he is eligible in late December.
  • Brad Davison —> Davison and Potter were probably the only two players to shoot well from the field, as Davison poured in 10 points and five rebounds. While there was very little different in his game, he played well in the scrimmage.

Overall impressions

The Badgers have a strong junior nucleus in Nate Reuvers, Davison, D’Mitrik Trice, Ford and Potter. Those five players each had their moments during the scrimmage, and each should really help bolster the team with Ethan Happ and Khalil Iverson both gone.

Ford, Potter and Greg Gard each told the media after that they were not worried by the shooting struggles. Wisconsin did not force shots, but rather the ball simply wasn’t going down for them. The 15 made field goals came on 55 shots, while the team shot free throws at a much better clip during the scrimmage than a year ago.

Wisconsin will undoubtedly need to shoot much better once the season starts, but the Badgers did a great job on the defensive end. True freshman Tyler Wahl showed the ability to hold his own on defense, as did seven-foot redshirt freshman Joe Hedstrom. Wahl specifically appears ready to compete and help the team right away, and he gives the team some flexibility on switches because of his quickness and length.

Overall the Badgers appear to have a much more open offense than a year ago, and their success will be dependent on players becoming more comfortable in their new roles. The shots will need to fall at a vastly different rate when the season hits, but today was a good look at some of the newcomers for the Badgers.