Johnny Davis was a Savior
Sure there was guarded optimism after hearing the rave reviews of Davis’s play on the U19 team, but nobody expected that. But Davis announced himself early, scoring 71 points in three games leading Wisconsin to a Maui Classic* title, including dropping a very efficient 30 pts on 18 FGA performance against Houston’s top-10 defense. After scorching Purdue for 37 in the upset at Mackey, he grabbed the lead in the B1G POY race, never relinquishing it.
*Las Vegas version
Davis also added excellent rebounding (8.2 rpg despite being 6’5”) and very active defense. Pretty much every big win UW had this year featured an outstanding performance by Davis. There’s no begrudging his leap to the NBA, but it may be a while before Madison sees the likes of him again.
Greg Gard Turned Water into Wine
Despite being picked to finish 10th in the preseason poll, a huge amount of roster turnover, and a tumultuous off-season, Gard guided the Badgers to a second B1G title in three years, largely on the strength of an 8-2 road record in conference play, including victories at NCAA tournament-bound Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State, and Rutgers. As with most miracles, many witnesses are still not sure this all really happened. But the run of close victories was real, and there will be a banner hanging in the Kohl Center next year.
Gard is not the most exciting guy and he’s not as hateable for opposing fans as Bo Ryan was. But his B1G winning % is .001 behind Matt Painter and he joins Izzo and Painter as the only active B1G coaches with multiple regular season titles.
Everybody Wanted to Crucify Brad Davison
No suspensions this year. Plenty of chippy play and drawn charges. However, despite the cacophony from all directions that Davison is a cancer on an otherwise pure sport, the B1G coaches saw fit to vote Davison Second-Team All B1G. Career achievement prize? Probably. But not something you’d expect out of the coaches unless they perhaps have a better perspective on things than whingeing fanbases do.
The Badgers Were Prone to Shooting Droughts of the 40 Days in the Desert Variety
Last in the B1G in 3pt%. 12th in EFG%.
Wisconsin Rose Again