Game Day Grades: Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - With a balanced effort offensively and starting to look like its old self defensively, No.9 Wisconsin registered a much satisfying 72-58 win over Purdue at Mackey Arena Saturday. BadgerNation hands out the grades.

Offense: A-

Wisconsin was able to get off to a strong start on offense after A.J. Hammons picked up two early fouls in the first 90 seconds of the game. With Hammons out for Purdue, Wisconsin was able to jump out to a 17-6 lead with in the first five minutes of the game.

There was no one player who helped Wisconsin build an early lead but like all season the starters were able to find balance scoring amongst each other. All five starters finished with double figures in points with Frank Kaminsky leading all scorers with 16 points. Sam Dekker and Traevon Jackson both had 15 points, Ben Brust had 11 points and Josh Gasser had 10 points. With five starters scoring in double figures, the Badgers were able to shoot the basketball efficiently going 19-for-46 (41.7 percent).

Although the Badgers have been impatient at times during offensive possessions during their three game losing streak, they did a much better job of staying patient and were working the basketball around. At times they did rush a shot but were able to let the offense come to them. Wisconsin finished the game 7-for-20 (35 percent) from three.

With Hammons being out for the majority of the game, it allowed the Badgers to attack early and often against Purdue without any bigs protecting the rim. Even if Wisconsin couldn't get easy points in the paint, they were able to draw a Purdue foul. Dekker in particular was aggressive from the start, getting to the free throw line 11 times knocking down eight of his free throws. Overall the Badgers finished 27-for-33 (81.8 percent) from the free throw line.

Defense: B-

Wisconsin did a better job on the defensive end then they have over the last three games, but again had trouble defending the paint. Purdue score 40 of its 58 points down low. Clearly Wisconsin still has work to do, and it hurt the Badgers when Kaminsky once again got into foul trouble early. It also hurt when Nigel Hayes picked up two fouls. With Kaminsky and Hayes out most of the first half, it allowed Terone Johnson (10 points) to drive to the hoop. Bryson Scott was the only other Boiler to score in double figures with 10 points off the bench.

Although the Boilers found success down low, Wisconsin was able to contest a majority of their shots to make life difficult for them. UW finished the game with six blocks with Kaminsky having a team-high three.

Wisconsin's defense also did a good job of being aggressive and trying to cut off passing lanes, recording six steals in the game. At times Wisconsin was too aggressive, which resulted in the Boilers to get easy points down low, but the Badgers forced Purdue into eight turnovers, which translated into 10 points for Wisconsin.

Purdue grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, but the Boilermakers only converted them into 14 second-chance points.

Overall: B+

It was great to see Wisconsin take control of the game early when Hammons went out with foul trouble but Wisconsin allowed Purdue get back into the game in the first half. Similar to the first half, Wisconsin was able to jump out to a 10-point lead once the second half started. Only difference was UW never allowed Purdue back into the game after halftime.

Although Hayes had some good plays on defense this was probably his worst game since Big Ten play started. He was 1-for-4 shooting and while none of his shots were poorly taken, he had two turnovers that could have been easily avoided. In one instance late in the game, where Purdue was pressing, Hayes badly missed his intended target by throwing it out of bounds on an outlet pass. Hayes was being defended when he passed, but could have got it past half court before passing it or take a second to look where he was passing.

Kaminsky needs to do a better job of staying disciplined and not picking up fouls in the first half. When Kaminsky goes out of the game, everything changes for the Badgers on defense. Anderson was able to fill in nicely during his seven minutes of action and was able to make some plays for Wisconsin.

Jackson has struggled mightily during the losing streak but looked a lot more poised, was able to take care of the basketball and usually played within himself. Jackson needs to be able to find a consistent rhythm for Wisconsin to have success.

Game MVP: Frank Kaminsky. Despite the foul trouble in the first half, Kaminsky, when he was out on the floor, was very effective on both ends, finishing the game with 16 points on 4-for-6 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and had three blocks. Kaminsky was able to take advantage with Hammons on the bench by being aggressive, finding success down low and getting himself to the free throw line eight times, going 7-for-8 in the game.


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