Badger Hoops Recap: Easy W in Evanston

Both Andy and I saw tonight's contest with Northwestern as a "trap game"- one the Badgers were heavily favored in, against a dangerous Wildcat team that certainly could beat UW. Well, it turns out we were both horribly wrong. 

The Badgers (19-8, 10-4) took care of business against a crippled Northwestern team (13-14, 4-10), getting a 69-41 win in Evanston. Wisconsin got out to an early 9-0 lead and never looked back, holding an advantage the whole game. 

Let's jump right in to the player grades for tonight's contest.

Player Grades:

Player Stats/Thoughts Grade
Ben Brust, G
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12pts, 8 rebounds, 4-9FG's, 3-7 3pt FG's, 2 assists, 1 TO, 32min.

Ben Brust continues to do great things on the basketball floor, even with his sore knee. After missing his first three shots, Brust finished the game shooting 4-6 and knocking down 3 treys.  Brust's play will be absolutely crucial to the Badgers' postseason success.

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Ryan Evans, F
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4pts, 4 rebounds, 1-6FG's, 2-5FT's, 1 assist, 2TO's, 26 min.

Ryan Evans didn't do a ton tonight, and Wisconsin's offense cooked nicely without his occasional awful shot. Evans would get a better grade from me, but he air balled a free throw that was about 3 feet short.

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Mike Bruesewitz, F
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6pts, 5 rebounds, 2-6 FG's, 0-2 3pt FG's, 4 assists, 2 TO's, 33min.

Mike Bruesewitz does the same thing every game, and it helps the Badgers win. If the Senior can really key in his outside shot for the tournament, watch out.

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Traevon Jackson, G
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8pts, 1 rebound, 2-3 FG's, 4-6 FT's, 5 assists, 7 rebounds, 1 TO, 26min.

Though he didn't put up huge numbers, Jackson played arguably his best game of the season. He was efficient, made a ton of hustle plays, and hit a big buzzer beater at the end of the first half. It was a nice game for the young PG.

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Jared Berggren, F
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12pts, 8 rebounds, 5-9 FG's, 0-1 3pt FG's, 2 assists, 1 3 steals 25 min.

The Wildcats had absolutely no answer for Berggren inside, and the Senior took advantage of it. He hit a number of finesse shots off of good post moves and really took advantage of Northwestern's zone.

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George Marshall, G
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3pts, 1-3 FG, 1 TO, 19 min.

George played considerable minutes tonight but still was not able to produce offensively. He made a very nice contested three point shot, but besides that nothing else was going for the Chicago native.

N/A
Sam Dekker, F
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10pts, 3 rebounds, 4-5FG's, 0-1 3pt FG's, 1 assist, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 18 min.

Dekker had a nice game, not forcing anything offensively while also playing good defense and contributing to the rebounding effort. Dekker's basketball IQ seems to be improving game after game.

 

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Frank Kaminsky, F
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8pts, 2-5 FG's, 1-3 3PT's, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 TO, 2 steals, 13 min.

Since returning from his eye injury, Kaminsky has really helped the Badgers in rebounding and depth. Despite missing several games, Kaminsky isn't missing a beat while on the floor.

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3 Takeaways

- In all of their previous significant victories, the Badgers had disappointingly loss their next contest. Tonight Wisconsin came out energized and determined to get a victory, and their effort was evident on both sides of the ball.

- Wisconsin really took advantage of their size in this contest and it paid off. The Badgers out-rebounded Northwestern 43-19 (!), including grabbing 14 offensive rebounds to Northwestern's 4. Rebounding is something the Badgers have excelled at and it will be key to keep up the success as they head towards the post season.

- The Badgers' offense the past few games has been extremely effective and efficient. Tonight the Badgers really looked to get the ball inside and it worked wonderfully for them, as they shot 46% on the game. When the Badgers rely on the three point shot, they aren't a good team. When they look for easy buckets, they win ball games. Simple as that.

Wisconsin now has almost a week off, their next game will be against Nebraska next Tuesday at the Kohl Center.

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