Tyler Wahl, Wisconsin senior forward, made it official yesterday when he announced that he will use his COVID-19 year of elligability and return next season. It will be the fifth and final year for the Minnesota native. It was a tough year last year for Wahl, but coming back helps UW in a lot of ways. He’s experienced and will be a good mentor as well. Here are three other reasons this benefits Wisconsin.
A Chance To Bounce Back
It was a not a good season for Tyler Wahl at Wisconsin last season. Before he injured his ankle on Jan. 3 against Minnesota, he was in double figures in all but one game. After he missed two weeks with the injury, he did not score a 20-point game until the regular season finale. I have no doubt he did not want to end his career based on how he ended this season. He now gets a chance to rebound.
Despite Wahl only having an offensive game around the rim, he will now have the chance to develop a jump shot and continue to improve his free throw percentage, which he did at the end of this past season. He’s a good player that probably wasn’t healthy in the last half of the season. We have seen what he can do when healthy, and he’s a potential all-conference player.
Tyler Walh Gives Wisconsin Much-Needed Forward Depth
Wisconsin’s post room was razor thin this season as Greg Gard only played three forwards consistently. While the Badgers need to get a backup center in the portal, having Wahl does help the depth and brings in a ton of experience.
I think the Badgers have pretty good depth between Wahl, Steven Crowl, a transfer center, and Gus Yalden. You could also add in Carter Gilmore. Although, having Wahl at Wisconsin may not leave room for Gilmore in the rotation unless he can develop some sort of an offensive game.
Keeping the Current Core Together
If you’ve been paying attention to the transfer portal, a chunk of Big Ten teams are losing players. Indiana now has to replace four starters. Penn State has to replace their top seven players from last season, and teams like Minnesota and Illinois have also been hit hard by the portal. Wisconsin is on pace to return their entire starting lineup and two of their three top rotation players from last season. If it stays that way, that is a huge deal.
You can look at this from one of two ways. Some fans will say this team should be blown up because they missed the tournament. Or you can say they lost a ton of close games and probably should have gotten in with this group. I take that approach. There was not an offensive identity with last year’s team. I think they will have one next year and will have these experiences to help them along the way.
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