Badgers Hoops Recap: Badgers cold shooting dooms them again in NCAA Tournament

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We've all seen this play out over and over again in the NCAA tournament – the Badgers play good defense for a half and then the offense can't come along for the ride. On Friday afternoon in Kansas City that cold offense cost them a chance to advance as they went down to the 12th seeded Rebels of Ole Miss 57-46. 

Just how bad was it? The Badgers went 15-59 from the field and 7-30 from beyond the arc for the game. It doesn't matter how good or average your defense plays, there's no coming back from that. It didn't help that Marshall Henderson went OFF in the 2nd half again or that Traevon Jackson couldn't figure out how to hit anything. Henderson sparked Ole Miss to a 20-8 run to end the game and advance his Rebels to the round of 32. 

This loss was all about what Wisconsin didn't do and less about what Ole Miss did do. Sure, the Rebels confused our offense with multiple sets, and credit them for that, but UW missed more open shots than Dwight Howard could miss free throws. 

Wisconsin committed 8 turnovers in the 1st half, nearly equaling their average for an entire game all season long, yet they led 25-22 at the half thanks to a 14-7 run to end the half that was keyed by Sam Dekker's 10 1st half points. 

However, Dekker couldn't keep it going in the 2nd half and no one else picked up the slack either and the Badgers went down in flames as Marshall Henderson heated up following a 1-13 start to the game, pouring in a game high 19 points to lead the Rebels to victory.

Player Grades:

Players Stats/Thoughts Grades
Ben Brust, G
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6pts, 4 rebounds, 2-9 FG's & 3pt FG's, 38min.

Brust struggled from deep, but at least he was taking open shots more often than not. That's about the only bright side to what when on on Friday for him.

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Ryan Evans, F
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5pts, 7 rebounds, 2-8 FG's, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 steal, 28min.

Evans wasn't bad, he played some good minutes on the defensive end, but he was a liability on the offensive end. So much so that he sat when the Badgers needed points the most down the stretch. That shouldn't happen with a senior leader.

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Mike Bruesewitz, F
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3pts, 6 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 1-4 FG's, 32min.

Not a good way to end your career. This seriously might have been the worst game of Bruesewitz's career and it couldn't have come at a worse time too. His 4 turnovers were brutal and most came in the face of shifting momentum. 

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Traevon Jackson, G
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8pts, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 35min.

Jackson was decent with the ball in his hands, limiting his turnovers, but he made dumb decisions shooting the ball, going 2-10 from the field and earning his points from the line. He needed to give up the rock more when he shots weren't falling, either that or stop taking ridiculous shots that didn't need to happen.

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Jared Berggren, F
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8pts, 9 rebounds, 2-10 FG's, 3 blocks, 30min.

Berggren didn't shoot the ball well but he handled himself pretty well on the blocks defensively. Unfortunately he was part of the senior trio that couldn't shoot their way out of paper bags. 

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George Marshall, G
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0pts, 1 rebound, 7min.

Marshall didn't play enough minutes to really do much, but he also didn't provide the spark this team needed against Ole Miss' defense and hence the lack of minutes

N/A
Sam Dekker, F
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14pts, 3 rebounds, 5-13 FG's, 2-10 3pt FG's, 20min.

Welcome to the only one that had a decent day on the offensive end and I use that term relatively. Dekker poured it on in the 1st half, scoring 10 points, but he feel off in the 2nd half along with everyone else & he didn't add a ton on the defensive end of the court either. 

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Frank Kaminsky, F

2pts, 3 rebounds, 1-4 FG's, 2 assists, 10min.

Kaminsky made some nice passes with the ball in his hand and he actually showed a few moves down low. Not a bad effort for just 10 minutes of action from him.

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3 Takeaways:

- I can't remember a Badger team taking worse shots than the one that went on the court Friday morning in Kansas City. Credit Ole Miss' defense to be sure, but the shot selection of just about everyone was suspect at best, especially Jackson and Bruesewitz.

- The lack of a true point guard really hurt the Badgers as they just didn't have anyone with enough to create their own shot, which would've helped against the Rebels pressure defense. It makes me really anxious to see how the Badgers come out next year with Gasser back from injury, Koenig coming in as a freshman. Those two can create shots for themselves and others.

- Anyone else's brackets completely screwed, not because of the Badger game but because of what went on following that? Yikes…. 

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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