Game Day Grades: Michigan State

For the second straight day, a UW team falls one second short. After No.9 Wisconsin football saw time tick away in Pasadena, No.18 Wisconsin basketball couldn't get the game-tying three-pointer out fast enough, getting the made shot waved off in overtime to fall to No.10 Michigan State, 63-60. Badger Nation has the grades.

Offense: D-

Here's a simple concept: stop shooting threes if they are not going in. Try and work the ball down low to your big men. See if you can get better high quality shots instead of chucking up threes and relying on those shots. When you do, it's hard to win many ball games, especially when you finish 5-of-22 from three-point range.

Here's another concept: make your free throws. What happened to Wisconsin being a good free throw shooting team, a team that was three makes shy of breaking the NCAA single season record for free throw percentage in a season? I'm not blaming Jordan Taylor for the loss because the Badgers did other things poorly. But when UW gets to the line as much as they did (27 times), Wisconsin has to get more than 18 free points. If Taylor makes either the technical free throw or both free throws with 35 seconds left, UW wins.

It's evident that Wisconsin is not consistently a good shooting team, and can't afford to go through dry spells and expect to win. Wisconsin needs to develop a low-post presence because frankly, there isn't one right now when Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans go a combined 7-of-28 from the floor and 1-of-8 from three-point range.

Defense: D-

Wisconsin needs to become a better rebounding team or get some heart by going for the rebounds. Michigan State does not have a huge size advantage over Wisconsin but it was evident that the Spartans wanted those 50-50 rebounds more than UW did. As a result, MSU won the rebounding battle 41-33, which in turn doubled up UW in points in the paint (36-18), because they were the bigger bullies and mentally tougher in the paint.

Evans had a couple of nice plays defensively where he used his size to his advantage and was able to make his man adjust his shot. Still, the grade is low because the Spartans really had their way with their offense, only shooting a low percentage by missing some easier ones.

Overall: D-

Good job to keep fighting during overtime but there is no such thing as a moral victory, especially for Wisconsin and especially at the Kohl Center, an arena that has become poisonous of late for UW's jump shooters.

The bench for Wisconsin needs to step it up. The Badgers only had four points off the bench, Ben Brust (1-of-6 shooting, 0-of-4 from three) and Rob Wilson each with two points.

There is a problem when your big man leads the team in a game with most attempted threes. Berggren attempted six, only made one and unleashed a huge brick in the final minutes of overtime. Berggren please play down low.

Game MVP: Jordan Taylor. Taylor has been playing better since Big Ten play started. He had 28 points and was able to get to the free throw line, making 12-of-16. Taylor did everything he possibly could do to make up for his missed free throw during regulation during the overtime period but unfortunately it was not enough. Taylor was able to shoot a high percentage, going 7 for 11 from the floor but he turned the ball over four times.


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