Badger Basketball: Then and Now

As the Badger basketball team enters the Big Ten season opener against Michigan, Badgermaniac takes a look back at last year's team to see where progress has been made or where some dropoff has occurred.

All of these numbers represent national rankings, per Ken Pomeroy's website:

KenPom.com

As the non-conference portion of the Wisconsin Badger basketball season has ended and Big Ten play is about to begin, how does this year's Badger team compare to last year's team?

Let's start on offense:

Off Eff

2008: 28
2009: 45

A little worse, but in the same ballpark. The Wisconsin offense is still very good (which is funny as that has been what people complain a lot about).

Tempo

2008: 318
2009: 333

They played very slow last year and are even slower this year. Can we finally put to rest that Bo Ryan is going to speed things up once he gets his own players?

Off Effect FG%

2008: 140
2009: 81

The Badgers are shooting the ball better this year.

Off TO %

2008: 60
2009: 36

Still pretty good. Even better this year.

Off Reb %

2008: 56
2009: 172

The Badgers are smaller this year up front and are not getting as many extended possessions on offense as a result.

Off FTA %

2008: 67
2009: 82

Not much difference here. They still get to the line a solid amount of time.

Off 3P %

2008: 145
2009: 48

Shooting from range has improved greatly.

Off 2P %

2008: 130
2009: 142

Still about average here.

FT %

2008: 121
2009: 153

Has gotten a little worse...needs to get better.

Steals Allowed %

2008: 171
2009: 28

As noted, the Badgers are taking much better care of the ball.

% of shots that are 3P

2008: 230
2009: 107

They are relying much more on 3's this year, which is fine as long as they keep making them.

Ast/FGM

2008: 188
2009: 226

The Badger assist totals are always low. Some of this is the swing offense I believe, but I am guessing that the Kohl Center statistician is just stingy in awarding assists. This isn't all that atypical.

Now, let's shift to the defense:

Def Eff

2008: 2
2009: 81

This is where Wisconsin's biggest/most significant dropoff has occurred. They are still a good defensive team, but last year, the Badgerrs were one of the top couple defenses in the nation. I would guess that this speaks a lot to losing Flowers, Stiemsma, and Butch.

Def Effect FG%

2008: 4
2009: 142

Teams are just making a lot more shots against Wisconsin this year.

TO Forced %

2008: 147
2009: 256

Forcing turnovers is never a priority in Bo Ryan's scheme, but still, the Badgers have really dropped here.

Off Reb Allowed %

2008: 21
2009: 11

Great as usual. They don't get beat on the offensive boards very often.

FTA Allowed %

2008: 8
2009: 25

While the Badgers don't get to the line a ton, the big thing is that they don't allow others to get to the line much at all. This is always true of Bo Ryan's teams.

3P % Allowed

2008: 24
2009: 191

Another huge dropoff. I believe a lot of this is just luck, but still, they need to do a better job of defending the perimeter.

2P % Allowed

2008: 5
2009: 134

On the other hand, this trend is there for shots inside the lane as well. The defense must improve.

FT % Allowed

2008: 130
2009: 285

I don't know how you defend free throws, but if there is a way, they should start doing it. Obviously, this is just a matter of bad luck.

Steal %

2008: 172
2009: 314

Their steal percentage is terrible. This goes along with the overall theme of defense needing to get better.

Block %

2008: 125
2009: 114

I figured this would drop because of losing Greg Stiemsma, but apparently not.

% of shots that are 3P allowed

2008: 114
2009: 83

Not much of a change here.

Ast/FGM Allowed

2008: 56
2009: 125

So much for my theory of the statistician at the Kohl Center. Other teams get assists against us, so that must be more a function of the offensive system.

SUMMARY

This is still a good team, but they check in at #60 in the overall team rankings, after finishing last year at #5. They are taking better care of the ball and are shooting better, though that is sometimes masked due to their very slow tempo. However, the defense, while still solid, has dropped from that elite status. The good news is that many coaches believe that defense is easier to improve than offense. If the Badgers are to make a run at another Big Ten title (or even a run to get into the NCAA at this point), the defensive execution needs to take that step up.


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