Shooting Droughts, Puzzling Play cost Badgers in 58-53 loss to Gophers

Wisconsin and Minnesota left off where they started in Madison, only this time no one was the victor in regulation. Instead the 20th ranked Badgers played their third straight overtime game, a first in school history, but unlike the previous two OT games this one didn't go the Badgers way as they were downed 58-53 at Williams arena. 

All you need to know about this one is one stat and one stat only: 11 minutes, 1 second. That's how long Wisconsin went without a field goal in the 2nd half and overtime. Ben Brust hit a jumper with 6:11 remaining in the 2nd half and the Badgers wouldn't score another point from the field until there were 10 seconds left in overtime. 

That drought should tell you just how ugly the offense was at times and just how good the Badgers defense was, as they never allowed Minnesota to take a lead following that Brust jumper that put the Badgers up 47-43. That's just simply frustrating to see, knowing just a few made jumpers or finishes from one Traevon Jackson and this team walks out with a win from The Barn.

This one wasn't pretty for a lot of the UW roster, so let's get into the grades – just rip the band-aid off, right?

Player Grades:

Player Stats/Thoughts Grade
Ben Brust, G

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11pts, 4 rebounds, 4-11FG's, 3-10 3pt FG's, 2 assists, 1 TO, 43min.

Brust just didn't have it when the Badgers needed it most down the stretch. He simply wasn't on from deep. However, it's hard to completely fail him because he did play pretty well on the defensive end of the floor – an area he continues to impress me more with almost on a game by game basis. That said this wasn't one of his better efforts.  

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Ryan Evans, F

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6pts, 11 rebounds, 2-8FG's, 2-8FT's, 1 assist, 3TO's, 29 min.

2-8 isn't good, no matter if it's from the field or from the line, but lately Evans has become a complete liability down the stretch on offense & it's becoming a joke as teams just simply foul him. He's shooting a whole 41.4% from the line. His defense also wasn't nearly as good as it's been, despite the huge rebounding numbers. UGLY from him once again.

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Mike Bruesewitz, F

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5pts, 6 rebounds, 2-6 FG's, 1-5 3pt FG's, 3 assists, 1 block, steal, TO, 39min.

Typical Bruesewitz game – nothing too flashy, but a lot of hustle. Unfortunately he shot way to many trey's for what this offense needs him to do. The fact that he had 3 assists is a bit redemptive however. 

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Traevon Jackson, G

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7pts, 1 rebound, 3-14 FG's, 1-6 3pt FG's, 4 assists, 3 TO's, 39min.

UGLY – I don't think I need to say more if you look at his stat line, but seriously the guy killed the Badgers with poor shot selection, selfish play & a ridiculous mental mistake down the stretch. Not fouling right away & allowing 17 seconds to go off the clock at the end of the game is inexcusable to me.

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Jared Berggren, F

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8pts, 8 rebounds, 3-9 FG's, 0-2 3pt FG's, 1 assist, 1 block, 39 min.

The rebounding numbers were nice and he was active inside on the defensive end all night long, however he went cold when the Badgers needed him to do something. A for defensive effort, but D for offensive production tonight. 

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George Marshall, G

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0pts, 1 rebound, 8 min.

Marshall didn't play a ton of minutes in this one and he wasn't really all that effective when he was in there, grabbing a needless foul on the defensive end and taking just one shot.

N/A
Sam Dekker, F

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14pts, 4 rebounds, 3-7FG's, 2-4 3pt FG's, 1 block, 1 steal, 22 min.

Dekker led the team in scoring and he made some vast improvements in the hustle category, however he also made a few bad decisions on both sides of the court and his youth did show on the defensive end a few times. He is getting better game by game & his minutes are increasing along w/ Evans' lack of production as well. #FreeDekker

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Frank Kaminsky, F

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2pts, 1 assist, 1 TO, 6 min.

Kaminsky's night will be mostly remembered for him bringing the headband w/ the goggles look back from the dead. He didn't really contribute much, but not his fault in this one.

N/A

3 Takeaways:

- Apparently the game tying trey for Traevon went to his head. Seriously, how the hell is that the guy you want taking the most shots on your team? The sequence of him taking the final shot & him failing in epic manner three times on drives in OT were just laughable because they were so sad as well. That can't repeat itself EVER again this season if they want to win basketball games. 

- #FreeDekker – He's earned more playing time and while he's not perfect on the defensive end he's one of the few pure shooters (along with Brust) that this team has and I'm glad we're seeing Bo and Co. recognize that when Evans is struggling they aren't sticking with him and putting Dekker in. Plus, they are actually letting him figure the game out with a bit of a longer leash on him. 

- What happened to the confident George Marshall that was out there just a few weeks ago. He's playing alright on the defensive end, but he's not looking to get shots on the offensive end and instead just seems to want to bring the ball up and pass it off to the first available person. Maybe I'm missing something, but Wisconsin's offense is better off with him taking shots than Traevon Jackson. Something's just different about his demeanor on the offensive end and I am not a fan of this version of Marshall. What say you?

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy has been covering college football for nearly half a decade and is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadgers.com. He's also a featured columnist covering college football for Bleacher Report.

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