Ryan Evans had a great first half against the Panthers. He had 10 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots. He's playing with so much confidence right now and you can tell. He's playing really smart and it seems that he might be putting it all together. Evans ended the game with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting and eight rebounds.
Jordan Taylor, who didn't make a shot from the floor against UNLV on Saturday, managed to have 14 points on 5-of-14 shooting. Only up 51-50 with 4:20 to go, Taylor came up big when he needed to for the Badgers, scoring the next seven points for the Badgers to put them up 58-52 and the game out of reach with less than 30 seconds to go.
Jared Berggren also had a nice game. Berggren had 17 points and nine rebounds. He also shot the ball extremely well. He went 4-of-6 from the floor and made 3-of-4 three's. Berggren also made a critical three to beat the shot clock in the second half. The score was tied at 48 when Berggren put the Badgers ahead for good with his three.
Wisconsin did well from the charity stripe going 16-of-20. This is the production the Badgers fans expect from the team when they get to the free throw line they hit a high percentage.
In the first half the Badgers offense did a good job of sharing the basketball. They worked the basketball around the perimeter and were able to eventually work it down low and get points in the paint. In the first half they had 16 points in the paint.
The defense would have earned a B but they let the Panthers comeback from a 17-point deficit with a little more than 13 minutes to go in the game. The Badgers let the Panthers get back in the game by allowing the Panthers to get open from 3-point distance. Tony Meier made two three's and Evan Richards made one three to cut the deficit to 47-46.
One area where Wisconsin did well was on the glass. Although being outrebounded 34-32 and allowing 30 points in the paint, the Badgers held the Panthers to only six points on 11 offensive rebounds, and held them to 38.2 percent shooting percentage (21-of-55).
Wisconsin was lucky that the Panthers couldn't make their free throws. The Panthers got to the line 17 times but they only managed to get seven points. The Badgers only committed 12 personal fouls but the made free throws would have made it a completely different game.
Again, this grade would be higher if the Badgers didn't let the Panthers back in the game. When you get a 17-point lead, a team simply can't let your opponent come back. You have to either maintain it or build on it.
The Badgers were able to get seven points from their bench. Ben Brust had five – but shot 1-of-9 from the field - and Frank Kaminsky had two points. Rob Wilson also played and he did well with three rebounds and being active on defense.
The Badgers had three starters score in double figures with Berggren leading the way with 17 points, a key with Mike Bruesewitz playing nine minutes because of foul trouble. With the way Evans played and Bo Ryan liking to play three guards at a time, Wisconsin didn't necessarily need Bruesewitz to play.
Kaminsky looks to becoming more comfortable in the offense and it seems like he will be a good substitute for Berggren when Big Ten play comes. As a young center, he moves his feet pretty well so he should be able to do fine in the Big Ten.
Game MVP: Jared Berggren. It could've been either Evans or Berggren but Evans became quiet in the second half. Berggren was able to put two solid halves together. Also when the Panthers were making their comeback, Berggren stepped up and helped Wisconsin keep the lead. He made a three to beat the shot clock and he was also able to knock down his free throws down the stretch.
He also did a nice job of making sure the Panthers didn't get any second chances by getting nine defensive rebounds. He also blocked a shot as well and had one steal. If he can consistently put up numbers like he did against the Panthers come Big Ten play the Badgers will be in good shape.