After missing the Wisconsin Badgers’ last two games, it was recently announced that redshirt sophomore guard Trevor Anderson will undergo knee surgery, and will sit out the remainder of the 2018-’19 season.
Following his redshirted 2017-’18 season, Anderson was being eased into the action by head coach Greg Gard
The guard played in all of Wisconsin’s games before suffering the knee injury against Iowa on November 30. However, Anderson was averaging only 1.6 points in seven minutes per game.
Though it remains unknown whether or not Anderson is capable of being an impact player in Wisconsin, his collegiate career prior to transferring to Madison indicates there was potential for the sophomore.
In his freshman campaign with UW-Green Bay, Anderson was a major part of the Phoenix’ gameplan.
In nearly 29 minutes per game as a starter, Anderson averaged 9.8 points per game, to go along with 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists each contest. Additionally, the redshirt sophomore recorded at least one steal in 11 of 20 games before missing the rest of the 2016-’17 season with a back injury.
Besides not playing for over a full season, the Wisconsin native struggled to find minutes with the Badgers this season because of depth at the guard position.
D’Mitrik Trice, Brad Davison, Brevin Pritzl and Kobe King were all ahead of Anderson on the totem pole. So, even though a case can be made for the guard eventually seeing regular minutes, the loss undoubtedly affects Wisconsin’s depth more than anything.
However, Anderson’s injury results in somewhat of a silver-lining for the Badgers.
In response to the injury, true freshman guard Tai Strickland now holds a role similar to the one Anderson filled.
Strickland has only played five total minutes in the two games without Anderson. But, the son of 17-year NBA veteran Rod Strickland had played just 11 total minutes this season beforehand.
An uptick in minutes for Strickland can be anticipated, as the freshman continues to adjust to the collegiate level. This is something that most likely would not have occurred if Anderson was healthy. So, Strickland has the potential to develop faster than initially anticipated.
Strickland was a versatile guard in high school, who scored 17 points and collected seven rebounds per game his senior year at St. Petersburg High School. 247sports rated the 6’2 guard as a three-star recruit prior to this season.
Strickland may not end up playing a vital role for Wisconsin. Regardless, aiding the progression of Strickland evidently benefits the future of the program, and his potential to be a difference-maker eventually.
Also, although Anderson’s situation isn’t ideal, it’s worth noting that his season probably won’t go to waste. Considering we are still in the early stages of the season, Anderson will most likely be granted a medical redshirt. The fact that the guard wasn’t very involved helps his case as well.
The road to recovery won’t be optimal, especially for a player who hasn’t played consistently for two seasons. At least the injury won’t diminish Anderson’s available time to be effective in Madison though.
The Wisconsin native should have two years of eligibility remaining at the beginning of the 2019-’20 season.