In the months leading up to the 2020-’21 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today’s edition will take a brief look at Nate Reuvers of the Wisconsin Badgers, who came in tied at No. 17 in the rankings. The Badgers are hoping Reuvers comes up big this season scoring wise like he did last season in order for them to repeat as Big Ten champs.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - No. 17 Nate Reuvers:
- Eligibility: Senior
- Career Totals: 93 games, 2,058 minutes, 821 points, 328 rebounds, 74 assists
- 2019-’20 Averages: 26.2 min, 13.1 pts, 4.5 rebs, 0.6 asts, 1.9 blks, 0.5 stls
- Positional Role: Forward
Last season Nate Reuvers was a key cog in the Wisconsin Badgers machine. The team struggled early, but managed to rise to the occasion as a parts combine to make the machine great as a whole situation. Reuvers was a key cog in the machine as he started in all 31 games, playing an average 24.7 minutes per game in conference play. He averaged 12 points per game and 1.5 blocks against Big Ten foes, while shooting 78.6-percent from the free throw line (fifth best in the conference).
Reuvers is a fantastic defender. He ranked No. 6 in the conference last season in blocked shots, averaging just under two per game. This despite going up some of the top big men in the country such as Luka Garza, Daniel Oturu, Xavier Tillman, Kofi Cockburn, and Jalen Smith. His physicality and strength has gradually improved over his career, and he will be called upon by the Badgers to help shut down another long list of challenging big men across the conference.
Additionally, Reuvers scoring has been a scoring threat for the Badgers. He scored in double-figures in 24 games last season, and he scored over 20 points in three of those. Heading into his final season, Reuvers is going to remain a go-to scoring threat for Wisconsin.
-Areas for Improvement
While Badgers fans will likely jump all over me for this, especially given my comments above, Reuvers is a poor percentage shooter inside the arc compared to the top big men of the Big Ten Conference. His career two-point percentage is 47.8, while last season it was up slightly to 49-percent. He does not have usage as a defense on this, either. His attempts last season, 239, were less than Xavier Tillman’s 250 (60.8-percent), Kofi Cockburn’s 283 (53.4-percent), or Luka Garza’s 421 attempts (58.9-percent).
Further, while Reuvers is lauded as an inside-out scoring threat, his three-point percentage is not that much better comparatively. While Garza is obviously a high bar to compare to, his percentage (35.8) and attempts (109) are both higher than Reuver’s 33.7-percent on 89 attempts. So all of this is my way of suggesting that to take the next step at being a top forward in the conference, I hope that Reuvers focused on improving his shot from “good” to “great.”
Reuvers will be a key member of a strong senior class for the Badgers. They will rely on him to shut down a host of elite big men across the Big Ten this season if Wisconsin has any hope of repeating as conference champs. He is bound to move up from No. 4 on the career blocks list at Wisconsin as the season progresses, and his ability to slow down or shut down opponents down low will be a vital factor in Wisconsin’s win total this year.
Reuvers will also be a go to scorer for the offense, and if his shot percentage increases then he will be an obvious All-Big Ten Second Team selection by season’s end instead of the Third Team honors he earned last season.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ Rankings:
- #27-28 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Adam Miller (Illinois)
- #25 - Miller Kopp (Northwestern)
- #22 - Ron Harper (Rutgers)
- #22 - Eric Hunter (Purdue)
- #22 - CJ Fredrick (Iowa)
- #21 - Rob Phinisee (Indiana)
- #20 - Khristian Lander (Indiana)
- #19 - Seth Towns (Ohio State)
- #17 - Nate Reuvers (Wisconsin)
- #17 - To be continued . . .