Game Day Grades: Southeastern Louisiana

MADISON - Wisconsin's season opener was a showcase of the Badgers' balance, as UW used its experienced front court and talented young guard play to overwhelm Southeastern Louisiana, 87-47, Sunday. Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense: A

Anything Wisconsin wanted to do offensively, the Badgers did against Southeastern Louisiana. Jared Berggren in particular played well leading the team with 19 points on 6 of 10 shooting.

Besides Berggren scoring in double figures, Ben Brust and Mike Bruesewitz reached double figures. Brust had 14 and Bruesewitz with 10 off of the bench. Overall the Badgers shot the basketball well from the floor shooting 52.5 percent (32-for-61).

Frank Kaminsky enjoys shooting the three-point shot a little bit too much. On the day, Kaminsky went 0-4 from distance. I know he can make the shot but can't make it consistently. On one his misses Kaminsky, did a good job of trailing his shot and was able to put back his shot that he missed. Kaminsky had six points on 3 of 8 shooting. Overall the Badgers went 8-for-21 (38.1 percent) from distance.

Wisconsin was able to find its way down low consistently in the game, scoring 40 points in the paint. With Berggren making a living on the low blocks, he able to use his low post moves to draw fouls. Berggren knocking down all seven of his free throw attempts.

The Badgers did fine taking care of the basketball - only turning it over eight times. A couple of turnovers were just sloppy - either miscommunication on the play or just not being strong enough with the basketball down low.

Defense: A

The Badgers did a good job of shutting down the Lions' undersized offense. Not make their first field goal until the 12:38 mark in the first half, the Lions shot 35.2 percent (19-for-54) overall from the floor.

The one thing that impressed me was that the Badgers' defense played good aggressive defense without fouling the Lions. Wisconsin only committed six personal fouls and no one committed more then one foul. Simply put: the Badgers were playing good smart defensive basketball, which coach Bo Ryan will be proud of.

The defense was able to make the Lions cough up the basketball nine times in the game, which the Badgers converted into 12 points.

Berggren and company made it very difficult for the Lions to find any points in the paint. On the day the Badgers blocked seven shots and only gave up 16 points down low.

Similar to their performance in Wednesday's exhibition game, the Badgers made sure they weren't going to allow the Lions to get any offensive rebounds. The Lions only managed to get three in the game. Wisconsin only allowed Dre Evans to get into double figures, as he finished with 13 points.

Overall: A

The Badgers played a good crisp game and should be pleased. The level of competition is going to take a step up when they take on Florida on Wednesday. It was good to see Bruesewitz play get back on the court. Bruesewitz only played 13 minutes but was very productive in his time. He had 10 points on 3-for-3 shooting, knock down both of his three-pointers and made both of his free throws. He also had three rebounds. If Bruesewitz's leg was bugging him during the game, nobody could tell. This will serve as a great confidence booster for Bruesewitz and Wisconsin, especially heading into Wednesday night.

Ryan Evans had probably one of his poorer games, but still produced. Evans finished with nine points on 4-for-9 shooting and had nine rebounds, but what fans will remember that he went 1-8 from the charity stripe. Evans did a good job of getting to the free throw line but has to be able to knock down his free throws. Evans shot 72 percent last year from the charity stripe so there is confidence that he'll be able to get that fixed. Overall the Badgers went 65.2 percent (15-for-23) from the free throw line.

Brust recorded his first double-double in his career - finishing the game with 14 points and 11 rebounds – and also had two steals, three assists and one turnover.

Sam Dekker and Zak Showalter made their collegiate debuts and had eight and five points, respectively. Dekker shot the ball well going 3-for-5 from the floor and had two assists and a steal. Showalter played with a lot of energy and was very active in only nine minutes of action. Showalter was able to draw a three-point play off of a lay up in the second half and was able to show off his vertical in the game. He tried to dunk the basketball after a missed lay up by J.D. Wise but he couldn't convert because he was fouled. Showalter knocked down both of his free throws. He also had a nice defensive play where he was able to notch a steal and was able to find Berggren for the easy bucket.

Game MVP: Berggren. He simply was the best player on the floor against the opener with 19 points, hitting all his free throws, grabbing eight rebounds and blocked four shots. He was completely dominant.

Berggren has been proned to get into foul trouble in the past, but was very disciplined on the defensive floor and didn't commit a foul in the game. The Badgers are going to need Berggren to stay out of foul trouble this year, especially if he continues to be dominant.


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