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Wisconsin basketball returning player profile: D’Mitrik Trice

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The senior point guard is back for one more season running the Badgers offense.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Indiana Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

While the official start date of the 2020-2021 college basketball season is still up for discussion, we here at Bucky’s 5th Quarter are champing at the bit for hoops to start and have decided to get our returning player profile series going again. Over the next two weeks we will profile all of the returning players and then the week after that we will profile all of the incoming freshmen on the team.

The next player up for the defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers is floor general D’Mitrik Trice.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 01 Minnesota at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Position: point guard

Height: 6-foot-0

Year: redshirt senior

Hometown: Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne High School, post grad year at IMG Academy)

Recruiting info: class of 2016; 3-star point guard by 247 Composite (No. 333 nationally, No. 69 PG, No. 20 in Ohio); offers from Akron, Cleveland State, DePaul, Miami (Ohio), Ohio State, Toledo and Vanderbilt

2019-20 statistics: 31 games played (31 starts), 104-of-274 (56-of-149 from three), 305 points (9.8 ppg), 125 rebounds (4.0 rpg), 131 assists (4.2 apg), 24 steals, 4 blocks, 24 turnovers

Career statistics: 112 games played (77 starts), 342-of-896 (182-of-475 from three), 1,000 points (8.9 ppg), 308 rebounds (2.8 rpg), 307 assists (2.7 apg), 80 steals, nine blocks, 53 turnovers

Player overview: Trice was a two-sport star in Ohio, quarterbacking the Wayne football team to the state title in 2014 and then, as the point guard, quarterbacking the basketball team to the 2015 state title later that school year. Trice was named MVP of the state championship game after scoring 19 points. He finished his career as the school’s all-time assist leader (499) and tallied a record of 73-14 over his four years there.

After graduating, he took a post-grad year at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game there and drew the attention of a couple of Power 5 schools, most notably Wisconsin and Vanderbilt. Upon visiting Madison late in the recruiting process, he and IMG teammate Aleem Ford chose to commit to Wisconsin as the only members of the 2016 class.

If you pay as much attention to recruiting as some do you may remember that Trice was not Wisconsin’s first choice at lead guard. Payton Pritchard (Oregon) and Zavier Simpson (Michigan) were tops on UW’s list but chose to go elsewhere, however Wisconsin has to be pleased with how Trice’s career has gone so far.

His first season on campus Trice usurped the backup point guard role from Jordan Hill (who ended up transferring) and filled in admirably whenever Bronson Koenig needed a rest or got in foul trouble. As a true freshman he led the team and ranked ninth in the Big Ten shooting 41.8% (38-91) from three-point range. He suffered a foot injury 10 games into his sophomore season and missed the rest of the year and, wouldn’t you know it, the Badgers missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in basically forever since true freshman Brad Davison had to assume point guard duties.

His past two seasons have seen him earn B1G Honorable mention and Third Team All-B1G while helping Wisconsin get back to the NCAA Tournament two years ago and win a share of the B1G regular season title last year. He also became the 44th Badger in UW history to earn 1,000 career points in UW’s Big Ten title-clinching victory at Indiana on the last day of the season last year.

Trice is a streaky shooter who can get so hot that he’ll be ranked in the top-10 in the nation in three point percentage but with great streakiness comes, uh, great missing threes sometimes too. He is a heady passer and his assist rate sky-rocketed to 27.2% last year which was good for No. 132 in the country. Trice has also turned into a good rebounder for his size/position.

Turnovers and the occasional poor shot choice still rear their ugly heads from time to time with Trice, but he has been a leader on the team (especially last year after Kobe King left) and will be looking to end his senior year with a deep NCAA Tournament run.

Role on 2020-21 team: His role on the team will be the same as it has been. Lead the offense, hit threes, get the big men in position to score and play tough defense on opposing lead guards.