Three-Point Shot: Big Ten Tournament

Before No.12 Wisconsin heads to Indianapolis and the Big Ten Tournament, Badger Nation looks at the three burning questions we're looking to have answered.

Having its eight-game winning streak was snapped by Nebraska in the regular season finals, No.12 Wisconsin will have another chance to start a winning streak as the two seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

Wisconsin won't know its opponent until tomorrow night, facing the winner of Minnesota and Penn State. The Badgers split the season series with Minnesota and won their only game at Penn State.

In this Badger Nation feature, we will look at the three keys or questions for Wisconsin to have success in the Big Ten Tournament.

Lay up: How deep will the Wisconsin bench be?

Wisconsin has consistently gone eight deep with its rotation. Depending on the success of Wisconsin in Indianapolis, Bo Ryan could possibly go nine deep and work Vitto Brown into the rotation, as the true freshman has been working with the top unit in practice.

Ryan and the rest of Badgers fans know what to expect out of Bronson Koenig, Duje Dukan and Nigel Hayes, who won sixth man of the year award in the Big Ten, but Brown has only appeared in five Big Ten games this year and a total of 10 games played.

Early on in the season when Brown got in games either due to large leads or foul trouble, you could tell his inexperience was hurting his productivity on the floor. When Brown checked in at Nebraska in a close game, it also was surprising how well he played while he was on the floor. He only recorded one rebound during his four minutes of work but didn't look lost, fought for the ball and did a good job of moving his feet on Nebraska's pick and roll.

It does depend on what the situation is during the Big Ten tournament but if Brown has a strong week of practice, he'll have a chance to play and give some others a breather. Even though he's not a threat offensively, his length on defense could help to try and slow down some of the longer teams Wisconsin could face in the tournament.

Mid-range jumper: Can Traevon Jackson play mistake free basketball?

There's not doubt that Jackson makes the Wisconsin offense go but the offense struggles when he's struggling to take care of the basketball, which can lead to possible scoring droughts.

Depending on Wisconsin's opponent on Friday, Jackson has been able to play smart with the basketball against those two opponents. He averaged two turnovers in the games against Minnesota and had three turnovers at Penn State. When Jackson is playing to his capabilities and not trying to do too much with the basketball in his hands, Wisconsin can be a tough team to slow down.

Jackson was awfully good in last year's Big Ten Tournament helping Wisconsin reach the title game before losing to Ohio State. In that three game span, Jackson averaged 11 points, three assists and three rebounds on his way to earning Big Ten All-Tournament team honors.

Wisconsin fans know that he's capable of putting together those performances, which is why it likely frustrates fans when they see him make an ill-advised pass or lose focus. Jackson doesn't needs to do everything in the offense for UW to be successful.

Assuming Wisconsin gets past Minnesota or Penn State, the Badgers will likely see Michigan State in the semifinals. Wisconsin was able to beat the Spartans the first time thanks to Jackson hitting the game winner and dishing out eight assists, but Michigan State was able to force him into five turnovers.

Even though Jackson struggled to take care of the ball against Michigan State, he was able to find mid-range shots that worked for him if he wasn't able to use his size to get to the rim. Jackson needs to be aware what good shots are for him and that is not settling for 3-pointers, where he's shooting 38 percent on the year. If Jackson can find ways to drive to the hoop and draw fouls, he'll be able to help keep Wisconsin's offense in a rhythm.

3-pointer: What kind of production will Wisconsin get from Frank Kaminsky?

Wisconsin's chances are pretty good if you look over Kaminsky stats the last seven games, where he is averaging 16.9 points per game, 7.4 rebounds a game, and shooting 40.3 percent from three.

Kaminksy should be able to keep that up considering the possible matchups Wisconsin could face in the Big Ten Tournament. In the two games against Minnesota he's averaging 13 points and five rebounds a game. In the lone matchup against Penn State he had nine points and six rebounds.

Wisconsin has struggled protecting the paint over the last three games, giving up on average 39.3 points in the paint. In order to try and take away the paint, Kaminsky can't allow himself to get into foul trouble because of his ability to block and alter shots. Kaminsky is averaging 1.7 blocks a game, which is sixth in the Big Ten. It has been shown that Kaminsky's absence can affect the Badgers on both ends of the floor.

Not only has Kaminsky shown that he can alter shots, he has gotten to the free throw line 33 times over the last seven games, knocking down 27 of his shots. Wisconsin will need to run its offense through Kaminsky, considering Sam Dekker's recent struggles on offense and Ben Brust struggling against teams with some length. With Kaminsky becoming one of Wisconsin's more consistent offensive threats due to his size and range, it has allowed for the rest of the offense to open up. With Kaminsky being able to knock down the three ball, his defender has to respect his range. If he gets the ball down low, he has shown that he has a couple of go to moves to try and get himself to the free throw line.

Even if one of Wisconsin's opponents can take away Kaminsky, he can possibly pass the basketball out to one of his opponents for an open shot. If Wisconsin can consistently knock down open shots, they'll be able to avoid droughts or open up driving lanes for Dekker or Wisconsin's guards to attack the rim.


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