Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just when you thought the Badgers were destined for mediocrity

.....they go and win at Ohio State.

This one was a surprise. The Badgers Bball team won in Columbus, doing what the football team could not. This was a big win, the first for Wisconsin over a top 10 team on the road since 1980 (that one is surprising), and it keeps them in the top 4 of the Big Ten. Now don't get me wrong, the most likely scenario is that Wisconsin is an average team this year. We have seen that with 2 losses to Iowa and a bad loss to Michigan, but aside from those, the rest of our losses have been close ones to Top 10 teams. We can still hold hope of pulling off some UCONN-esque run or maybe more fittingly, a run similar to the 2000 Badger team.

Lots of positives to take from Sunday's win:
- Jordan Taylor shot over 50% from the field
- Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren have continued to usually be consistent 2nd and 3rd scorers.
- Balance - with the off the bench spark from Rob Wilson in recent games, 5 players scored 7 points or more.
- Poise in crunch time
- Doing the things we usually do well - went 9-11 from the free throw line and only turned the ball over 7 times
- Defending the big man - Wisconsin has struggled this season against Sullinger and Draymon Green, but on Sunday they held Sullinger to 8 points, the second lowest of his Big Ten career.

On the flip side of those positives:
- With that said balance - 5 players scoring 7 or more - those 5 players were the only players to score for Wisconsin and only 6 players took shots.
- Mike Bruesewitz - Apparently effort and fearlessness is not enough sometimes, even for a Bo Ryan team. Bruesewitz is under sized, and with the improved play of Ryan Evans, he's seeing a lot more time on the bench.
- Ben Brust - his hot start has cooled down, as he scored 0 points in 4 of his last 7 games, only scoring 10 points once in that span, but that is not unexpected for a player seeing such a large increase in minutes from the previous season.

All and all, a fun win, one that allows us Badger fans to maintain a slight glimmer of hope for a special season as March approaches.

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