In order for Wisconsin to win on the road at Minnesota Wednesday, the Badgers will have to put together a near perfect game, which includes doing a better job of defending the paint and hedging through screens.
In this Badger Nation feature, we will look at the three keys or questions for Wisconsin to have success against Minnesota.
Lay up: Can the Badger bench step it up?
Outside of Frank Kaminsky, all four of the Badgers starters are averaging over 30 minutes a game. That's fine but it will eventually start to take a toll on the starters, and it may already have. In order for the starters to get some rest, the bench is going to have to find ways to score and do their jobs on defense.
Nigel Hayes has done his job off the bench scoring but still needs work on defense. He has started to move his feet better but now needs to know when to go up and contest shots. Hayes has admitted that he needs to do a better job of helping this team win and get back on track.
Bronson Koenig, who was suffering from an illness against Michigan, has been solid this season but he needs to try and be more aggressive on offense. When Hayes, Koenig and Duje Dukan are out on the floor, they need to bring a new type of energy to get everyone else on the floor re-energized, help keep the offense clicking or pick up stops on defense.
Mid-range jumper: Can Wisconsin slow down Elliot Eliason and the Gophers' guard play?
Eliason is only averaging 6.8 points a game but his average has jumped to 9.1 points a game in Big Ten play, which includes shooting 64 percent in conference. Over the last two games it has been shown that Kaminsky and Hayes have trouble protecting the rim, for whatever reason, and the Wolverines were able to use screens to create some favorable matchups, which allowed them to get easy points around the basket.
The way Indiana and Michigan guards have played against Wisconsin, it would be fair to assume that Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins will find ways to get open or get the basketball down low to Eliason. Whoever Josh Gasser draws on defense, he's going to have to do a better job on defense then he has the last two games. Gasser had trouble getting through screens and slowing down dribble penetration during UW's losing streak, something he has shown he can have success against.
3-pointer: Can Treavon Jackson turn it around?
If Jackson is going to be the point guard for Wisconsin, he's going to have to start playing better and protecting the basketball. Jackson hasn't turned it over at a high rate this year, averaging 4.2 assists to 2.2 turnovers a game, but against Michigan looked disinterested and sloppy.
It was expected that Gasser would be the replacement for Jordan Taylor at point guard position. Once Gasser went down with his knee injury, Jackson was able to seize control of the point guard position. With Jackson struggling, it will be interesting to see if Bo Ryan allows Gasser or Koenig a chance to run the offense.
Whatever is affecting Jackson's play, he'll have to figure it out because even though his sloppiness hasn't cost him in turning the basketball over his luck may run out because Austin Hollins and Deandre Mathieu are each averaging about two steals a game.