Game Day Grades: Eastern Kentucky

MADISON - Continuing its season-opening hot streak, No.4 Wisconsin overwhelmed Eastern Kentucky by being able to pick apart its defense and use its size advantage to generate points in the paint and from the free throw line. BadgerNation hands out the grades.

Offense: A-

Wisconsin's offense didn't have much of a problem with Eastern Kentucky's defense, shooting an impressive 60.5 percent from the floor (26-for-43). Wisconsin was able to find success down low, where they scored 26 points in the paint, or around the perimeter, going 9-for-15 from three.

The Badgers had four players reach double figures for the eighth time this season. Ben Brust led the way with 20 points, Nigel Hayes had 17 points off the bench, Sam Dekker had 16 points and Frank Kaminsky chipped in 13 points.

The Badgers had the height advantage over the Colonels and Wisconsin was able to find itself at the free throw line often during the game. By the end of the first half, Wisconsin had attempted more free throws (20) then attempts from the field (19). When Wisconsin got the basketball down low, the Colonels would try and strip the basketball for a steal. That ended up causing them more fouls than steals. The recipient of the fouls was Hayes, who went to the free throw line 17 times converting on 13 of his free throws.

The Colonels came out pressuring the Badgers' offense and it caused Wisconsin to get a little sloppy with the basketball. The Badgers finished the game with 11 turnovers, which translated into 13 points for the Colonels.

Defense: B+

Although the Badgers' defense has improved since the beginning of the season, there is still work to do for Wisconsin, which at times is still having mental lapses and allowing easy scores.

Even though Wisconsin held the Colonels to 24-for-58 (41.4 percent) shooting from the floor, the Badgers allowed 34 points in the paint. With the Badgers size advantage over the Colonels, they shouldn't have had that much success down low. Kaminsky only played 24 minutes and wasn't as effective in helping protect the rim. Dekker had the only block of the game for the Badgers.

The Badgers had trouble slowing down Glenn Cosey, who scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half. Cosey was able to find success driving the basketball and was able to get to the free throw line five times (he made all five).

The Badgers were able to force the Colonels into nine turnovers, which translated into 13 point. The Badgers were able to steal the basketball four times from the Colonels, with Hayes had two of the four steals.

Overall: A-

Once again the Badgers were able to get off to a hot start and build a comfortable lead going into halftime. The Colonels were able to keep the game close early on but eventually Wisconsin was able to put the game out of reach.

Despite playing with a right foot injury, Kaminsky looked good and didn't appear like the injury was bothering him. Kaminsky just keeps on letting the game come to him, he doesn't force anything on offense (going 4-5 from the floor) and will dish to the open man if he can't find anything (finishing the game with four assists).

The Badgers were able to build their lead early in the first half thanks to Brust and Dekker. Dekker was able to take over the basketball game in the first by finding driving lanes or making nice cuts to get open. Dekker scored 15 of his 16 points in the first half.

Wisconsin knew that it would be able to have a chance to get to the free throw line often with the Colonels averaging over 19 fouls a game. The Badgers were able to draw 26 fouls against the Colonels. The Badgers were such frequent visitors that they almost made as many free throws (25) as they did field goals (26). Although they shot a good free throw percentage (75.8 percent), it would have been nice if the Badgers were able to convert a couple more times. When UW gets to the free throw line 33 times, it needs to be able convert and not leave points on the court.

Game MVP: Ben Brust. Brust led the Badgers in scoring for the second straight game, finishing with 20 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Brust was able to drive to the basket and knock down his shot around the perimeter - going 5 of 8 from three. After struggling against Virginia, Brust has been able to find the bottom of the net these last three games, averaging 17 points a game.


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