BuckyCap: Badgers Battle Back but Fall in OT
Wisconsin Badgers started their season off with a tough non-conference game. They went to South Dakota to play St. Mary’s. The Gaels are the 20th best team in the nation per the preseason rankings. Badgers were not favored in this game, but there was a reason to believe Wisconsin could win this game. After forcing overtime with a spirited run, Badgers could not finish the deal in the extra period. Badgers’ late-game execution needs some definite work as the season goes on.
Player of the Game: Brad Davison – This is a good start to the season for Davison. He played a part in leading Wisconsin back in the second half. Davison also found himself in the paint late in the game. The fact he came up with some late-game rebounds among the bigs is impressive. I like what we saw from him in the first game of the season.
Honorable Mention: Nathan Reuvers – Good start to the season for Reuvers. There is a bevy of expectations from him to start the season. Many people anointed Reuvers as the Ethan Happ replacement. So far, he lived up to that hype. Reuvers scored 22 points, six rebounds, and four blocks. He helped bring the Badgers back in the second half. St. Mary’s led by nine points with about five minutes. Reuvers put things into hyperdrive. The only knock on Reuvers is he needs to get in the post more often. In overtime, Matthias Taas fouled out and Reuvers still refused to get in the post.
One Thing I Didn’t Like: Greg Gard’s overtime strategy – While Greg Gard has done a great job recruiting, the questions about his in-game strategy are still there. Badgers were down one point with 32 seconds left. Gard decided to play it out instead of fouling. St. Mary’s was only in the bonus meaning there is a chance they could miss the first to give Wisconsin a chance to win. Gard trusted his defense, and it backfired.
Next up: Wisconsin heads home for their home opener on Friday night. They take on Eastern Illinois. This is the second game against a tough defense for the Panthers. EIU lost to Texas Tech last night, 85-60. Badgers should be able to get their first win of the year.