Mr. Everything: Wal added “Leader” to his long list of skills | Wisconsin Badgers

Mr. Everything: Wal added “Leader” to his long list of skills | Wisconsin Badgers

by Mike Lucas

UWBadgers.com Senior Writer

Madison, Wes. – In grabbing the defensive rebound and lifting the basketball to the ground, there was bravado about it Tyler Wal Game; Flashbacks to Ethan Hap’s Handle of Recent Memory. It’s something 6-9 Wahl has felt comfortable doing since his prep days in Lakeville (Minn.) North.

“I’ve always been confident in my grip,” Wahl said. “I was a high school starting guard in my junior and senior years. I feel like I’m going out in transition and doing something…something I’ve always done. Getting the ball downhill. Getting my teammates involved doing a little bit of everything.

“I feel like if I get a rebound, I can bring it in. That’s a disadvantage for the defense because they’re kind of scrambling all over the field. I can get a mismatch and go down the post and just be a playmaker there. It’s something I’ve really worked on and I’m really excited to showcase that.” This year “.

After Wisconsin’s 85-59 win over South Dakota in Monday’s season opener at the Cole Center, Chuckie Hepburn He was elated talking about Wal, “He picks up the ball every time he gets the rebound and I love him. I can go down in the corner and position it knowing he’s going to play.”

UW Assistant Head Coach Joe Krabenhoft He wasn’t surprised by anything he saw from Wal and many said, “He’s always had a good grip. Things have gotten better. He’s maneuvering the ball all the time. He’s doing guard drills. You see it more now because he’s more confident…

“He should be because he’s required of him when you’re in the role he’s in now.”

Wal’s role? Do a little bit of everything. in his words. Or Krabbenhoft’s. This is his team.

Not that you might hear Wahl say it’s my “my” team according to Krabenhoft.

“Because it’s not me or me or me but his team now, isn’t it?” He proposed to the selfless Wale, one of only two seniors. “He knows it. He doesn’t have to say it. He knows through conversations with coach (Greg) Jared and what a responsibility it is to be the man…”

Traditionally, the man tended to be through committee with the badgers. As it was last season.

“Brad (Davison) was the guy sometimes. Johnny (Davis) was the guy sometimes. Tyler was able to be that kind of filler,” Krabenhoft said. “Now he should be in a more prominent role so you can see more of him. This combined with a consistent approach to getting better all the time.”

After Wednesday’s practice, Wahl responded to a statement – This is ISIS Tyler Wal Team – With an editorial look and question, “This is Tyler Wal the team? ‘ He explained, ‘It’s not just me. I feel like a big part. But it is a team team. Not only am I there. It takes five men to get it done.”

At the opening, Wahl was vintage. Do a little bit of everything. He played nearly 27 minutes, has 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a crack shot. It was 5 of 11 from the field and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. He made an impression on South Dakota coach Eric Peterson.

“When seen in person, he seems more explosive,” Peterson said. “We knew that was going to be a game problem for us…If he can take some outside kicks – and he’s already a very good player – he’d be an incredible player at the next level if he expanded that part of his team.

“He’s really physical. He obviously gave up some offensive rebounds against him (Wahl had three rebounds). We tried to double him. We tried to take him off. We tried to change the momentum just to get him out of rhythm. Really a good player.

“You look at him, you look at Chucky, every time we’ve been trying to sneak in, one of these guys put in a play. If you have these two guys and can develop another top scorer on their team that’s consistent, they’re not the tenth best team in the Big Ten, I guarantee you that.” .

In fact, the Badgers were named 10th in a media poll for the last Big Ten season prior to last season and they ended up sharing the league title. This season, they are ranked ninth. Wahl and Hepburn were both selected for the second All-Big Ten team. Indiana was the only other school where players were recognized.

Meanwhile, the conference announced in mid-October its All-Big Ten pre-season squad (as selected by the media panel). Eleven players were selected. Wisconsin was the only program with two nominees, Wahl and Hepburn, the only two sophomores on the list.

The Badgers is built around Core 3: Wahl, Hepburn, and the Small Center Stephen Kroll. “In that last match, I thought we did a really good job of showing the harmony we have,” Wahl said of the trio. “We know each other’s game and get the ball for each other in the right places.”


After Wednesday’s training, Wahl stopped shooting some 3 more. It’s something he’s done throughout his UW career (spanning four seasons and 95 games). “Every morning, I come here now and shoot before the women exercise,” he said. “This is a new thing I’ve been doing.”

Heading into the season, Wahl was shooting 22 percent (22 of 101) from the 3-point streak. He missed his three attempts against South Dakota. But he did not panic. “All my 3 felt fine,” he said. “I was fine with my mistakes that day. I had to keep shooting them.”

Flexibility is part of its formula. At the same time, he knows that he cannot allow himself to think or think about the past tense. “This should be my next step,” he said. “Watch someone go wrong and forget about it. Go to the next and do the next shoot. At the end of the day, I can’t worry about missing out.”

There is no doubt in Krabbenhoft’s mind that Wahl would eventually make opposing defenses pay the price for his retreat in the arc. “The whole team and the entire coaching staff definitely trust him,” Krabenhoft said. “No one trusts him more than himself.”

It was something Jared brought up during Monday’s post-match comments. “Confidence is a big thing and that’s normal,” Jared said. “He’s bigger, stronger and that’s been a focus of his off-season. He’s also known along with Chucky and Steve, they’re the leaders of this team.”

Jared referred to Wahl as “all the bargains” on the defensive end. “He makes a lot of good things happen, and he plays hard,” Jared said. Krabbenhoft took it a step further, “I thought last year he was the best defensive player in the Big Ten. I think he’s back again this year.”

Wahl can protect multiple sites. But it is more than that. “There are things that are not listed on the stat sheets that win basketball games,” Krabenhoft said. “He picks up a lot of his teammates defensively. He covers fouls everywhere. His instincts are incredible.

“The game has really slowed down for him on the defensive end. Instead of running around and just being a loud guy – he still is – now he knows exactly when he has to take turns and what guys did wrong and what he needs to do to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“It’s mental. He can see things develop before they happen.”

Looking at the South Dakota square score, Wall couldn’t help but focus on his three transformations (the Badgers had 10). “This is something I have to get better at,” he said. “That’s something our team is really proud of. I, as one of the key players, can’t make three turnovers in a match.

“Even if I have the ball in my hand more… I still have to take care of the ball more.”

Speaking of distributing The Rock, he added, “I feel like when I get the ball rolling, our team does really well because the passing is contagious. And one of the guys passes the ball – and he passes a good shot for a great shot – and that definitely goes a long way, especially with the youngsters.”

Once again, Krabbenhoft is not surprised by Wahl’s approach to honing his skills.

“I would call it a consistent and focused effort to improve in all aspects of the game,” said Krabenhoft. “He has been so dedicated to his career, his game and our team, we only see the results of his consistent work, his work ethic. He hasn’t backed away from his plan to keep improving.

“He likes to get better. The process of getting better. And he stays committed to it.”

For the record, Wall is a fan of the Minnesota Twins. But he doesn’t say it above a whisper (the twins have lost 84 and 89 games in the past two seasons). Regardless, Wahl is excited about Friday’s game with Stanford in the Battle of Brew City at American Family Field in Milwaukee.

With the basketball floor laying on the grounds of the main baseball field, there will be an adjustment factor for both teams on the background of the shoot. Furthermore, Wahl said, “The first thing you have to do is find the dead spots on the ground – that’s the first thing in a new court.”

Wahl then turned to Norman Dale, without a tape measure. “The basket is 10 feet high and 15 feet from the free throw line,” he noted. “You just have to go out there and play the game.” A smile appeared on his face as he was called into his “Hoosiers” repertoire.

After facing two small-sized opponents (UW-Eau Claire at the South Dakota Fair), the Badgers will face a challenge the size and body of Stanford. It’s a seasoned squad (eight of nine alternating players have returned) with a notable off-season addition, Michael Jones, a transfer from Davidson.

Wahl and Crowl, of Eagan, Minnesota, won’t need an introduction to 6-5 Jones, who averaged 25.7 points during his senior year in Woodbury, a suburb of St. Paul, 30 minutes from Lakeville. Jones, the Cardinal’s first graduate transfer, had 31 points in an opening win over Pacific.

In 2018, both Jones, who was old at the time, and Wall, who was young at the time, were named to the All-State 2nd team in Minnesota by the Associated Press. They are joined in that unit by DeLaSalle’s Gabby Kalshore. The Badgers have some history with Calshore who scored 22 points against them last March in Milwaukee.

Wahl shouldn’t be reminded of that quiet ride home from the Fiserv Forum after Iowa State—thanks to Kalscheur’s shot put—defeated the Badgers, 54-49, and knocked them out of the NCAA Championship. Hepburn’s injury near the end of the first half was too much to overcome.

“We definitely left with bad taste,” Wall admitted. “I can remember him like yesterday.”

Could you be a motivating force for this season? “I think it’s good to remember,” Wall said. “No one really likes to lose. But having that in the back of your mind isn’t a bad thing.” exactly the contrary. It is something to build on for returnees. to grow from. as he did. In doing a little bit of everything.

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