Game Day Grades: Iowa
Offense: C Wisconsin's offense was ugly at times and painful to watch without the Badgers getting into a consistent rhythm. Iowa made Wisconsin earn every shot they took, and the Badgers finished 33.8 percent (24-for-71) from the floor. While Wisconsin did shoot 25 three-point shots (making seven threes to shoot 28 percent), the Badgers found success by getting touches in the low post and scoring 24 points in the paint. Jared Berggren (16 points) and Ryan Evans (15) each had success down low in particular. Ben Brust led all Badger scorers with 18 and Traevon Jackson had 13 points. Wisconsin coughed the ball up 12 times. Jackson had two bad turnovers early in the game where there was miscommunication between him and his teammates. Both of his turnovers were passes that were picked off. Iowa did a good job of cutting off the passing lanes but Jackson should have realized that there was no passing lane for him. Jackson ended up turning over the basketball five times. The Badgers only received eight points off of the bench. Sam Dekker had five points, but was able to knock down a critical three in the second overtime session after sitting for most of the second half and first overtime. Defense: B Even though Iowa didn't shoot a high percentage (33.8 percent on 25-74), the Hawkeyes were able to find success on the low blocks. Aaron White and Zach McCabe had success down low scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively. Even though the Hawkeyes did dominate the boards for long stretch and score 24 points in the paint, the Badgers were able to contest a majority of their shots and finish with a total of eight blocks in the game, seven coming from Berggren. Wisconsin was able to force Iowa into 12 turnovers and generate steals off traps. Wisconsin was able to convert the Hawkeyes turnovers into 15 points. Iowa was doing a lot of screening in the game to try and get open, and Wisconsin for the most part did a good job of hedging the screens, fighting through defenders to contest shots. The Badgers played good physical defense against Iowa, especially Mike Bruesewitz, who brought energy to the floor with his play. Overall: B Wisconsin played well enough and made enough plays down the stretch to pull out a victory but got lucky with two critical three's made by Jackson and Dekker. Jackson struggled from the floor (3-10) but was able to knock down a three to send the game into overtime. Even though Jackson may struggle at times, the one thing he certainly doesn't lack is confidence, which is good to see in a young player. You can tell he wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line, which is needed if he's going to be a successful point guard in the Big Ten. It was critical for Wisconsin to make free throws down the stretch. Wisconsin only scored four points in the first overtime, which all came from the charity strip, and went 9-for-10 in the second overtime, which included two Evans' free throws to seal the game. Overall Wisconsin went 19-26 (73.1%) from the free throw line. Wisconsin barely lost the rebounding battle to Iowa (51-49), but that was a blessing in disguise considering the big disparage was midway through the second half. Iowa was able to grab 15 offensive rebounds, which they turned into 17 points, with Wisconsin's bigs being outmuscled by Iowa. But down the stretch when the game was on the line, Wisconsin got those rebounds. Other than his late brain fart that cost Wisconsin a three-point play, Evans was able to put together a solid game from the free throw line (5-7), his aggressiveness on the glass (9) and his offensive court vision (five assists). Game MVP: Berggren. It's hard not to give the MVP to Berggren, as he was a monster against Iowa with his second career double-double (16 points, 14 rebounds). What's most impressive is Berggren had a career high seven blocks, was able to knock down his free throws and pulled in critical rebounds toward the end of the game. Berggren appears to be back on track and he'll need to carry over this performance for Saturday against No.3 Michigan.