The return of Trice and King
The injuries to guards D’Mitrik Trice and Kobe King played a large role in Wisconsin’s misfortunes last season.
Trice was expected to be the team’s starting point guard but suffered a foot injury at the beginning of the season that forced him to miss Wisconsin’s final 23 games. Prior to the injury, he was averaging 9.4 points, 2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 31.5 minutes per game. Once he went down, the Badgers desperately missed his leadership, ball-handling, and three-point shooting.
In his absence, Greg Gard was forced to pretty much exclusively use Brad Davison at the point, even though he only had one good arm for the majority of the season. The situation was so dire that walk-on true freshman Walt McGrory was used at times to spell Davison as the primary ball-handler.
Now that he’s healthy, Trice is poised to pick up where he left off last season and once again assume the role of this team’s floor general, which means Gard is now free to play Davison at the 2, his more natural position. His return should be a tremendous boon to the success of Wisconsin’s offensive attack.
The loss of King was also a major blow to the Badgers last season, as he was going to be a key piece in Wisconsin’s backcourt. He was really coming into his own and showing considerable promise before suffering a knee injury that cost him all but 10 games of his true freshman season. Luckily, King was granted a medical hardship waiver and will still have four more years of eligibility remaining.
He will most likely start the season as a reserve, and it may take him a bit longer to get up to speed since he was just cleared to resume playing in June, but it would not be shocking to see him play his way into a starting role at some point down the line. The 6’4 guard offers a combination of a versatile scoring arsenal and high-end athleticism that is unique on this roster and has always been seen as one of the Badgers with the highest upside ever since joining the program. At the very least, King should offer a nice scoring punch off the bench.