Every week, Herald Sports will look back at the Wisconsin men’s basketball team and grade the Badgers in various aspects of the game, including offense, defense and bench scoring.
Here is how the Badgers fared last week in a pair of home games against Illinois and Indiana:
Offense — 3 of 5
If you take out the second half of both games, this grade would be a perfect five of five. Before halftime, Wisconsin shot a combined 29-for-57, or 50.8 percent against Illinois and Indiana. In the second half of the two games, though, the Badgers cooled off significantly, shooting 23-of-62, or 37.1 percent.
Overall, UW averaged nearly 70 points on the week, which is slightly above the Badgers’ season average of 68 points per game. Wisconsin was especially effective from beyond the arc against the Illini and Hoosiers, hitting 21 times on 54 attempts. Senior guard Jason Bohannon fueled the Badgers’ strong shooting as he caught fire from deep, connecting 10 times on 17 attempts for an impressive 58.8 percent mark.
Defense — 3 of 5
Defensively, Wisconsin was dominant in the latter of the two games. In a matchup last Tuesday with Illinois, however, UW could not stop the Illini offense. In particular, junior guard Demetri McCamey and junior forward Mike Tisdale were virtually unstoppable. Illinois’ inside-outside duo combined for 46 points on the night as neither player seemed to miss a shot. McCamey and Tisdale did an excellent job of exploiting the Badgers’ weakness in covering the pick-and-pop, which allowed Tisdale to score 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, with most of the big man’s attempts coming on mid-range jumpers.
Against Indiana, on the other hand, the Badgers were especially opportunistic. They did not stop the Hoosiers from shooting a high percentage, as IU went 20-for-43 from the field. Instead, UW took advantage of its greater size, cleaning up the boards against the Big Ten’s second-leading offensive rebounding team coming into the game. UW outrebounded IU 33-26, which led to an 18-5 advantage in second-chance points. Turnovers also played a key role, as the Badgers recorded 29 points off 21 Indiana turnovers.
Number of the Week — 30
It’s the number of points Bohannon scored against the Hoosiers in Wisconsin’s 83-55 blowout victory. This is significant because it’s a career-best for the Marion, Iowa native, and it demonstrates just how impressive the 6-foot-2 guard’s play has been of late.
In each of the Badgers’ last four games, Bohannon has led the team in scoring with an average of 20.5 points per game.
Through 25 games this season, J-Bo has posted double digit point totals 17 times, good for the second-highest total on the season behind Trevon Hughes with 20. With 30 points Saturday, Bohannon also became the first Badger to eclipse the 30-point mark on the season and the only current player in cardinal and white to score 30 points in a game.
Quote of the Week — Bo Ryan
Head coach Bo Ryan delivered a pair of good quotes this week, though one was far more positive than the other. When asked about the mood in the locker room following Tuesday’s disappointing loss to Illinois, Ryan’s answer was short and to the point.
“Next (question),” he responded.
After easily downing Indiana, on the other hand, Ryan showed off his more light-hearted side, joking with the same reporter that asked about the mood in the locker room as he opened it up for questions following Saturday’s victory.
“It’s all about the mood in the locker room,” Ryan joked before going on to explain himself. “I don’t answer that question. I wasn’t trying to be wise with you. It’s just some things are personal to the guys.”
Moment of the Week — Smith’s 3-point play
With less than 30 seconds remaining Saturday, the UW lineup consisted of five players who see all or a significant portion of their time in practice on the scout team in Wquinton Smith, Brett Valentyn, J.P. Gavinski, Mike Bruesewitz and Jared Berggren. Though the Badgers had a commanding lead and IU head coach Tom Crean had also gone to his bench, Smith’s drive with 23 second remaining impressed all those who stuck around until the end. The 5-foot-11 junior guard beat Indiana’s Daniel Moore off the dribble and converted the layup while drawing a foul call on Moore. Smith also hit the free throw, completing the old fashioned 3-point play and giving Wisconsin a short-lived 30-point advantage. Watching the reaction of Smith’s teammates on the bench was a great way to end the game.