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2020-2021 basketball player reviews: Nate Reuvers

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The senior big man was a lightning rod for criticism this past year. Was it all warranted?

Baylor v Wisconsin Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Name: Nate Reuvers
Position: forward
Class: senior
Height: 6-foot-11
Weight: 235 pounds
Hometown: Lakeville, Minn.

Season stats: 8.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, 1.3 BPG, 42.0% FG/28.6% 3P/78.0% FT

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

Season in review: Nate Reuvers did not have the senior season that anyone envisioned for him. Not you, not me, not him...not anybody. Reuvers was coming off of a third team All-Big Ten season as a junior and while there were many talented big man returning (and entering) to the conference, I think most people thought that third team all-conference was the floor for Reuvers as a senior.

Needless to say that wasn’t the case.

Reuvers started off the season with four straight double figure scoring games. While these were games against lesser competition, he did exactly what he was supposed to do and was one of the best players on the court. He was 6-of-11 from three, he was active on the boards and he was swatting shots. It was basically the perfect encapsulation of what Reuvers could be.

He only went on to score in double figures seven more times on the year and, as you may have noticed above, his three point percentage plummeted and he’d often go WEEKS without making even one three pointer. His defensive rebounding rate was his worst since freshman year although his offensive rebounding rate was his second best of his career.

It is important to look at rates for Reuvers because about halfway through the year he and Micah Potter basically entered a 50/50 split of the “big man” minutes as Greg Gard decided they couldn’t play together (which is another story for another time quite frankly). For instance, Reuvers’ block rate, while lower than his sophomore and junior seasons, was still No. 78 in the country. When he was on the floor, he was a great rim protector. He also rarely turned the ball over, which is a big sticking point for Gard and co.

However, it can’t be denied that overall Reuvers just didn’t have a good enough season for the Badgers. His scoring and shooting were both down while his usage remained fairly high. A brutal combo if ever there was one. His free throw rate was way down from his junior year and he often seemed intimidated to take it at the basket on offense if there was a similarly sized defender there. He fouled too much and was routinely pushed around during Big Ten and NCAA Tournament play.

After the season ended Reuvers put his name in the transfer portal. Is he actually going to play another season of college basketball or did he just do it as a backup plan while searching for an overseas professional gig? Whatever Reuvers ends up doing, whether it be continuing his basketball career or becoming a stocks bro or something...I hope he’s happy and I hope Wisconsin fans (me very much included) remember him for his highs and less for his lows.