The new one-time NCAA COVID waiver allows seniors the ability to exercise an additional year of eligibility due to the pandemic if they wish. With that opportunity has come constant questions regarding the futures of the seven seniors on the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team this past season.
With such a senior laden team that previously won a Big Ten regular season title, it’s no wonder that fans and media members alike questioned if any of the players would opt to come back.
Over the past week, following the second round loss to Baylor, many of the seniors have made their intentions known.
First up was point-guard D’Mitrik Trice a few hours after the game on Sunday.
The 6-foot guard put together the best year of his career this past season, averaging nearly 14 points, a shade under 3.5 rebounds, and four assists on a per game basis. For his career he finished with an average of 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists per game while contributing for five seasons in Madison.
Then came walk-on Walt McGrory. The senior guard made the decision to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility, but he he entered the transfer portal with the hopes of greater playing time elsewhere for his final season.
While his decision can be seen as not nearly as impactful as Trice’s, he is currently the only known player that appears intent on utilizing the extra year of eligibility for now.
On the same day as McGrory’s announcement, two other seniors took to social media with a goodbye message.
Both Aleem Ford and Nate Reuvers shared that they would be moving as well.
Ford, like Trice, was a member of the 2016 recruiting class, and was one of the older players on the roster. His decision to forego the extra year did not come as a surprise. This past season he averaged 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and one steal per game. After shooting a stellar 40% from three as a freshman, he was unable to match that output or his career, but was a valuable forward for the Badgers the past four seasons. For his career he averaged 6.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and around an assist per game.
Nate Reuvers was a four-year starter for the Badgers, after burning his redshirt in the early part of the 2018 season and getting the nod in 15 games that year.
Reuvers holds the program record for blocked shots in a career, and averaged 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. While those numbers were lower than his junior campaign, he finished with a career average of 8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in four seasons with the Badgers.
The last announcement shared publicly so far is Micah Potter, who took to social media on Wednesday for his decision.
Of the five players who have shared their plans, senior forward Micah Potter had the briefest career with Wisconsin. After starting his career at Ohio State he spent his final two seasons with the Badgers. He had a tumultuous start to his career due to arbitrary NCAA eligibility requirements for transfers that forced him to miss the start of the 2019-2020 season, but then played phenomenally well as a sixth man.
As a senior he averaged a career best 12.5 points per game, hauled in 5.9 rebounds, and added 1.4 assists per game. Overall he finished his collegiate career averaging 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds between his two stops in Columbus and Madison.
All five players that have already shared their intentions will be sorely missed, and added a great deal to the university over the course of their careers. Guards Brad Davison and Trevor Anderson (Editor’s note: Anderson announced he was entering the transfer portal hours after this post went up.), the last two remaining seniors, have yet to share their plans publicly.