Wisconsin Basketball improved to 9-7 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play with a 71-61 against Indiana in Madison. Despite losing starting shooting guard Brevin Pritzl to a head injury in warm ups, the Badgers battled hard and played with pride. Wisconsin was led by Ethan Happ, who had 28 points on 11/17 shooting to go along with 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Brad Davison tacked on 14 points, all of them coming in the second half.
Wisconsin’s next game is on Friday, January 5th at Rutgers. The Badgers will look to extend their winning steak to six games.
- Ethan Happ was outstanding. No, he was better than outstanding. He did everything. He scored a season-high 28 points, he passed out of double teams well enough to have triple the assists that he did, and he played phenomenal defense. To put it in perspective, the Badgers won by 10-points today. Without Happ, they probably lose by more than 15 points. That’s how good he was today, and that is how important he is to this team. Despite the Badgers being an NCAA Tournament long shot, Happ is still going to garner All-American considerations.
- Bench players battled hard. With D’Mitrik Trice out indefinitely and Kobe King lost for the season, Pritzl’s injury seemed devastating. It made an already thin Wisconsin team skeletal. But Wisconsin’s bench players answered the call. The trio of walk-ons and former walk-ons of TJ Schlundt, Walt McGrory, and Aaron Moesch played 20, 4, and 25 minutes respectively.. They didn’t do anything spectacular, combining for only five points. But they did all the little things like boxing out, playing tough defense, and taking care of the ball. It is stuff like that which is needed for less talented teams to win.
- Wisconsin turned the ball over 15 times. While their were a lot of good things to take away from tonight’s game, Wisconsin was still way too sloppy with the ball. Wisconsin doesn’t play many possessions either, so it was actually more like 20 turnovers. If the Badgers are going to keep winning in Big Ten play, they are going to need to take much better care of the ball.
Brad Davison: B+
He had 14 points, all of them coming in the second half. He was also his usual tough, energetic self.
Aleem Ford: B
He continued his hot shooting with 9-points on 3/6 shooting from beyond the arc. He just didn’t do much else.
Khalil Iverson: B+
He had 10-points and hit 6/7 free throws. He also defended very well.
Nate Reuvers: C
He struggled with foul trouble in his first career start and didn’t contribute much, good or bad.
Ethan Happ: A+
Happ had easily his best game of the season, if not his career. He produced at a level only a handful of players in the country can.
Aaron Moesch: B
He turned it over a couple times, but provided 25 very steady minutes.
Like Moesch, there were some mistakes. But he contributed 20 minutes and did all the little things to help the team win.