"It was big with our guards being able to shoot the way they do," said Kaminsky. "it really opened up some driving lanes for me throughout the whole game. I just tried to exploit those and get to the rim and get some easy baskets."
Wisconsin (21-5, 8-5 Big Ten) led the entire game, but had to fend off the Wolverines in the second half when Michigan (18-7, 10-3) clawed back to within three after being down 18 in the first half. That is when the 7-footer took command of the Badgers and carried his team with high confidence, scoring their next seven points to rebuild the lead.
"If you are getting to the rim and making a couple big plays in a row, then you are going to have a lot of confidence," said Kaminsky. "You are going to want the ball every play down court and I think that happened. I wanted the ball in my hands and I was able to make some things happen."
Sophomore forward Sam Dekker was productive on the day, finished the game with 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting, but he and his teammates saw a very determined and aggressive Kaminsky who was in a perfect rhythm.
"I don't think I have seen him play that aggressive," Dekker said of Kaminsky. "He played really well. He was just saying, ‘Hey, guys, find me' and we were running plays and kept getting him in the high post so he can take it at them. His one on one was really good and he was finishing strong.
"I think he realized he was 7-foot tall and he is much closer to the hoop than the other guys."
The most memorable moment of Kaminsky's performance was his 3-pointer with 2:17 remaining as the shot clock expired. After a thunderous run by Michigan cut the lead to three minutes earlier, Kaminsky's 3-pointer capped a 13-3 run that silenced the arena for the final time.
"When he does that and things are feeling good, then he feels good and have about that confidence to go ahead and take that step back three with two seconds on the shot clock," said Dekker. "You got a 7-footer doing that, then it is tough."
While Kaminsky's teammates thought he was more aggressive in this game unlike others, head coach Bo Ryan thought he was just opportunistic.
"He used his ball fakes well … but more importantly he finished," said Ryan. "He made his free throws and when you can do that, then that obviously is going to make a difference."
With five games left to play, Wisconsin is in striking distance of making a run at the Big Ten title, sitting two games back of Michigan and Michigan State in fourth place in the Big Ten.
"It is great for us," said Kaminsky. "It gives us confidence with a couple more road games and home games left. To come out like that and build yourself a lead and maintain it throughout the whole game against a team that really beat us up at home is a great thing."