Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball head coach Greg Gard is a successful guy. In three and a half seasons at the helm in Madison he has compiled a record of 80-47 (.630) overall and 45-29 (.608) in the Big Ten and made the NCAA Tournament three times (two Sweet 16 berths). In Bo Ryan’s first four seasons as head coach he went 93-37 (.715) overall and 46-18 (.719) in the Big Ten and made the NCAA Tournament four times (one Sweet 16 and one Elite 8). In Dick Bennet’s first four seasons as head coach he went 69-54 (.561) overall and 31-37 (.456) in the Big Ten and made the NCAA Tournament twice, never making it out of the first round.
Before Bennett, the Badgers made the Tournament, like, once in one million seasons so who cares about that. We here at B5Q, ever the inquisitive types, ran a super-official Twitter poll on your satisfaction with Gard’s performance so far.
Ok, everyone, let's settle this the old fashioned way...via a Twitter dot com poll! With the recent verbal commitments of the Davis brothers: Do you think Greg Gard is doing a good job as the men's basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin?— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) June 17, 2019
It appears, based on this rock solid data, that most of you are at least “kinda” satisfied with how Gard is doing. Outside of the 2017-18 season, Gard has had the Badgers in the top-4 of the conference standings and made the Tournament. He even won the Jim Phelan Award, for most outstanding coach in the nation, in 2016 which leads me to believe that perhaps 16% of you won’t be happy with him until he wins a national title.
There are also concerns with Gard’s recruiting. He missed on the Hauser brothers (one of them twice, lol) and it doesn’t look promising that 2020 stud Jalen Johnson will be staying home and playing in Madison like the Davis twins. But, now that Jordan Davis has been ranked by 247Sports the Badgers sit at No. 6 nationally with their 2020 class. Look, I know that the Badgers won’t finish this high in the recruiting rankings. Only three of the top-50 prospects have verbally committed, so there will obviously be a lot of upheaval once they do. But I don’t think you can scoff at what Gard has done so far this cycle.
In 2019 the Badgers only signed one player out of high school, Tyler Wahl, who has good upside and they also secured a transfer from Ohio State, Micah Potter, that will be able to contribute as soon as he’s eligible. The 2018 class was, to put it succinctly, a disaster with two members transferring already (Taylor Currie to a JUCO and Tai Strickland to Temple) and the third member, Joe Hedstrom, looking like a project.
So, one recruiting class has been bad, one has been ok and one looks to be good (with the potential to be great). There is a positive progression on the recruiting trail at least and I don’t know if the Badgers will ever truly be in the running for a Jalen Johnson or a Patrick Baldwin and fans may just have to learn to deal with that.
Let’s hear it from y’all. What can Greg Gard do to make you happy?