Game Day Grades: Ole Miss

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's over just like that. Wisconsin's issues offensively were again back breaking, and the Badgers couldn't turn the momentum in the second half of their opening-game upset. Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense: D

It was the same story like it has been all season: if the Badgers struggle on offense, the team is going to struggle. Boy did UW struggle, shooting a season-low 25.4 percent from the floor on 15-for-59 shooting.

Sam Dekker was the lone player to score in double figures with 14 points off the bench. Traevon Jackson and Jared Berggren each had eight points, but both went 2-10 from the floor. Those two weren't the only starters that struggled, as Brust went 2-for-9, Evans 2-for-8 and Bruesewitz 1-for-4. That's 20.9 percent from the starting five.

Wisconsin struggled to take care of the basketball in the first half with eight turnovers, but did a better job with only three miscues in the second half. Still the Rebels did a good job of taking away passing lanes and playing physical defense to disrupt the Badgers offense.

Wisconsin tried to get the basketball in the paint but didn't have much success with Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner each giving the Badgers' bigs trouble. With Wisconsin struggling down low, the Badgers went to the three but had trouble making anything from distance. The Badgers went 7-for-30 (23.3 percent) from three. None of Wisconsin's threes were bad shots they just were not falling for Wisconsin.

Defense: C

Wisconsin's defense played well in the first half but allowed Ole Miss to get into a rhythm in the second half. The Rebels went 12-for-25 (48 percent) in the second half and finished the game 22-for-57 (38.6 percent) from the floor.

The Badgers did a good job of containing Marshall Henderson in the first half but saw was get into a rhythm in crunch time. Henderson had two points at the end of the first half on 1-for-11 shooting, but scored 17 points in the final 11:25 minutes. The Rebels started to use screens to get Henderson open and the Badgers had trouble hedging the screen.

Besides trouble containing Henderson in the second, the Badgers had trouble keeping the Rebels out of the paint. Ole Miss was able to get down low with relative ease without must resistance. Holloway was one player who had success in the paint finishing the game with 10 points.

Wisconsin couldn't force the Rebels into making any bad decisions with the basketball. The Rebels only coughed the basketball up nine times, which led to only nine points.

The Badgers were able to record seven steals. Ben Brust led the team with three steals. Wisconsin finished the game with seven blocks. Berggren led the team with three.

Overall: D

Ole Miss came out ready to play in the second half and was able to slow down the Badgers to make them struggle offensively. Simply put the Badgers didn't have enough answers for the Rebels in the second half, as Wisconsin's scoring droughts allowed the Rebels to eventually take over the game.

Mike Bruesewitz did not have a good last game. He finished with three points but three of his four turnovers were the result of him overthrowing his intended target. They were open passes and it should have been an easy pass.

Ryan Evans had a great Big Ten Tournament but couldn't do anything against the Rebels' size. Evans couldn't get to the hoop and if he received the ball down low there was nothing for him to do with it. Evans finished the game with five points and had seven rebounds.

The Rebels won the rebounding battle 40 to 38. The Badgers were able to grab 15 offensive rebounds but could only convert their second chance opportunities into eight points.

Game MVP: Sam Dekker. Dekker overall had the best all-around game for the most part. He led Wisconsin with 14 points on 5-for-13 shooting, had three rebounds and a steal. Throughout the game, Dekker stayed aggressive and was always looking for his shot. He did a good job of moving without the basketball and was really the only Badger who found success against the Rebels.


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