Brevin Pritzl has his swagger back.At least, that’s what University of Wisconsin men’s basketball head coach Greg Gard says. The swagger Gard is alluding to isn’t your typical type of swagger, either. Rather, it’s Wisconsin basketball’s definition of swagger.“I think just over the last six to eight weeks he’s started to get his swagger back,” Gard said of his redshirt freshman guard. “By that I mean the appreciation for things other than just shooting — diving on the floor, taking charges, rebounding, taking care of the ball.”Gard’s comments came following No. 7 Wisconsin’s 65-60 win over Indiana last Sunday. Pritzl logged a career-high in points (6) and nearly eclipsed his career-high in minutes played (13), which came against Ohio State last month.Men’s basketball: Badgers breaking recruiting trend, adding big-time talentBy the looks of the 2017-18 University of Wisconsin men’s basketball recruiting class, UW’s recruiting identity appears due for a Read…Pritzl’s scoring was not only timely, as his lone field goal — a baseline drive layup — came with Wisconsin leading just 35-33 in the second half, but his defense was also solid for someone who has just 64 minutes of playing time this season (as of Feb. 8), Gard said.“He just kept getting more and more consistent,” Gard said. “I brought him over [from the scout team] different times during practice and I thought he’s handled it pretty well. [Against Indiana] I just kept liking what I was seeing. He stayed in his lane. He didn’t try to do too much. He didn’t try to make up for lost time.”That lost time Gard referred to is Pritzl’s broken left foot that hampered him during his true freshman season. Pritzl was cleared for activity early last season and appeared in one game — on Nov. 15 against Siena — but re-broke his foot while practicing before a game at Syracuse. That injury cost him the rest of the season, but Pritzl secured a medical redshirt.In Pritzl’s mind, it took him a full year to feel normal on the court again.Ben Pierce/The Badger Herald“Even talking to coach Gard, in December I finally hit my stride in who I was as a basketball player,” Pritzl said. “When I hit that year mark, I got back to who I was. Now I’m just trying to create off of that.”As a prep standout at De Pere High School in De Pere, Wisconsin, Pritzl was a prolific scorer. He had to learn how to adjust to not always having the ball in his hands once he came to UW.“I just caught and shot over people,” Pritzl said. “Now, I play with and face a lot better players. You have to use a different system. You gotta play a little different and I gotta learn how to create off of them.”In high school, Pritzl was never one to sacrifice his body and make the physical play — diving for a loose ball, for example. His high school coach, Brian Winchester, and his dad, Brian, would always get on him for that. But Pritzl’s season and a half with the Badgers has taught him that he needs to do things like that to fit in with the classic Wisconsin style of play.Men’s basketball breakdown: Wisconsin handles North DakotaIt was smooth sailing for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team Tuesday night at the Kohl Center, where UW defeated North Read…“You realize you need people like that,” Pritzl said. “You need someone to mix it up. Maybe you don’t always get it … but I gotta make that a habit of my own.”One practice, Pritzl said, fifth-year senior guard Zak Showalter, who is the embodiment of Gard’s “swagger,” seemed displeased with Pritzl diving on the floor. It’s natural for someone like Showalter who starts and logs 28 minutes a game to not exert maximum effort during practice, and Frank Kaminsky said the same thing of Ethan Happ a few years ago. But for Pritzl, it was his chance to prove his toughness and commitment to seeing the floor.Upon return from his injury, Pritzl still wasn’t doing enough intangibles to impress the UW coaching staff.“It’s really taken him a long time to get back into that rhythm,” Gard said. “I think for him, mentally, I think he was probably caught in the trap that shooting is going to get me back faster than anything else and really it had to be those other things first. We know he can score. We know he shoots it really well. But he had to be doing those other things too and that’s what we’ve been seeing.”Marissa Haegele/The Badger HeraldWith Wisconsin graduating 80 percent of its starting five, Pritzl is in solid position along with fellow reserve guards Jordan Hill and D’Mitrik Trice to earn significant playing time next season, even with the arrival of heralded recruits Kobe King and Brad Davison.“Always the product of what you’re doing is you want to keep playing — playing at the next level, play the year after, year after,” Pritzl said. “So it’s all about improving. Every day you step out, even in the weight room, and think about what I gotta do to get better and translate that out here out on the court.”Just a couple of weeks ago, Pritzl told The Badger Herald, “I’m obviously not going to be playing minutes that are big.”The Indiana game disproved that assumption. He’s slowly gaining the trust of his coach and teammates. Obviously, there will be a steep learning curve and bumps in the road ahead.“Sometimes things don’t go your way,” Pritzl said. “It’s about getting out there, to get an opportunity, try to learn and get better for next year.”He paused.“Or this year, if that’s what we need.”UW just might need that swagger.
FOLLOW US Written By 11 months ago PV Sindhu on Tokyo 2020 preparations: I am aiming for gold – Exclusive Vinesh Phogat opened India’s medals account in this edition of World Wrestling Championship in Noor Sultan, Kazakhstan, by bagging bronze in the women’s 53 kg category beating two-time World medallist Maria Prevolaraki of Greece in the third place play-off today. Vinesh though started slowly but soon used her experience to take full grip and control over her opponent to pin her down to win a strongly contested bronze medals play off.Qualifying for Tokyo Olympics 2020Earlier, Vinesh Phogat (53 kg) had defeated World Silver medallist Sarah Hildebrandt 8-2 in the second repechage round and had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Vinesh was too good for her American opponent and dominated the bout from the beginning and never allowed her opponent a grip in the bout. In today’s first repechage, Vinesh defeated Ukraine’s Yuliia Khavaldzhy 5-0 in a one-sided match while Seema Bisla (50 kg) got the better off Nigeria’s Miesinnie Genesis 9-9 on criteria. Last night, Vinesh and Seema remained in the hunt for a bronze medal as they reached the repechage round in their respective categories.Read | Vinesh Phogat beats World silver medalist, qualifies for Tokyo 2020Read | Vinesh Phogat loses Pre-quarters,can still qualify for Tokyo OlympicsQuest for a maiden medal Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh had begun her quest for a maiden medal from the world event with a thunderous 13-0 win over Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sofia Mattsson of Sweden. Even though it sparked hopes of gold, her next bout against the reigning World Champion Mayu Mukaida of Japan proved tough.Read | Tokyo 2020 Olympics: snow machines go on trial to beat the heatBabita Phogat on sister’s winThe CWG Champion and Vinesh’s sister Babita Phogat has congratulated Vinesh on bagging bronze and entering the Tokyo Olympics 2020. “Vinesh is the first female to enter the Tokyo Olympics 2020 through the World Wrestling Championship which I am extremely proud of,” she said. Babita has further thanked Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, the President of Wrestling Federation, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, for taking wrestling as a sport to another level, and Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar for bringing wrestling into focus.Read | PV Sindhu on Tokyo 2020 preparations: I am aiming for gold – Exclusive WATCH US LIVE 11 months ago Vinesh Phogat beats World silver medalist, qualifies for Tokyo 2020 11 months ago Vinesh Phogat loses Pre-quarters,can still qualify for Tokyo Olympics WE RECOMMEND Last Updated: 18th September, 2019 19:33 IST Vinesh Phogat Wins Bronze In WWC, Qualifies For Tokyo 2020 Olympics Vinesh Phogat opened India’s medals account in the edition of World Wrestling Championship by bagging bronze in women’s 53 kg category beating Maria Prevolaraki Suman Ray SUBSCRIBE TO US First Published: 18th September, 2019 18:43 IST LIVE TV 11 months ago Tokyo 2020 Olympics: snow machines go on trial to beat the heat COMMENT 11 months ago Spain’s basketball win makes the Tokyo Olympics field exciting
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