For the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2019-20 season, big changes will be forthcoming with the losses of Ethan Happ and Khalil Iverson. Looking ahead to the future, B5Q writers asked ourselves, “Who should be the players to watch for next season?”
Six of us sat down to discuss and rank the returning/incoming 2019-20 players 1-15 based on our respective point of views (criteria we laid out on Friday morning). We will reveal and break down our top five from No. 5 to No. 1 in the coming days.
No. 4 on B5Q’s “Badgers to watch” list exploded early on during last season with some hot shooting from deep and scoring in double figures in 12 of the first 13 games. However, he cooled off later on during the year.
Heading into 2019-20, D’Mitrik Trice will be a leader on and off the court, and a renewed shooting touch could be key to Wisconsin’s success.
5. Brad Davison
4. D’Mitrik Trice
- 11.6 points per game (second on team), 2.8 rebounds per game, 2.6 assists per game
- Shot 38.4% from the field, 39.0% from three-point range (second on team)
- 75.0% free throw shooter
- Scored career-high 25 points (including hitting a career-high seven three-pointers) in win against Oklahoma in Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament on Nov. 22; 22 points in road win at Xavier on Nov. 13, 20 points in road win at Iowa on Nov. 30; 18 points in home win against Northwestern on Jan. 26
Why B5Q ranked him at No. 4
Jake Kocorowski: Coming in at No. 4 on B5Q’s players to watch list for the 2019-20 season is Trice, who will enter his fourth year in the program. The rising redshirt junior started off hot from three-point range but cooled off towards the end of last season.
First off, gentlemen, can we confirm the D’MITRIK THRIC3 [insert 3s instead of Es depending upon how many he hits] is still cool to do when covering games?
Owen Riese: Eh, depends on the mood of the game tbh.
Ryan Mellenthin: I say, 100% every time.
Drew: D’Mitrik Tric33333 is a big mood imo.
Neal Olson: Agreed, all the time everytime.
Jake: Love it. So Neal, you placed him at No. 3 on your list. What makes Trice rated that high in your opinion for next season?
Drew: That’s N333al to you, Jake.
Neal: Touché, Drew.
Jake: If I ever make a rec league three, Ryan, you damn well better know I’m putting that on the back of my jersey.
Drew: Since I got this whole chat off track, allow me to try and get it back on track. Trice is important to watch because he’s the point guard. That is the most important position on almost every team in the country.
Ryan: It will shift back to being the most important on the team, now that UW’s center is gone.
Jake: And you also had him at No. 7, Drew, the lowest out of any of us. ::dramatic chipmunk stare::
Drew: Allow me to clarify. ::adjust collar and clears throat then runs away::
Neal: As it relates to Trice, I think a few factors go into that rating. First of all, the injury two seasons ago really affected his development. So much of his game relies on short burst quickness and guys of that style either play wild and out of control for the entirety of their careers or they figure out how to change pace and really take it to the next level. Trice missed an entire season of that development. Which isn’t to say he will get there, but it takes a lot of live game reps.
Kevin O’Connell: Trice is the guy I trust most with the ball in his hands now that Happ has graduated
Ryan: Same here.
Drew: I do think Trice is important, very important even, but I don’t think he’s one to watch. I think we know what Wisconsin has got with him. I hope I am wrong.
Ryan: He seemed to have the clutch gene a lot in 2018-19.
Neal: In contrast, look at Tai Strickland when he got in. It was 1000 miles per hour. Adjusting the speed and figuring out when to pick spots as a point guard is one of the biggest keys of the position.
Kevin: Trice had only four games last year with more than two turnovers, pretty incredible considering how many minutes he played.
Jake: I thought Tai could have been an intriguing player in a year or two honestly, but I digress.
Ryan: *stares out window watching the rain, longingly missing Tai*
Drew: OMG, everyone needs to get over Tai Strickland. ::goes back to writing fan fiction on how good the Sixers would be if they hadn’t traded Nikola Vucevic::
Jake: ::Drew in Mean Girls voice:: Stop making Tai Strickland a thing.
Ryan: Allow us time to grieve!
Neal: Agreed on Tai. Jake, but he was a bit of an outlier to begin with in coming here. Always seemed a strained fit.
Kevin: I think Trice could benefit from a more free flowing and perimeter oriented offense without Happ next season.
Ryan: I think he will benefit more, too. Everything was Happ-centric, now the offense can open up more.
Neal: Trice will no doubt be the guy with the ball in his hands at the end of the shot clock. The Badgers’ success will in large part be determined on how good Trice is at creating quality looks in those situations. That little running floater he started experimenting with in the second half of the season will be a nice addition. He can get that shot of against most Big Ten guards but as of this year he couldn’t make it. So his No. 3 rating comes with an expectation of getting shots like that down.
Jake: We all knew Trice would regress to the mean to an extent—you’re not going to shoot 60 percent from three all season. I feel he will bring leadership on and off the court. If he can be more consistent with the shot, it’ll be a big boost for the team next year.