With less then 40 days until the Wisconsin Basketball team opens up it's season at the Kohl Center against Southeastern Louisiana, we continue our series of previewing the Badger players. Today we'll look at #40, Senior Center Jared Berggren
Berggren averaged 1.8 blocks a game in Big Ten play. Berggren recorded 60 blocks last year, including a 5 block game against Indiana. Look for Berggren to improve his blocks this year, as the Big Ten features many great post players this season.
Believe it or not, Jared Berggren played 1000 minutes last season, averaging 27.8 minutes a game. Berggren played, and started, in all of Wisconsin's 36 games last year. Barring injury, expect that stat to look awfully similar at the end of this season. Berggren will be seeing the floor a lot.
Jared Berggren shot 36.9% from beyond the arc, averaging 1.3 threes made on 3.4 attempts a game. Not an overly impressive stat, but his ability to stretch the floor adds a very key element for the Badgers.
Many Centers guarding Berggren proved to be reluctant to guard him while at the three point line. Last year he showed he could make those shots, which forced those Centers to step out to the perimeter. By doing that, they opened up a variety of play options for easy buckets in the paint. The Badgers' certainly had offensive struggles last year, so these opportunities to score could be crucial this season. Plus, we all remember Berggren's clutch three to seal the upset at Ohio State last season.
Berggren recorded 13 rebounds, a career high, at home against Nebraska last season. He averaged 4.9 rebounds a game last season, 3rd on the team. Rebounding should be a large advantage Wisconsin will have on most teams, and Berggren could be a key factor in that success. While not known for being a great rebounder, if he can improve his rebounding numbers from last year, he'll raise his NBA draft stock and really help out Ryan Evans and Mike Bruesewitz on the board.
Cole's 2012 Projected Stats for Jared Berggren: 29.7 mpg, 12.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.1 bpg
Analysis: Jared Berggren has a lot on the table this year. He's not known as being a vocal guy, but right now I see this team lacking a leader figure, and Berggren may just have to be that guy. After a great year last year, Berggren will have added pressure being an anchor for this club. Plus, he has a good chance at seeing NBA interest throughout the season. We'll really learn a lot about Berggren this season, as it should be a huge test for his development as a player, and also as a leader.