As the 2022 Wisconsin Badgers soar above and beyond expectations, it’s a good time to look at how this team has changed and improved from the squad of a year ago.

The 2021 Badgers finished the regular season with a record of 18-13, going 10-10 in the Big Ten and losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament to Baylor, who ended up winning the NCAA championship.

The Badgers’ team was led by senior point guard D’Mitrik Trice, who averaged 13 points, three rebounds and four assists per game. Trice ended his career with the Badgers as a two-time third-team All-Big Ten selection, providing Wisconsin a consistent and reliable ball-handler to run the point.

Upon completion of his tenure at UW, Trice signed to play overseas in France with FOS Provence Basket of the LNB Pro A league. He played one season, averaging five points, an assist and a rebound per game before signing with Śląsk Wrocław of the Polish Basketball League, where he is yet to play in a game. Trice will continue to look to build upon his international basketball career and find a team where he is able to play at a high level.

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The Badgers took a hit after the 2020-21 season in terms of their big men, losing important pieces in Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter. Potter averaged 13 points, five rebounds and two assists per game, while Reuvers put up six points, three rebounds and an assist.

Potter was a huge part of the team, providing great size and an inside scoring touch that the 2022 team could surely use. He ended up undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft, but he later signed with the Miami Heat for the summer league and signed a G-League contract with the affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Potter played very well in the G-League, averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per game. His performance earned him a 10-day contract with the Detroit Pistons earlier this NBA season, but his contract was not renewed after it expired. Potter is still looking to be signed out of the G-League, and his performance certainly shows signs of hope.

Reuvers finished his college career and moved onto a team in the Croatian League called Cibona, who also play in the ABA league.

Another big loss for the Badgers entering the 2022 season was forward Aleem Ford, who averaged nine points and five rebounds per game. Ford was a consistent piece for this Badgers squad, starting every game of the 2021 season. His play steadily improved during his time in Madison and has continued to improve since his departure.

Ford was drafted first overall in the Puerto Rican Baloncesto Superior Nacional to a team called Leones de Ponce. He’s now playing for the Lakeland Magic of the NBA G-League, the Orlando Magic affiliate. He signed a 10-day contract with the Orlando Magic in December and played in one game, scoring two points. Similar to Potter, Ford got a big opportunity to play in the NBA as a result of strict COVID protocols.

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Finally, the kids who never left. Junior forward Tyler Wahl and senior guard Brad Davison are both contributors from 2021 still on the team, and they’re both playing better than ever.

Wahl is averaging 12 points and four-point-five assists per game — now the team’s biggest inside scoring threat. Despite being relatively undersized for a big man, Wahl plays up to the role and consistently finds a way to get buckets in the paint. It’s impossible to measure how important Wahl is to this team, as he brings a style of play no other player brings.

Davison is proving he made the right decision to stay with Wisconsin for another year, averaging 11 points and four assists. The energy Davison brings to the floor every game is unmatched, and his maturity and experience help provide leadership to a relatively young new squad. He’s also a big-shot player, consistently hitting important late-game buckets when the team needs him most.

The 2021 Badgers weren’t the best team in college basketball, but they had a lot of talent on the roster and it’s beginning to show now. With multiple players in the G-League and others in Europe continuing to improve their game, the future seems to be bright for the Badgers — no matter where their paths might take them.