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Gard Named 2020 Big Ten Coach of the Year

Wisconsin coach Greg Gard watches his team play Minnesota during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard watches his team play Minnesota during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)(WBAY)
Published: Mar. 9, 2020 at 4:02 PM CDT
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Head coach Greg Gard was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, while juniors Nate Reuvers and D’Mitrik Trice were each named third-team All-Big Ten honorees, as the league announced its all-Big Ten teams and individual awards on Monday.

Gard becomes just the second coach in UW history to win Big Ten Coach of the Year and the first since 2015, joining four-time winner Bo Ryan (2002, ’03, ’13 and ’15).

Reuvers and Trice joined Gard in receiving conference accolades, as each was recognized as third-team All-Big Ten honorees. Reuvers was selected by both coaches and media. Trice was named third team by the coaches and honorable mention all-conference by the media.

Wisconsin is the first Big Ten regular season champion in league history to not feature a first- or second-team all-conference selection. Since the Big Ten began recognizing All-Conference players in 1948 (73 seasons), a total of 95 teams have won a Big Ten regular season championship. Of those 95 teams, 91 featured a first-team All-Big Ten player and three had a second-team All-Big Ten player.

After beginning the season 5-5 overall, Gard rallied the Badgers to a 16-5 record down the stretch to finish the regular season 21-10 overall and 14-6 in conference play. Gard led the Badgers to a share of the Big Ten title after closing the regular season on an eight-game winning streak, the school’s longest win streak to end the regular season since 1940-41.

Wisconsin’s leading scorer, Reuvers finished the regular season averaging 13.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. A native of Lakeville, Minnesota, the junior forward ranks 16th in the Big Ten in scoring, fifth in free throw percentage (.786) and sixth in blocked shots (58). This marks the first career all-Big Ten nod for Reuvers, who was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the first time in his career earlier this season (11/11/19).

Trice rounded out his game in 2019-20, finishing the regular season averaging 9.8 points, 4.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. The junior from Huber Heights, Ohio, dished out 131 assists during the season, which ranks sixth in the Big Ten. His 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio is tied for second-best in the league.

Scoring his 1,000th career point last Saturday to help UW clinch a share of the Big Ten title, Trice became the first player in school history to accumulate 1,000 points, 300 assists and 300 rebounds by his junior season.

Redshirt junior Michael Ballard was recognized with the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

Wisconsin begins postseason play this week as the No. 1 seed in the 2020 Big Ten Tournament. The Badgers will face the winner of No. 8 seed Rutgers and No. 9 seed Maryland on Friday at 11 a.m. (CT).

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