Game Day Grades: Green Bay

MADISON - After Wisconsin completed the in-state sweep by defeating Green Bay 70-56, making up for lat year's four-point overtime loss, Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense: B

Wisconsin looked OK on offense throughout most of the game, with a few stretches of excellence that kept the Badgers lead at or near double digits for most of the contest. Senior Jon Leuer continued his dominance as he went over the 20-point mark once again, with a game high 22 points. Leuer truly is the complete package and has shown that he can consistently get his shot off despite opposing defenses shading towards him.

Furthermore, Leuer was complimented by fellow senior Keaton Nankivil who showed off his impressive outside shot en route to 4 three-pointers and 16 points. Wisconsin has an extremely unique situation in which both of its big men are arguably more comfortable out on the perimeter than in the post. Fortunately, the swing offense allows the Badgers big men to operate from the outside; consequently removing opposing team's big men from the paint, and opening up opportunities to score inside.

Lastly, sophomore Mike Bruesewitz appears to have secured the bulk of the minutes at the three-spot as he broke out tonight for a career-high 18 points. With Bruesewitz penciled in as a starter, the Badgers must find an effective bench rotation to keep the offense from lagging when the starters are not on the floor. Tonight, Wisconsin got two points from its bench and the rotation seems to still be in flux. Ideally, Bo Ryan will have settled upon a consistent rotation by the time conference play begins, in hopes of getting more consistent production from his bench.

Defense: B

The Badgers played good defense for the majority of the game and held Green Bay in check from behind the three-point line. Wisconsin also held an apparent height and strength advantage at nearly every position on the floor, resulting in very few open looks inside the paint for the vertically challenged Phoenix.

It is hard to take much away from this game given how limited Green Bay is offensively; however, the Badgers once again played fantastic position defense and cut off dribble penetration lanes from most of Green Bay's perimeter players.

Lastly, the areas of concern are offensive rebounds and occasional let-ups towards the end of the game. Similar to the Marquette game, Green Bay was able to corral double-digit offensive rebounds despite being significantly overmatched in height and strength. This is partly due to the constant switching the Badgers do on the perimeter and the potential mismatches this creates towards the end of the shot clock when players are scrambling.

Overall: B

Wisconsin appeared to know that it were better than Green Bay and did not seem to be putting forth the same energy and concentration we had seen from the Badgers against Marquette. Although this is understandable given the different circumstances of the two games (and one day off in between), Wisconsin will not have the luxury of lapses in effort or concentration once Big Ten play begins.

Additionally, Bo Ryan typically uses a larger rotation during the non-conference schedule in order to have a thorough understanding of what he has at his disposal; however, it appears that it is taking him longer than usual this year to define the roles and identities of his bench. Once he is able to do this, the Badgers should eliminate some of the streakiness we have seen from them so far this season.

Lastly, the Badgers still seem a little out of sync towards the end of games and have had minor let-ups against both Marquette and Green Bay. These have been less significant given the Badgers ultimately won both games, but it remains a crucial area for improvement as the team readies itself for conference play.

Game MVP: Nankivil. This is more to acknowledge the increased aggressiveness and assertiveness Nankivil has shown over the past three games. Nankivil is starting to play like a senior leader and has shown consistent confidence in his perimeter jump-shot, something that came and went in the past.

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