February 14, 2010

Good, bad and ugly from Indiana win

MADISON - When a team scores 83 points with better than 50 percent shooting from the field, chances are things are going well. That was exactly the case for Wisconsin during Saturday's blowout win over the Hoosiers.

Now, with the team having a day off on Sunday, BadgerBlitz.com takes one final look back at the game that was.

The following is a look into the good, the bad and the ugly from Saturday's win over Indiana.

THE GOOD:

Jason Bohannon:

There really isn't much left to say that hasn't already been said. Bohannon was remarkable on Saturday and has been for the majority of UW's past four games. His 30-point effort not only set a new career high, but it also marked the fourth straight game he led his team in scoring.

His stroke, as Tom Crean pointed out following the game, is one of the best in the Big Ten. He is a lethal shooter that will make teams pay if they don't defend him properly. He has developed to the point where he can create for himself and that has done nothing but improve his offensive skill set.

"Anytime you've been in this system for a period of time you're bound to get more experience in knowing when to attack and when to add certain aspects to your game," Bohannon said. "That's the same with our whole team. Every person on our team has gotten better throughout the years they've been here because they've been listening to coach Bo Ryan. They know when the best time to utilize certain areas is.

"That's when we get the best shot is when we're being smart with the ball and getting open looks."

Tenacity on the glass:

Indiana came into the Kohl Center as the Big Ten's second best rebounding team. When the Hoosiers left, they were humbled in that department, particularly on the offensive glass.

Wisconsin recorded nearly as many offensive boards (15) as defensive rebounds (18) during Saturday's contest. Six of those offensive tallies came from freshman Mike Bruesewitz, who logged six offensive boards by himself. In comparison, Indiana only had eight offensive rebounds and 26 boards overall.

"He's everywhere," Ryan said. "But he's been doing that. Coaches are always looking for that consistency. I think Mike is ready to contribute even more. He certainly showed that today."

Good looking shots and defense:

What a difference a couple of days can make. When UW struggled to find any sort of offensive flow during the final 10 minutes of Tuesday's loss to Illinois it was almost painful to watch. On Saturday, there were no jeers when it came to the Badger offense.

UW jumped on the Hoosiers in the early going on both sides of the ball. The offense bolted out to a quick 8-0 run that eventually ballooned to 17-3 and the defense forced five turnovers in the opening five minutes.

Indiana, a young team with little experience, had no chance of recovering from that early deficit.

"We are a quiet basketball team," Indiana head coach Tom Crean said. "And we don't have guys that grab each other by the chest in those huddles and pull each other in close and say 'Hey, let's get this right.' You can get that from a coach in a huddle; you can get that in a timeout, but it has to become more internalized.

"It's a mental team thing we have to overcome, and the turnovers definitely hurt us early on."

Acrobatics at the half:

I have been to well over 100 UW basketball games during my time as an undergrad and reporter and I can easily say that the F-M Acro Team puts on the best halftime show. They are so sound in their technique, so smooth in their action and so confident in their ability that it makes their gymnastic/tumbling/soaring through the air routine a lot of fun to watch.

THE BAD:

Indiana's struggles:

When you have one of the youngest teams in all of college basketball it comes to be expected that there will be shortfalls. On Saturday, it seemed as though those young players for coach Crean are starting to hit their barrier. From the opening tip, the Hoosiers really didn't put up much of a fight.

"It's a stage we are going through right now," Crean said. "I think our preparation was excellent, but we have got to do a better job. I do not have a group of guys on this team that absorb how important communication is, that absorb how important it is to be just an absolute pit bull at your position and really batter down, get things done and set the inspiration for the rest of the guys.

"I am extremely disappointed in our lack of physicality and our rebounding. It shouldn't be happening. It just shouldn't be."

THE UGLY:

The shot that wasn't meant to be:

As a poster in the Badger's Den pointed out, it was really hard to come up with ugly portions of UW's game on Saturday afternoon. So, I will run with the idea the poster had.

On a day that everything seemed to be going right for the Badgers, an unbelievable thing occurred near the end of the game. When great ball movement set up Rob Wilson for an open three in the corner, the last thing people probably expected was for the sophomore guard to air ball the shot.

A miss would have been one thing, but an air ball from a spot he likes to shoot from was borderline absurd. But hey, sometimes people shoot a shot that just wasn't meant to be. I have a feeling Wilson didn't lose much sleep over it.

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