Wisconsin Basketball: Is Traevon Jackson the right fit at point guard?

Kohl centerFor the past two years, Wisconsin has called Traevon Jackson their starting point guard. In that span he has accumulated 620 points, 218 rebounds, and 237 assists. With Jackson at the helm, Wisconsin reached it’s first Final Four since 2000. That said, Jackson has also provided fans with plenty face-palms. So many, that dare I say deserves a benching?

That might be a little too extreme, since Jackson has shown to be a valuable asset. Jackson was one of four to average double digits for Wisconsin. Jackson is also one of the few Badgers who can create his own shot. But would it be too far of a stretch for him to be moved to another position?

In high school, Jackson didn’t even play point guard. He was shooting guard, for Westerville-South in Ohio and it really does show. Jackson routinely struggles with his decision making. Whether it’s timing, accuracy, or ball control, Jackson often de-boggles Wisconsin’s swing offense.

At 6-foot-2 208 pounds Jackson sits right between the sizes of typical college point and shooting guard. What if Bo Ryan had Traevon move back to his high school position? There Jackson could focus on scoring and not have to deal with distributing the ball.

Bo Ryan would then bring in Bronson Koenig, the soon-to-be sophomore from Lacrosse. Koenig made a name for himself late in the season when substituting Traevon Jackson out. Koenig is a profound passer; much better than Jackson.

Koenig is a pass-first guard who has no problem difering his shot to other teammates. Wisconsin is stacked full of shooters who could greatly benefit off Koenig’s court vision; even Jackson who shoots 39.3 percent from the three.

The two struggled this season when sharing time on the court. Jackson’s experience trumped Koenig’s skill forcing the freshman to move to unfamiliar territory at the two guard spot.

Perhaps Bo Ryan can have the two switch roles this summer. Tell Jackson to forget about moving the ball, and to become a scoring threat. I have no problem with Jackson increasing his aggressiveness. Jackson is multi-dimensional on the offense side. Jackson can knock down Jumpers off the catch and  the dribble. He can also finish layups from both the left and right sides.

Jackson would then have to hand off the keys to Wisconsin’s offense to Koenig. I can’t imagine that he’d like doing that if you account the success Jackson has had over the past two years. Wisconsin has won 53 games with Jackson at point with a winning percentage of .726. Moving him could certainly jeopardize Wisconsin’s future.

That’s why Ryan should experiment as soon as possible. I believe Koenig can take Wisconsin’s already potent offense to the next level. Maybe it doesn’t work out, but the opportunity to give Koenig a shot is one Ryan won’t want to pass up.

  • Andy

    Good article. I think you meant deferring not differing