Tyler Wahl has encountered an up-and-down senior season with the Wisconsin Badgers, marred primarily by an ankle injury that cost him several games during the middle of the season, which took a while to get back to 100%.
However, he’s grown as a leader, both on and off the court, and is prepared for the final stretch of this season, starting with the Purdue Boilermakers on Thursday, which is Wisconsin’s second game before the Big 10 tournament.
But, Wahl also has tough decisions to make, as he has the option to return for a fifth season at Wisconsin and attend graduate school next year, as he will be graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree.
Could that question about a fifth season stem to other potential schools as a transfer?
Not in Wahl’s case, who made it firmly clear that he will either remain at Wisconsin or move forward at the end of the season.
“My heart and soul is here,” he said. “This has always been my dream school. I don’t think there’d ever be a reason for me to change schools and transfer.”
Still, the decision to return for a fifth season is a difficult choice for Wahl, who hasn’t thought that far ahead yet, as he’s instead taking his situation game-by-game to make the most of his senior season.
“We still got a lot of playing left to do, hopefully. So, I’m going to take it game by game. My focus right now is Thursday,” Wahl said. “That kind of whether or not to come back, what kind of effect, it’s a whole lot. I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it too much. My focus has been: I’m just trying to win these games, come in here, give my best every day I practice [and] be a good teammate.”
While this season hasn't gone as well as previous years, Wahl has cherished the memories that have come with his career at Wisconsin, both on and off the court.
“[Wisconsin] was my dream school growing up and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Wahl said. “The way these last four years have gone, I’ve met a lot of my best friends. We’ve had a great time.”
Wahl’s favorite memory of his Wisconsin career? Coincidentally, it was last year’s game against Purdue, which makes a full circle, as the Boilermakers may be Wahl’s last opponent at the Kohl Center.
It’s got to be Purdue last year when they came in here. That’s got to be my number one [memory] so far. And, so we get to get a crack at them again here on Thursday.”
With Chucky Hepburn’s status unknown for Thursday, Wahl will have to take a bigger role on both sides of the floor in what could be his final home game as a Badger.
Regardless, the forward has enjoyed a nice career, seeing time as a freshman and growing into an integral piece and leader as a senior.