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2020-2021 basketball player reviews: Tyler Wahl

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The sophomore Swiss army knife had a solid second season for the Badgers.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Wisconsin at Baylor Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Tyler Wahl
Position: forward
Class: sophomore
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 220 pounds
Hometown: Lakeville, Minn.

Season stats: 5.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 43.6 FG/27.8 3P/56.7 FT

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Wisconsin at Baylor Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Season in review: Like many of the Badgers who played regular minutes this past season, Tyler Wahl’s campaign can best be described as “uneven.” He began the year coming off the bench but was inserted into the starting lineup at Rutgers on Jan. 15 and started the final 18 games of the season. Right around the Rutgers game, Wahl was shooting the three ball better than he ever had, hitting 5-of-6 over a four game span and offering a glimpse of a more diverse offensive player than he actually was.

He finished the season shooting a dreadful 27.8% from deep, making only one three pointer total in UW’s last 10 games and having five such games where he didn’t even attempt one. While Wahl certainly needs to improve his three point shooting, he doesn’t need to be Ben Brust or anything. Wahl provides a lot of value on the offensive end despite his poor shooting.

Wahl is athletic enough to get to the rim against most defenders and once there he just needs to work on finishing a little better. A positive for Wahl’s offensive development is that his shooting percentages went up in all three categories. He also sports a low usage rate and an improving free throw rate which makes him valuable as a guy who can “get his” without having plays run for him. With a real offseason of training and practice, hopefully he can continue on the upwards shooting path.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

On defense, Wahl is a menace. He has impressive steal and block rates and he is also able to get into passing lines and deflect balls too. He’s quick enough to stay with guards on switches and long enough to guard bigs in the post as well. Wahl is easily Wisconsin’s most versatile defender and should continue to be an asset on that side of the floor for the rest of his career.

With all of the players that are leaving the team from this year’s squad, there are going to be plenty of shots and minutes to go around. An improved shooting Tyler Wahl would really make the transition from veteran team to young team much more smooth.