BY MIKE LUCAS
UWBadgers.com Senior Writer
MADISON, Wis. — D'Mitrik Trice will take final exams this week with an eye on another testing period: the offseason. The latter will loom large in shaping his basketball and leadership skills going into his sophomore year, along with readying Trice to take over as Wisconsin's point guard.
"This is the most important summer that I've probably ever had — just by the fact that this team is going to need me to step up next year in a lot of ways," said Trice, who came of age in one respect on Tuesday. He turned 21. "I have a lot of things to work on, but I'm excited for it."
Trice is hoping to get bigger and stronger — "I'd like to gain 12 pounds if possible" — while accenting some fundamental improvements within his game. "One thing I'm going to focus on is finishing a lot better," he said. "I definitely want to get my rhythm down off the dribble a little more."
As a true freshman last season, the 6-foot, 178-pound Trice appeared in all 37 games, including starts against Michigan and Penn State. He averaged 18.3 minutes, 5.6 points and scored in double-figures six times with a high of 16 against Oklahoma. He had 63 assists, 37 turnovers and 20 steals.
"A lot of players make a big jump from that first year to their second year," said Wisconsin's new assistant coach Dean Oliver, a four-year starter at Iowa. "They have that experience under their belt, they start learning the little tricks of the trade and they gain their confidence."
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