For the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2019-20 season, big changes will be forthcoming.
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 players 1-15 based on our respective point of views (criteria we laid out on Friday morning). We revealed No. 5 through No. 3 already in the past few days, and now we get to the top two on our list.
This was extremely close between two class of 2017 signees, but the in-state guard from La Crosse, Wis. comes in slightly below the top spot on B5Q’s “Badgers to watch” list for the 2019-20 season.
- 34 games, one start
- 4.2 points per game; 2.1 rebounds per game; 0.5 assists per game
- Shot 44.7% from the field, 30.6% from three-point range
- 66.5% free throw shooter
- Career-high 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, 3-of-5 from three-point range, in win against Oklahoma in Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament on Nov. 22; Scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting in loss to Michigan State in Big Ten Tournament on Mar. 16
Why B5Q ranked him at No. 2
Once again, our writers came together in our roundtable format—this time to discuss King’s place on the list. Answers are lightly edited for clarity.
Jake Kocorowski: We’re at our top 2 in the B5Q player to watch countdown, presented by [insert your business here for $$$]. It was almost a tie for who would top our list, but King is No. 2. The would-be redshirt sophomore showed flashes in 2018-19, and now with another season behind him after suffering his broken patella, he could show even more potential.
Owen Riese: He’s the only guy on the roster who’s able to create his own shot by his athleticism.
Ryan Mellenthin: Agreed.
Kevin O’Connell: King is going to be desperately needed as a scorer to replace Happ’s offensive production. He has all the tools to go to the next level next season.
Drew Hamm: Yes, I’d like to watch him play basketball.
Jake: Three of us (Neal, Ryan, myself) ranked him at No. 1, Drew and Owen rated him at No. 2, while Kevin had him at No. 3 in our respective individual lists. We all believe he is one of the players to watch next year.
It really goes back to head coach Greg Gard calling him a three-level scorer at the beginning of the season. We saw it in glimpses throughout the season but it was never fully sustained.
Ryan: You could tell he was going to turn into something, once he started to play more aggressively as the season progressed. We haven’t had someone that offensively minded in a bit.
Kevin: I’d love to see King start and play 30-plus minutes next season. I don’t know if that’s Gard’s plan but he needs to be on the court and play through some mistakes.
Neal: Not sure this is good or bad, but King seems to have taken the “all the players say he’s really, really good and should do more” mantle from Brevin Pritzl.
Kevin: A three-guard lineup of King, D’Mitrik Trice, and Brad Davison has the potential to carry this team.
Drew: King has so much potential to be a force in the B1G and I really want to see him reach it. He just needs to be more involved in the offense. His percentage of possessions used was eighth on the team. With Happ, Thomas, and Iverson gone he already moves up to fifth.
Ryan: And he led all reserves in minutes.
Kevin: The Badgers will have to replace 14 shots a game with the loss of Happ, you have to think King puts up six or seven more shots a game than he did a year ago.
Ryan: The first half of the Big Ten semifinal against Michigan State was an indication of what UW has in him. Got off to a hot start, worked inside, finished in the paint.
Neal: Agreed Drew, he has the most untapped potential of anyone on the roster. Everyone has some area they could improve, but King is just a ball of talent we have no idea about. It flashes for a series or two and then it’s gone again.