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.
Today we highlight Tyler Wahl from the defending Big Ten Champion Wisconsin Badgers.
Hometown: Lakeville, Minn. (Lakeville North High School)
Recruiting info: class of 2019, three-star small forward by both 247 Sports and Rivals; offers from Butler, Colorado State, Drake, Iowa State, Marshall, Minnesota, Northern Iowa, and Northwestern to name a few.
2019-20 statistics: 31 games played, averaged 15.5 minutes per game, 2.6 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, and tallied 20 total steals.
Career statistics: 31 games played, averaged 15.5 minutes per game, 2.6 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, and tallied 20 total steals.
Player overview: After a wildly successful high school career that included two seasons as a second-team All-State selection, Tyler Wahl finished with the school record in rebounds and followed his former Lakeville North teammate Nate Reuvers to Wisconsin.
Wahl immediately saw playing time with the Badgers as a true freshman, and his energy on the court was noticeable. While he was not a particularly strong scoring option for Greg Gard, he routinely secured loose balls, offensive rebounds and steals to help the team on both ends of the court.
His shot and overall strength should be improved after a full off-season to prepare, and he is a player that could really take a nice step thanks to development and heightened confidence after being thrown into the fire last season.
Role on 2020-21 team: One of the more versatile pieces that Greg Gard has in his toolkit, Wahl brings a very different skill set to the team than many of his peers in the rotation from last season. While the Badgers return the vast majority of their core group, Wahl is a prime candidate to see an increase in minutes and/or production.
Last season he did not earn as much playing time down the stretch run of the season as he struggled at times with the speed of the game and staying under control offensively, but he has a lot of potential and flashed his abilities frequently last year.
Wahl’s physical development and defensive versatility should allow for the Badgers to rotate the front court with multiple combinations that include himself, Reuvers, Micah Potter and Aleem Ford.
With a mass exodus of senior leaders after the 2020-2021 season, Wahl must continue to round-out his game and provide a spark this season off the bench, because he will be one of the team leaders come 2022.