Big Ten Preseason
Wisconsin is the team that should change most from last season with regard to offensive vs. defense. We’ve projected Wisconsin’s offense to improve by about 6% while their defense worsens by even more. With the mean quality of the Big Ten’s top half down in 2013-14, the Badgers should be able to fight for third place.
Last year’s seniors: Ryan Evans, Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewicz
Evans is a part of both the better offense and worse defense projected. He took a lot of shots for Wisconsin, but was a bad shooter. On the flip side, he was a very good defender and great on the defensive glass for his size (6’6”) or really any size for that matter.
Berggren was miserable from behind the 3-point line last year, but the 6’10” big was a great player in most other areas. They’ll miss him a lot.
Bruesewicz had his final year derailed by injury early on, but his hustle, defense and rebounding will be missed.
The true freshman put up some nice numbers a year ago, but his minutes weren’t high. We think he can put up similar numbers from an efficiency standpoint this season, but will be on the floor a lot more. We think he’d probably be just fine at a usage of around 24-25% as well (he was just under 22% in 2013-14). Legit.
Between Frank Kaminsky and others – including freshmen, especially Nigel Hayes – Bo Ryan may be able to lessen the hurt of the departure of last year’s seniors.
- Ben Brust is a great shooter, a smart player and a senior. His usage may tick up 1 or 2%, but much more and we’d be concerned with the impact on his efficiency.
- Josh Gasser posted an ORtg of 118 as a sophomore before missing last season with an ACL injury. The redshirt junior is back and able to play any guard position. He’s not a big usage guy, but he’s a tough, solid all-around player who can shoot.
- Traevon Jackson put together several solid performances and should be able to improve on his shooting and turnovers.
Wisconsin shot just 33.0% from 3-point range last season. That’s less than 1% lower than the NCAA D-I average, but you can go back to every season for the past decade and won’t find a worse 3FG% Badger team.
If we exclude the previously mentioned 3 graduated seniors from last year’s stats, the remaining Badgers shot 36.1%. They also get back Gasser who knocked down 42 of 93 for 45.2% in 2011-12.
Accordingly, we’re projecting a healthy increase in the team’s eFG% this season.
Defensively we see challenges in all areas except turnover rate (Def TO% for Wisconsin is also weak).