MADISON — All the way back on the Wisconsin men’s basketball Media Day, before Badger fans would get to know D’Mitrik Trice for the cold-blooded seemingly-much-older-than-a-freshman that he is, he revealed something that showed his competitive nature.
I asked him a simple question: “What is one thing that Badger fans don’t know about your game that you would like them to know?”
“One thing that they’re going to love is that I LOVE to take charges,” Trice said. “On the ball and help side.” He would later add: “They’re also going to love my competitiveness. I’m not the biggest guy on the court obviously, but I come with a fight.
Later, he would go on to mention Zak Showalter, who leads Wisconsin men’s basketball program in charges, and his ability to get defensive stops by drawing a charge.
“We have a competition right now,” Trice said. “I tell him I’m going to get more charges than him in practice, so we go at it all the time.”
In the Badgers victory against Rutgers on December 27th, there were two charges taken. The first was by Zak Showalter. Shortly after, just a few minutes later, D’Mitrik Trice would draw an offensive charge, seemingly trying to compete with the best in the business.
“He did say he was going to take more charges than me…but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Showalter said of Trice’s competition. “But that is a challenge that’s out there for us. He’s a terrific competitor who wants to have individual battles that help this team win games.”
Trice has been looked at as the little brother of the team, and rightfully so. As the only true freshman on the roster, it’s probably a pretty good label.
Although most of the attention rightfully goes to Ethan Happ, Nigel Hayes, and Bronson Koenig, the Badgers “Big Three”, Showalter, Trice, and Vitto Brown have been the guys in the background. Trice is enjoying a terrific freshman season, hitting 54% of his threes. Showalter and Trice’s averages are comparable across the board.
One other thing that Trice said that now seems nearly prophetic, from all the way back on October 17th: “With the way things fit in and how I play I think I can get some minutes, whether that’s backing up Bronson or with him on the floor, but I’m just going to do what I do and bring what I can to the table.”