Ladies and gentlemen, I will provide you with overwhelming evidence of why Greg Gard should be fired as the head coach of Wisconsin basketball. I will prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that he has been ineffective and that the Badgers basketball program would be better off moving forward without Gard at the helm.
Greg Gard’s poor team results
Used to 20-win seasons and a fixture in the NCAA tournament, Coach Gard has not been living up to the standards that Wisconsin fans have been accustomed to. In three of Gard’s seven seasons as head coach, the Badgers have failed to eclipse that 20-win threshold.
In 2017-18, they suffered their first losing season in 20 years with Gard at the helm. Bo Ryan never had a losing season.
Since the 2016-17 season’s Sweet Sixteen appearance, with a squad largely populated with Ryan’s recruits, Wisconsin has failed to make it out of the first weekend in three NCAA tournament appearances.
They even lost in the first round in 2018-19 as a five-seed.
Poor recruiting under Greg Gard
Wisconsin has not recruited and signed a player from the state of Wisconsin since bringing in the Davis brothers in 2020.
In 2021 Patrick Baldwin, Jr, listed by 247 sports as the top high school recruit in the state of Wisconsin, signed with Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The next four chose Iowa State, Illinois, Marquette, and Southern Cal for their destinations.
In 2022, it was more of the same. Seth Trimble went to UNC, and the next three went to Virginia, Miami, and Illinois (Chicago).
How can you expect to be good when you are losing recruits to Illinois (Chicago) and UW-Milwaukee?
This disastrous season
Despite coming out of nowhere and sharing the regular season crown in 2021-22, Wisconsin basketball was picked anywhere from 8th to 12th in the preseason polls.
What does that say about the media’s perception of head coach Greg Gard?
However, the Badgers had us all fooled early on that they were a good team. Wins against Stanford and at Marquette, coupled with an overtime loss to #3 Kansas led us to believe that Gard was doing a fine job at the helm.
Gard’s defenders will have you believe that the injury to Tyler Wahl in the Minnesota game derailed what was becoming a magical season.
Don’t believe the hype.
This is a team that finished 321st, in the country, in field goal percentage and free throw percentage. They finished next-to-last, nationally, in free throws made. 342nd, out of 360 in total rebounds.
Somehow, with these glaring deficiencies in their game, Wisconsin basketball found itself very much in the discussion of getting an NCAA bid headed into the Big Ten conference tournament.
In their opening-round game, Wisconsin came out as flat as uncarbonated soda for the first 30 minutes. Yes, they mounted a heroic comeback, but the point is they shouldn’t have needed to. A good coach should have had them fired up, ready to play for their tournament life as Ohio State’s Chris Holtmann did.
Wisconsin athletic director, Chris McIntosh, has already shown great aplomb in making decisions in his short time in Madison. Firing Paul Chryst and Tony Granato may not have been the easiest of moves, but they were needed. The excitement that was created for the football program in hiring Luke Fickell is undeniable.
Wisconsin basketball deserves the same injection of excitement. Firing Greg Gard would do exactly that.
The prosecution rests.