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Wisconsin basketball: 2019-20 backcourt preview

What will the backcourt look like for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team this year?

Wisconsin v Indiana


Position group members:

  • D’Mitrik Trice, junior, point guard, 11.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 39% from three
  • Brad Davison, junior, shooting guard, 10.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, one billion charges taken (Editor’s note: we already fact checked this, so don’t even bother)
  • Brevin Pritzl, senior, shooting guard, 4.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, .5 apg, 41% from three
  • Trevor Anderson, junior, point guard, 1.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg, missed 26 games with a knee injury
  • Walt McGrory, junior, point guard, .5 ppg. .2 rpg, 6-foot-3 walk-on from Minneapolis
  • Michael Ballard, junior, shooting guard, .2 ppg, .3 rpg, 6-foot-4 walk-on from Illinois
  • Carter Higginbottom, redshirt freshman, point guard, 6-foot walk-on from Chicago, Illinois

Projected guard depth

Rotation spot Point guard Shooting guard
Rotation spot Point guard Shooting guard
Starter D'Mitrik Trice Brad Davison
First off bench Trevor Anderson Brevin Pritzl
Depth Walt McGrory, Carter Higginbottom Michael Ballard

Breakout candidate: D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison are both fairly refined products at this juncture. Brevin Pritzl is now the elder statesmen of the group as a fifth-year senior, and he should see increased minutes this year with Khalil Iverson now graduated and out of the rotation.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Gard has vehemently asked Pritzl to be more aggressive in hunting his shot, something that the offense will desperately need with the absence of Ethan Happ. Pritzl is the best pure shooter on the team. This is his chance to go out with a bang. (Trevor Anderson is an honorable mention selection here).

Key player: I think that Brad Davison is the key player to keep an eye on this year. After a stellar freshman year where he battled myriad injuries, Davison struggled at times last season with his shooting stroke. I have a good feeling about what Trice will bring to the Wisconsin offense. Davison is more of a wildcard. If Davison is able to be a more consistent shooter the Badger offense will benefit in a big way.

Overview of position group: D’Mitrik Trice has steadily improved over the past couple of seasons. He only averaged 11.6 points per game last season but he will be tasked with increasing his scoring production with Ethan Happ no longer in the fold. Trice is a great leader, solid ball handler and has improved his shooting stroke. He shot the ball extremely well for the first half of last season, but tapered out as the season progressed. Trice will likely lead the team in minutes played this season because of his leadership and scoring abilities.

The starter next to Trice, Brad Davison, is poised for an improved season. Davison struggled to find his shot last year, but he is a heady defender and can spark the team with his hustle. Both players can handle the ball, and will each be asked to play the majority of minutes in the backcourt.

Behind them, Brevin Pritzl is primarily a shooter, but he showed tremendous grit last season. The senior is a good rebounder and will be a key piece in the guard rotation. Kobe King can bounce between the guard and forward positions, so he will be another player to watch.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Anderson is the primary backup point guard. Returning from a knee injury that took away the majority of his season, Anderson will likely earn increased minutes as the year progresses. Once fully healthy, Anderson will be another solid role player to spell Trice and Davison.