It’s about time to find out if the 2022-23 Wisconsin Men’s Basketball Team runs as Tyler Wahl does. The Badgers leading scorer went down with a right ankle injury early into the first half of their 63-60 win over the University of Minnesota on January 3rd, 2022. Though questions about the timetable for his return remain, let’s take a look at what makes him such a valuable member of the University of Wisconsin’s program.
Tyler Wahl Spotlight
Strength: Footwork/Defensive Versatility
Wahl’s craftiness around the paint wouldn’t be possible without an elite level of footwork. At 6-foot-9, he’s tied for the second-tallest player on the not-so-tall roster, and this forces Wahl to oftentimes act as an undersized forward in the land of the bigs. His first step and skill level with how to manipulate a defender’s body based on where his next set of steps will go are are easily some of his greatest strengths as a basketball player.
On the defensive end of the floor, there’s simply no position that Wahl can’t guard. Sure, he’s forced to player bigger than he is at times against larger forwards/centers, but he’s almost always able to compete due to his footspeed. Speaking of footspeed, it’s the very same thing that allows him to switch onto point guards during ball-screens or in a help-based scramble.
In Madison tonight for a Big Ten battle between Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The Badgers are off to a strong start this season and Tyler Wahl is a major reason why. The senior forward offers a lot of switchability on D, cleans up the glass, and puts pressure on the rim offensively. pic.twitter.com/R7YmFhTs5K
— Austin Nelson (@austinnelson333) January 4, 2023
Weakness: Shooting Ability
Shooting the basketball has been a clear weakness in Wahl’s game since he entered the collegiate level, and he simply hasn’t done a great job of addressing it in his four years. He’s currently shooting only 42% from the field and 21.1% from three-point range. Really challenging numbers for a team’s leading scorer. If Wisconsin has plans to go deep in the tournament—something they’re certainly capable of—then Wahl’s going to need improve on his shooting numbers. Maybe a little downtime after this injury will help.