BuckyCap: Badgers Dismantle Nittany Lions
Wisconsin needed a bounce back. Badgers lost two straight games, and if they fell to Penn State, eyebrows would be raised about this team. Thankfully for Wisconsin, that didn’t happen. Badgers went to Happy Valley and rolled them in an impressive 71-52 victory. Wisconsin did get off to a sluggish start to this one, but it seems like only a matter time before Wisconsin pulled away. Penn State looks like a lost team, and the Badgers happily took advantage of the Nittany Lions’ plight. Wisconsin is now 3-1 in conference, and they get their another road win on the season.
Player of the Game: Ethan Happ – Like the team, Happ needed a bounceback from his woeful performance on Thursday night against Minnesota. Happ did just that. He scored 22 points with eight rebounds and four assists. Did he shoot a little too much in this one? Probably. But this is the game where Happ should be trying out a bunch of new stuff. 22 points on 24 shots is not the model of efficiency that Wisconsin wants in their team, yet, that’s still a good way to get comfortable again. Happ only made it to free throw line twice and made both.
Silver Star: Brad Davison – All of the sudden, Davison starting to find his voice as a scorer. Davison had 26 points on the road two weeks ago at Western Kentucky, and he follows it up with a stellar game scoring 14 points. Davison added seven rebounds and three assists. He also made all three of three-point attempts. Wisconsin needs this out of him. If he can be Happ’s second banana, that opens up so many things for Wisconsin.
Thing I Like: Scrappy defensive effort – Look, I know it’s cliche to call Wisconsin scrappy, but they played really hard again on defense. It wasn’t like their defense against Minnesota was bad, the shots didn’t fall on the other end. Badgers did all the little things last night. They forced 16 turnovers and nine of them were steals by Badgers defenders. They had six block shots including five from Nathan Reuvers. The effort was there all night
Thing I Didn’t Like: Don’t be scared of the free throw – It’s pretty obvious to me that Wisconsin will try to avoid a whistle or try to not find themselves in a bunch of ticky tack spots. Badgers shot a total of five free throws. They only miss two of them, but that tells me they’re not looking for contact. Maybe that’s the new strategy by Greg Gard. Avoid fouls when you can and just keep attacking. Interested to see what happens in the next game.
Next up: Wisconsin heads home for a Friday night (This will always be weird) matchup against Purdue. This is a big week for the Boilermakers who play eighth-ranked Michigan State on Tuesday night at the Breslin Center. Back-to-back road games is always tough. Wisconsin will look to win consecutive games for the first time in a few weeks. Badgers also look to hand some revenge to Purdue after last season.