It's hard to beat perfection and that's exactly what happened for Erik Murphy as he led the Gators (2-0) to a 74-56 romp of Wisconsin (1-1) at the O-Zone. Murphy poured in a game high 24 points on 10-10 shooting from the field and 2-2 shooting from the line for a perfect shooting night in the victory.
For the second straight game the Badgers went down 7-0 to an opponent , only this time they were playing the 10th ranked team in the country and Wisconsin couldn't come back from that as they never led in the loss.
The hot start for Florida continued throughout the first half as they lead 43-31 at the half, shooting 75% from the field and controlling the pace of the game. Wisconsin simply couldn't keep up and weren't playing their normally physical and mentally sound defense as the Gators got to them early and often.
Sam Dekker scored a career best 11 points along with 11 from Jared Berggren to lead Wisconsin's scorers for the night. Berggren was the leading rebounder for the Badgers, pulling down 6 boards.
Wisconsin was outhustled by the Gators for the most part, only winning the turnover battle by forcing 20 turnovers to turning the ball over 10 times themselves. However, UW turned those 20 turnovers into just 20 points as they struggled shooting all night.
The Badgers finished the night shooting just 35.6% from the field (21-59) and really hurt their chances of coming back in the 1st half after cutting the Gators lead down to 2 points by shooting just 29.2% from beyond the arc (7-24).
It's hard to find much that Wisconsin did right in this one beyond the forcing of turnovers as they were outrebounded (40-21), and outshot as Florida finished the game shooting 61.9% from the field.
Having said all of that, let's get into the grades for the Badgers in this game:
Ben Brust: (C) – Brust was just 2-9 from the field and was only 1-2 from deep for 6 total points. He added 2 rebounds, assists, and steals but overall he didn't contribute enough in terms of energy early on as they feel behind. It wasn't he best game by far.
George Marshall: (D) – He played 29 minutes and while he did a good job keeping ahold of the ball under pressure his offensive game was way off the mark. Marshall had just 3 points on 1-5 shooting from deep and his game was pretty commensurate with how the Badgers played as a whole.
Ryan Evans: (C -) – Evans was just 3-11 from the field and if the Badgers are going to win they need more than 7 points a game from him. He's got to be a double digit scorer on a nightly basis. The only thing that saved him is the fact that defensively he forced 3 turnovers and was one of the more active guys on that side of the ball for UW.
Jared Berggren: (A) – He might of been the lone complete game that Wisconsin had all night long. Along with his team beast 11 points he grabbed 6 rebounds and didn't have a single turnover while forcing 2 steals and blocking 1 shot.
Frank Kaminsky: (C -) – This could be the last game Kaminsky starts as he played just 13 minutes and Mike Bruesewitz saw a lot more time. That's not a knock on Kaminsky, even if the sophomore just didn't have it tonight. Seriously, who did though? He only had 4 points and 3 rebounds in his limited minutes.
Mike Bruesewitz: (B) – He was a defensive spark for Wisconsin in their attempted 1st half comeback and early 2nd half mini-run as well and is rounding back in to form quickly. He didn't have a lot to add in terms of points or rebounds, but counting on him for points isn't his strong suit and he only attempted 3 shots all night long anyway. His spark was enough to give him a decent grade for the night.
Traevon Jackson: (B) – Wisconsin played a lot of different combos tonight and Jackson saw 29 minutes of action and was pretty efficient, shooting 3-5 from the field, including 2-4 from deep for 8 points. He also had a team best 3 assists on the night that included a highlight reel pass to Zak Showalter late for a reverse layup. Jackson looks more and more comfortable out there each game.
Sam Dekker: (A +) – For a loss his was the most consistent performance overall as he tied for the team lead in points (11) and assists (3) and added in 3 rebounds in his 20 minutes of action and at times was the only one slashing to the basket against the Gators zone. He is adapting quickly to the college game and that bodes well for the Badgers. He only had 1 turnover and 1 personal foul in an improved overall effort from game one.
Zak Showalter: (Incomplete) – The only reason it's incomplete is because he played just 8 minutes, but what we did see was some very good hustle and 2 points and 2 rebounds in that limited time.
Zach Bohannon: (incomplete) – He had just 3 minutes of action and recorded exactly zero stats, so grading his play isn't really an option.