BuckyCap: Defense Reigns Supreme Again for Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers have made defense their calling card this season. For every team, no matter the sport, you always have a calling card. Wisconsin Badgers basketball has their defense. That’s what they’re all about this season. Wisconsin showed it off on Wednesday night yet again beating Minnesota, 56-51, and exacting revenge on their rival. It was a hotly-contested game with a few Badgers like Brad Davison and Nate Reuvers returning to their home state to play against the team where the fans hold grudges against these guys for not staying in-state for college. Badgers continue to keep themselves in the Big Ten title conversation.
Player of the Game: Nate Reuvers – What a game for the Badgers sophomore in his homecoming to Minneapolis. Reuvers had an incredible college basketball stat line with nine points, eight rebounds and seven blocks. The last part is the one worth talking about for Wisconsin. That’s amazing defense by the young kid. He held down some of Minnesota’s top scorers. Wisconsin fans have to feel better about next season as it appears Reuvers can carry this team like Ethan Happ has been doing all year.
Silver Star: Ethan Happ – While Reuvers had a big night on the defensive end, Happ did the damn thing like usual. He had 15 points, 13 rebounds and scored yet another double-double. Minnesota held Happ in check last month in Madison, but that wasn’t the case on Wednesday night. The senior forward had his way with the tough Minnesota interior defense adding another positive checkmark in his hopes for Big Ten Player of the Year.
Positive: Wisconsin didn’t lookahead – Granted, this is a rivalry game and a revenge game, but it would have been easy for Wisconsin to lookahead on their schedule. They play Michigan and Michigan State on the road in the coming week. A slip-up could have happened against the Gophers, but it did not. Badgers held court for most of the game. That’s very impressive for the Badgers, and now the Michigan trip is house money. Yes, two losses would knock them out likely of Big Ten title contention. No, it really wouldn’t affect their overall resume.
Negative: The Barn led to some ice cold shooting – Wisconsin could not get their three-point game in action tonight. They struggled mightily from deep only making six 3-pointers all night with an ugly 27 percent from deep. Both Brad Davison and D’Mitrik Trice struggled from beyond the arc last night. Defense helped Wisconsin’s cold shooting.
Next up: Wisconsin heads to Michigan on Saturday morning, and this feels like a hornet’s nest considering the Wolverines lost to his Badgers team last month. Now, the game plan against Michigan was good, and it will be interesting to see what adjustments are made by both teams. Wisconsin isn’t a supreme underdog in this one though. Michigan has shown vulnerability in the past couple weeks.