MADISON — All five of Wisconsin’s starters scored in double digits to push the Badgers to an 83-52 win over UW-La Crosse in exhibition action Friday night at the Kohl Center.
Player of the Game: Kobe King
One of two new starters for Wisconsin this year, King made his presence felt. He filled up the box score with 14 points to go along with team-highs in rebounds (8) and assists (5). The sophomore was the most athletic player on the floor for either team and constantly got in the lane. All but one of his six baskets came inside the 3-point line.
The good: Balanced scoring
All five of Wisconsin’s starters scored in double figures, with junior Nate Reuvers leading things with 15 points. He had a pair of 3-pointers, including an impressive step-back jumper early in the game. Junior Brad Davison had 13 points, junior Aleem Ford finished with 12 and junior D’Mitrik Trice had 10.
The not so good: The free throw shooting
Most thought that with Ethan Happ exiting the scene that the Badgers would see a significant jump in their free throw shooting. It’s just one game — and not even one that counts — but the early returns were not positive. Wisconsin went just 13 of 26 from the free throw line and missed the front end of the 1-and-1 five times.
The lone scholarship member of Wisconsin’s 2019 recruiting class made his debut. He was as advertised, making plays on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-7 Wahl led the Badgers off the bench with seven points, while also adding seven rebounds, two assists, five blocks and a steal. His night earned the approval of one former Badgers legend.
I’m a big fan of Tyler Wahl’s game
— Zak Showalter (@ZShowbball333) November 2, 2019
Video of the Game:
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) November 2, 2019
What they said:
The Micah Potter situation has moved to the next step, according to coach Greg Gard. The Badgers junior forward had his eligibility waiver to be cleared to play this semester denied twice by the NCAA. Wisconsin put in a request for reconsideration last week and Gard said they got a no back on that, though he could not divulge the NCAA’s rationale for it.
However, Gard did say they have now requested a telephone conference with the NCAA’s Legislative Relief Committee. The goal, according to Gard, is to allow Potter to verbally state his case directly to the individual committee members. He said it’s up to the chair of the seven person committee as to whether they’ll even grant the conference, but it’s the next step in the process that continues to baffle those involved.
“We’re in a day and age where they are changing so much for student-athlete welfare. This is a very simple thing. This last week, the NCAA did a lot with name, image and likeness. The problem is, that’s not really going to come to surface for two to three years. That’s going to be in court and volleyball-ed all over the place. Micah Potter’s got 18-months left in his college career. The hands of time, so to speak, are ticking. I don’t feel it’s right to have him continue to wait when the timeline anyway is such a small window that these young men have to play. They’ve got eight semesters to compete. He’s already sat out a whole year. If he gets one taken away, he loses 1/8th of his whole career.”
Listen to Greg Gard’s full comments on Potter’s status:
In Case You Missed It:
— Davison took a hard fall in the second half and came up holding his left half. After making a free throw, he left the game and went back to the locker room for treatment. He eventually came back to the bench with two fingers on his left hand taped up and then reentered the game.
— Trevor Anderson tore the ACL in his right knee just 11 months ago, but the junior guard was a nice spark off the bench on Friday. He had five points in 14 minutes, including a 3-pointer. When he would come out of the game, Anderson headed over to a stationary bike to keep loose.
Wisconsin (0-0) will travel to South Dakota to take on St. Mary’s (0-0) in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday.