Wisconsin Basketball: Injury opens the door for Tai Strickland

Wisconsin Basketball guard Trevor Anderson will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury making way for true freshman Tai Strickland.

The story of Wisconsin Basketball point guard Trevor Anderson is far from complete. The former high school standout from Stevens Point began his college career at UW-Green Bay before he transferred last year to Madison. Due to NCAA transfer rules Anderson had to sit out last year and redshirt. His role on the team this year has been small, but he made the most of it. Now he will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Against NC State he scored five points in nine minutes, and against Iowa, he scored only once in three minutes before the injury occurred that ultimately ended his season. Anderson came into the game in big moments against tough opponents. He was trusted to give the Badgers quality minutes of sound basketball while the starting guards rested. As good as D’Mitrik Trice has played this year at the point, he can’t play all 40 minutes.

Anderson’s play wasn’t going to win Wisconsin many games this year but he was going to be counted on to not lose any games. Now that challenge gets passed on to Tai Strickland, the next guard in the lineup.

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Badger of Honor is very familiar with Strickland thanks to the exclusive interview he gave us shortly after his commitment. Strickland has seen only a handful of minutes this year as he’s been behind Anderson on the depth chart but he has been active in the time he’s seen the court. He’s going to be picking up a bigger responsibility moving forward.

Strickland and Anderson are completely different players for many reasons. Their play styles differ greatly and the gap in experience between the two is massive. Strickland was in high school last season while Anderson already had a year of division one basketball under his belt and was learning the Wisconsin system as a redshirt.

With all that being said, Strickland has a chance to take Anderson’s role and elevate it to new levels. Strickland can be more aggressive on defense and more aggressive attacking the paint on offense. He isn’t as good of a shooter as Anderson and may take less disciplined shots, but he adds a new dynamic to the team that Wisconsin hasn’t always had in recent years.

At the end of the day, the few minutes that Strickland gets from Anderson aren’t going to be minutes where Strickland has to win the game. Again, it’ll just be up Strickland to not lose the game in those few minutes while the starters rest. Either hold the lead or keep the deficit within reach. Quality play within the culture is what will be necessary.

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If Strickland can provide he’ll give himself a great chance to earn more minutes as conference play continues in the new year and set himself up for a nice role next year.

In Wisconsin’s five-point loss to Marquette Saturday, Strickland logged three minutes with no stats.

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