10 Burning Questions About Wisconsin Basketball

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Mar 14, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Gophers guard Maverick Ahanmsi (13) has his shot blocked by Wisconsin Badgers forward Nigel Hayes (10) in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Does Wisconsin have a rim protector, and if not, can Wisconsin’s defense still be effective without one?

Every year, the Badgers defense is based on not giving up open threes, and instead, funneling drivers into the middle of the paint where a 7-footer, like Frank Kaminsky or Jared Berggren would be waiting to contest it. That was why when Kaminsky didn’t play versus Rutgers last year, the Scarlet Knight ‘s guards were able to score at will at the rim, leading to the upset.

Vitto Brown has decent athleticism, but it’s hard to envision him as a consistent shot blocker, given that he is undersized for a center. Charlie Thomas also could prove to be a good rim protector if he gets enough playing time. He has solid length and hops. But hopefully, Bo Ryan has a Plan B, because the Badgers play some very quick and skilled guards this season. If they don’t have someone to protect the paint, they can’t continue to funnel drivers to the middle of the paint.

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