Badgers HoopCap: Second Half D Squeezes Orange
Wisconsin Badgers took part in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge tonight facing off against Syracuse who they beat in overtime last year on the road. Defense showed up in a major way for Wisconsin holding the Orange to 21 second-half points. An impressive win for Badgers who continue to do well in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Ethan Happ is a soon-to-be star
It’s hard for any Badgers fans not to be excited about the potential of Ethan Happ. He’s one of the best young players in college basketball. Happ isn’t the number one option on this team, but he keeps making a compelling case that Happ deserves more offensive sets run through him. Badgers sophomore handled the 2-3 zone masterfully and made it very difficult on the Syracuse defenders. Happ finished with 24 points with 13 rebounds with four assists. He looked like a machine especially in the first half.
Wisconsin needs this Nigel Hayes all the time
The senior year of Nigel Hayes has been up and down thus far. He showed some great moments in the Tennessee and in this one, and some not so hot games like North Carolina last Wednesday. Hayes played great tonight on both sides of the ball. He nearly messed around and got a triple-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Hayes didn’t attempt a three, which is an encouraging sign for Wisconsin. The three should be his secondary weapon. He also did a great job on defense holding Andrew White III down in the second half.
Bench needs to be better
There were games last year where Wisconsin’s bench didn’t help their starters out. Tonight, Badgers had no use for their bench. They won the game with only six bench points. Not every game is going to be like this one. There needs to be the steady bench scorer for Wisconsin who can provide seven to 10 points on any given night. D’Mitrik Trice was the only offense from the bench. Maybe, he’s that guy for them. Badgers.
Players of the Game
Hayes (Wisconsin) DaJuan Coleman (Syracuse) – Happ had a stellar night, Bronson Koenig also had 20 points but Hayes shined through on both sides of the ball. If Wisconsin’s big three is this good on a consistent basis, watch out. Syracuse didn’t have many memorable players in this game so let’s ride with Coleman. He’s a Van Wilder nominee and finished with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Wisconsin takes on Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. This is the second game of a home-and-home. Badgers owe Sooners a little payback for last season, and this is Boomer’s toughest game to date.