The Wisconsin basketball team failed to live up to expectations last year, experienced an ups and downs in the Big Ten league, and finally withdrew from the NCAA tournament in the second round alone.
Obviously, their struggle stems from the tension between the team and coach Greg Garder.
Many Badgers players felt “out of touch” with the sixth-grade coach in the 2020-21 season. The team’s seven seniors met with Gad on February 19 to vent their 77- 62 Frustration after losing to Iowa State Before the remaining four regular season games, they dropped the score to 15-8 (9-7 in the top ten games).
The comments they made at the secretly recorded meeting-by Wisconsin Magazine ——Very severe.
“I just think, coach, we have nothing to do,” Nate Rufus said. “In my opinion, it is too late. I personally think or think you don’t care about our future wishes. I can’t talk to you. I just don’t want to talk to you. After this, coach, I don’t know what we will have. Such a relationship, if we have a relationship.”
Micah Potter responded to Reuvers’ points and wondered why he returned to Wisconsin.
“Am I wasting a year of my life to come back here?” he said. “I was going to come back, spend a good year and enter the semi-finals, all these things, and then this kind of nonsense happened. It’s like, no one knows what to do, all of this is stereotyped because it is out of touch with you .”
D’Mitrik Trice was not so harsh on Gard, but he did give him a reality check on the reasons for their struggle.
“Last year we played for each other, but we are also playing for you,” Tris said. “I think (this season) the disconnect is that we are not playing for you now. It can be said that we are not here to build your resume and to give all respect.”
Before losing the last three games of the regular season, the Wisconsin team won in the next game. The Badgers won one game each in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, and then withdrew in the second round.
“To be honest, I think he still hasn’t heard our voices,” a senior person said of the meeting, according to the Wisconsin Daily News. “He still doesn’t understand.”
Maybe Gad will understand more after losing six of the seven seniors last season. Four members of the team will become professional players, while two are in the process of transferring. Due to the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA tournament related to COVID, everyone has been eligible for an additional year. Only Brad Davidson chose to return to the plan.
He talked about his “eagerness to build a relationship” with Gard in the conference recording.
Davidson said: “We want to build a relationship with you, you know who we are, you care about us, you value us more than on the basketball court.” “We want that, and feel that we lack that in certain areas.”
Gard issued a statement about the meeting after the recording was leaked. He was unhappy about the content of the “private” meeting and wrote down his wish to help his athletes succeed on and off the court.
Gad has been working on the Wisconsin basketball program since 2001. He became the team’s interim coach in 2015 after Bo Rui’an retired and has been the head coach ever since. He created a record of 119-70 and made 16 sweet appearances twice in 2016 and 2017.