Badgers crush Northwestern to open Big Ten play

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Well, that was easy….No seriously, outside of the first few minutes of the game Wisconsin never had anything to worry about against Northwestern. The Badgers took down the Wildcats 76-49 and it wasn't even that close. 

Yes, we're serious about that last comment. 

Freshman Nigel Hayes led the Badgers in scoring if you need any more evidence. He scored 19 points, leading four Badgers in double figures. 

He played well off of forward Sam Dekker who may have had the best all around game of any Badger in the victory. 

We'll leave it at that and invite you to our grades for more fun… 

 

Player Stats/Thoughts Grade

Ben Brust, G
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10pts, 3 rebounds, 4-8 FGs, 2-6 3pt FGs, 2 steals

Ho hum, that's about what it felt like from Brust, yet a further look into the game and you would see just how important he was to the Badgers success. He handled the zone defense Northwestern threw at UW about as well as anyone in the 2nd half.  

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Nigel Hayes, F
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19pts, 6 rebounds, 8-12 FGs, 3-4 FTs, 3 assists

This was the best game we've seen out of the freshman and a great glimpse of why he was a Top 100 recruit. He saw the game well, shot well inside and out and most importantly he played well off of Sam Dekker. Its a relationship we've seen grown all non-conference season and it blossomed on Thursday night. Hayes couldn't have played any better. 

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Traevon Jackson, G
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10pts, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 4-8 FGs

Jackson's numbers may not pop off the page, but he was efficient and smart with the ball in his hand for the most part. Outside of one bad shot, he did the right thing all night long and it showed with just one turnover against the pressure zone the Wildcats were employing. That more than anything else impressed us. 

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Duje Dukan, F
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7pts, 3 rebounds, 3-4 FGs, 1-2 3pt FGs

This stat line should tell you all you need to know about how easy this game was for the Badgers. Don't get us wrong, Dukan played well…but Northwestern made it hella easy for Dukan to go off. He did everything the Wildcats allowed him to do. 

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Sam Dekker, F
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15pts, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 7-10 FGs, 1-3 3pt FGs

Um, ya…another great game by the full-blown star. Dekker shot the ball well, but his passing was what should've and did draw our attention. He consistently saw the court well and got Hayes involved down low. A pass to Ben Brust on a backdoor cut also stood out over almost anything else he did offensively. 

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Josh Gasser, G
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0pts, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 0-4 FGs

OK, we're going to give Gasser a bit of a break in this game. After all, a guy who took a deliberate shot the nuts deserves the sympathy of every man out there. However, going forward, the Badgers need him to be better offensively. 

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Bronson Koenig, G
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4pts, 1 assist, 1-3 FGs, 1-1 3pt FGs

It was a good game for Koenig, who played 21 minutes but it didn't show up on the stat sheet all that much. He helped take care of the press and only turned the ball over one time. 

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Frank Kaminsky, F
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9pts, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 4-8 FGs, 0-1 3pt FGs

This wasn't an eye popping game from Kaminsky, but he did a lot of the little things well, especially in the first half. He continues to prove he really has improved. No more evident than his work down low on the offensive end in this game. Kaminsky wasn't dominate, but he was effective when called upon on both ends of the court and that was plenty fine for this game. 

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Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college football for nearly half a decade. He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadgers.com and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com

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