As the non-conference portion of the Wisconsin Badger basketball season has ended and Big Ten play is about to begin, how does this year's Badger team compare to last year's team?
Let's start on offense:
A little worse, but in the same ballpark. The Wisconsin offense is still very good (which is funny as that has been what people complain a lot about).
They played very slow last year and are even slower this year. Can we finally put to rest that Bo Ryan is going to speed things up once he gets his own players?
Off Effect FG%
The Badgers are shooting the ball better this year.
Off TO %
Still pretty good. Even better this year.
Off Reb %
The Badgers are smaller this year up front and are not getting as many extended possessions on offense as a result.
Off FTA %
Not much difference here. They still get to the line a solid amount of time.
Off 3P %
Shooting from range has improved greatly.
Off 2P %
Still about average here.
Has gotten a little worse...needs to get better.
Steals Allowed %
As noted, the Badgers are taking much better care of the ball.
% of shots that are 3P
They are relying much more on 3's this year, which is fine as long as they keep making them.
The Badger assist totals are always low. Some of this is the swing offense I believe, but I am guessing that the Kohl Center statistician is just stingy in awarding assists. This isn't all that atypical.
Now, let's shift to the defense:
This is where Wisconsin's biggest/most significant dropoff has occurred. They are still a good defensive team, but last year, the Badgerrs were one of the top couple defenses in the nation. I would guess that this speaks a lot to losing Flowers, Stiemsma, and Butch.
Def Effect FG%
Teams are just making a lot more shots against Wisconsin this year.
TO Forced %
Forcing turnovers is never a priority in Bo Ryan's scheme, but still, the Badgers have really dropped here.
Off Reb Allowed %
Great as usual. They don't get beat on the offensive boards very often.
FTA Allowed %
While the Badgers don't get to the line a ton, the big thing is that they don't allow others to get to the line much at all. This is always true of Bo Ryan's teams.
3P % Allowed
Another huge dropoff. I believe a lot of this is just luck, but still, they need to do a better job of defending the perimeter.
2P % Allowed
On the other hand, this trend is there for shots inside the lane as well. The defense must improve.
FT % Allowed
I don't know how you defend free throws, but if there is a way, they should start doing it. Obviously, this is just a matter of bad luck.
Their steal percentage is terrible. This goes along with the overall theme of defense needing to get better.
I figured this would drop because of losing Greg Stiemsma, but apparently not.
% of shots that are 3P allowed
Not much of a change here.
So much for my theory of the statistician at the Kohl Center. Other teams get assists against us, so that must be more a function of the offensive system.
This is still a good team, but they check in at #60 in the overall team rankings, after finishing last year at #5. They are taking better care of the ball and are shooting better, though that is sometimes masked due to their very slow tempo. However, the defense, while still solid, has dropped from that elite status. The good news is that many coaches believe that defense is easier to improve than offense. If the Badgers are to make a run at another Big Ten title (or even a run to get into the NCAA at this point), the defensive execution needs to take that step up.