Four Questions with Greg Gard

Greg Gard took over for a legend ... and Wisconsin basketball hasn't missed a beat. What's his approach?

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How does Wisconsin keep winning year after year?

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When a longtime assistant takes over from a coaching legend, the results can be hit-or-miss. But here’s the thing with Wisconsin hoops. This century? It hasn’t really missed, which is a credit to coach Greg Gard.

Gard’s Badgers are 16-4 and atop the Big Ten, their best start since 2022 … when they tied for the league title. Yet No. 6 Wisconsin isn’t a one-man show like that ‘22 team. They’re deeper, they score more efficiently, and they’re more explosive. How? Mike Miller talked it out in the latest Four Questions.

Q: You’ve were a Wisconsin assistant from 2001-15, and the head coach since then. So I’m sure when you hear the familiar refrain about Wisconsin hoops — it’s slow, boring, and low-scoring — you can point to teams that defy those stereotypes, especially this season, when you are neither boring or low-scoring. It’s too simplistic to think that one player, even one as impactful as AJ Storr, can make the difference. What are all the reasons behind the jump from 20-15 overall to this season?

Greg Gard: The biggest thing analytically is we're more efficient. Our points per possession are up considerably [editor’s note: 106.9 per 100 possessions compared to 121.7 this season] and that's the same thing with the other teams that have been really good. In 2014 and specifically ‘15, everybody loved that team, but it was the slowest tempo team we've had here probably 25 years, but they averaged 1.29 points per possession. They made it look like a video game, you know, when you're making shots all the time.

We're more experienced. We got everybody back from last year's team, and they’ve all taken jumps. You mentioned adding AJ. He's been dynamic and he's fit right in with the other pieces we have. We've added two freshmen that are playing right away in John Blackwell and Nolan Winter. We're bigger, we're deeper, we're more talented. All those things have led to an increase in efficiency and, and we've tweaked some things offensively.

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