Wisconsin knocks off No. 2 Hoosiers, 64-59, takes 1st place in B1G

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Wisconsin played like "junkyard dogs" according to Bo Ryan on ESPN after the game and that was an accurate description of what went on as the Badgers took down the Hoosiers for the 11th straight time, winning 64-59 at Assembly Hall. The win was also their 5th straight at the venerable arena and with the win the Badgers are on top of the Big Ten at 4-0. The Badgers also took down their 2nd straight Top 15 team, beating the 2nd ranked Hoosiers tonight following a blowout of the 12th ranked Illini on Saturday.

Cody Zeller poured in 21 points to lead all scorers, but he was the only one to show up in a major way for the Hoosiers who were frustrated and held down all night long. They were held just over 28 points below their season average and a lot of credit has to go to the play of guards Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson on the defensive end. Outside of Zeller the Hoosiers made just 11 field goals as a team, just to give you an idea of how lock down the defense was.

After this game it well could be as simple as this fact: Bo Owns Crean – that's right Tom Crean is now 3-15 against Wisconsin in his career as a head coach.

There is a lot to like about this one from all sorts of perspectives, so let's get to the player grades to show you just what we mean. 

 

Player Stats/Thoughts Grade
Ben Brust, G
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9pts, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 35 minutes

Brust wasn't on fire from the field, shooting just 1-4 from deep, but he was an efficient 4-7 from the field and made some shots when the Badgers needed them. However his biggest contributions came on the defensive end as he worked to hold Jordan Hulls down & that he did, allowing him to score just 4 points on 2-8 shooting.

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Mike Bruesewitz, F
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10 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2-5 FG's, 4-6 FT's, 33 minutes

Bruesewitz's offensive game was all from beyond the arc and he did have two air balls, but he also had two straight butter treys as well, including a huge deep trey when the clock was running down late in the game that helped swing the momentum to the team. He also had a huge impact on the game w/ his 4 assists and 4 made FT's. 

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Ryan Evans, F
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13 points, 6-11 FG's, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 33 minutes

He was the leading scorer and was actually efficient for a change on offense. He also was the leader in rebounds – so ya, he had a heck of a game overall for the Badgers in what was truly a team victory.

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Traevon Jackson, G
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11 points, 3 rebounds, 5-5 FT's, 3-9 FG's, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 32 minutes

Jackson had a bit of coming out party in this one after a few bad moments early on with the ball handling he came up huge, including hitting a shot he had no business taking late in the 2nd half to help seal the deal for the Badgers. Could we see him coming into his own right before our eyes? Maybe… But still not 100% sold because of ball handling. 

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Jared Berggren, F
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5 points, 4 rebounds, 2-8 FG's, 1 block, 1 steal, 28 minutes

This wasn't Berggren's best game by a mile, but he handled Cody Zeller one on one pretty well to start the 2nd half. He was also in foul trouble early and with an injury to Frank Kaminsky he had to be a little less aggressive so in turn his numbers were a bit down, but so was his shot selection. 

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George Marshall, G
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0 points, 0 rebounds, 1 assist, 13 minutes

Marshall played some decent minutes and while he didn't score or add any rebounds he actually ran the offense well while in there. Marshall had another bad defensive lapse, but clearly if this team wants to play at a fast pace he is the PG to do it with. Not his best day on the stat sheet to say the least, but it wasn't about him when he was in.

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Sam Dekker, F
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10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, block & steal, 23 minutes

Dekker had another highlight reel move or two in this game and he shot a decent 4-8 from the field which included a smooth baseline trey just when Wisconsin was making a run to a 10 point lead. One thing that really came through was this guy doesn't think like a freshman as he wasn't intimidated by anything IU or the fans threw at him.

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Frank Kaminsky, F
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6 points, 2-2 FG's, 3 minutes

it could've been more but he was raked across the eyes big time early on and didn't return to the game. His status is unknown for the next game at this point.

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3 Takeaways:

- I think we're seeing Traevon Jackson maturing right before our eyes. He's been much, MUCH better over the past three games or so and if he can solidify things at the point position this team really could take off. Without his play this team actually would've been in trouble when Indiana made their run at the UW in the 2nd half. 

- I said it in my player breakdown, but Sam Dekker isn't a freshman at all… He doesn't play like one or act like one either and we're seeing a very special player, just wonder how long we'll actually see him play in the Cardinal and White.

- What's gotten into Jared Berggren these days? I mean, seriously, he seems to be on a personal mission to one up his own best dunk of the season. So far in Big Ten play he's had at least three if not 4 highlight reel dunks and if his one against Indiana doesn't make it on to SportsCenter's Top 10 something is really wrong.

Bonus Takeaway: This Wisconsin team just showed the world the blueprint, along with what Butler, on how you handle and beat Indiana. You don't double Cody Zeller, you just play physical against him, and you stop the rest of the team from shooting well from behind the arc.

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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