Wisconsin Basketball: 5 Stats to Know Through 11 Games

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 26: D'Mitrik Trice #0 of the Wisconsin Badgers drives past Tavian Percy #4 of the New Mexico Lobos during the second half of their game at Barclays Center on November 26, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 26: D'Mitrik Trice #0 of the Wisconsin Badgers drives past Tavian Percy #4 of the New Mexico Lobos during the second half of their game at Barclays Center on November 26, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Through 11 games the Wisconsin Basketball team is 6-5 and here are five telling stats about their season up to this point.

If I had to pick a few words to describe the Wisconsin Basketball team’s first 11 games, I would choose “roller-coaster ride.” They currently sit at 6-5 on the season and they’ve already experienced plenty of ups and downs through the first portion of the season.

In four games we’ve seen them score over 80 points, but on the flip side, they’ve had three games where they’ve scored less than 55. The Badgers have had a four game winning streak, but then they would follow that up by losing four of their next five games.

While it is still fairly early in the season for them, some trends are developing – both good and bad. So through their first 11 games, here are five stats that are very telling in how their season has gone up to this point.

Defensive Rebounding

Out of the 14 Big Ten teams, the Badgers rank 14th in this category as they’ve hauled in just 25.1 defensive rebounds per game this season. Obviously a lack of rebounds – especially on the defensive end – means extra possessions for the opposing team, which really hurts this Wisconsin Basketball team that already struggles to score on the offensive end with only 69.5 points per game (12th in the Big Ten).

And while they may rank last in terms of defensive rebounding, overall the Badgers just aren’t a very good rebounding team in general. Wisconsin ranks 11th in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds per game but hopefully moving forward, with the return of Micah Potter to join Nate Reuvers, his added size will help in this area.

Road Record

For the Wisconsin Badgers in 2019, there is no place like home. So far all of their losses have come away from the Kohl Center, while they remain undefeated at home. One factor is that they have played tougher opponents on the road, but to their credit they have some nice wins against Marquette and Indiana at the Kohl Center as well.

However, regardless of what stat you choose, there’s a very good possibility that the Badgers are much worse in that area on the road. Whether it’s their unfamiliarity or they just aren’t well suited for tough road environments, something has to change, and fast. Wisconsin’s next few roads games include trips to Tennessee, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 20 Penn State, and No. 14 Michigan State.

Free Throw Percentage

To put it simply, last season the Badgers’ free throw shooting was a huge liability. In 2018 they shot just 64.8 percent from the line which ranked 332nd in Division I College Basketball. And yes, you read that correctly. Three hundred and thirty-second.

However this year, they’ve experienced quite the turnaround. Through 11 games they are hitting 78.2 percent of their free throws, good for first in the Big Ten as well as 18th nationally. If Wisconsin finds themselves in a tight game down the stretch, we certainly have to feel better about their odds of winning this season.

Defensive Field Goal Percentage

Uncharacteristically of this Wisconsin Basketball team, the Badger defense has struggled a bit this season. Overall their opponents are shooting 42.9 percent from the field which ranks as the highest in the conference. Not to mention that their opponents are also making 36 percent of their 3 point shots. Also the highest in the Big Ten and by a fairly wide margin.

However, despite Wisconsin’s opponents shooting well, the Badgers are allowing just 63.7 points per game, the fifth fewest in the Big Ten. What this means is that defensively they’ve done a nice job of limiting the number of shots as well as slowing the pace down on offense, which limits the total number of possessions and scoring opportunities. With that said, when teams do get a shot off, they are going in at a high rate.

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Assists per Game

Once again, the Badgers rank last in this category as well, totaling only 11.6 assists per game in 2019. And there is a good size gap forming between them and the rest of the conference teams. A contributor to Wisconsin’s low assist total is their slow pace of play, which as I just mentioned, equates to less scoring – and assist – opportunities. But, this is also a reflection of the offense’s overall performance that ranks 10th in the Big Ten in field goal percentage and 12th in points per game. If they aren’t hitting shots, they won’t be getting assists either.

All stats via the Big Ten Conference