Ranking last in the conference in rebounding margin with a negative 1.9 rebound average and getting out rebounded 93-52 in their first two conference losses, Carmody said his Wildcats needed to improve on the boards in order to have success in the Big Ten.
The Wildcats picked a bad time and the wrong opponent to try and improve their glass work.
Wisconsin, the third best rebounding team in the conference, flexed its muscles against Northwestern's 1-3-1 zone on the offensive and defensive end Wednesday night, grabbing a season high in rebounds by out rebounding the Wildcats 42-28, a key stat in the Badgers 74-45 conference victory.
‘We've got to take advantage of teams that are smaller than us and teams that play zone," said senior Marcus Landry, as his 12 points helped the Badgers move to 3-0 in conference for the fourth straight season. "That's one of the things we emphasized in practice this week was getting on the glass and getting some rebounds."
Wisconsin (12-3, 3-0 Big Ten) got rebounding contributions from 11 different players against Northwestern (8-5, 0-3 Big Ten), a season high, and moved its record to a perfect 11-0 when the Badgers grab more rebounds that its opponents.
"They went after every ball and it seems to come up with a lot of different guys getting rebounds and chasing balls down," Carmody said. "Even balls that were being knocked way below the rim, they seemed to come up with them."
Of the players that were active on the glass, nobody was more aggressive than senior Joe Krabbenhoft. Wisconsin's team leader in that department, Krabbenhoft grabbed eight rebounds, seven of which came on the defensive end.
"He just gave us Joe Krabbenhoft-type basketball," UW coach Bo Ryan said. "Joe will always come back and give you his best and he continues to do that."
Although Krabbenhoft did the dirty work under the glass, the real offensive star of the game was junior Jason Bohannon. Scoring a career-high 20 points to lead all scores, Bohannon scored 11 of his points in the second half, helping the Badgers swell a nine-point lead to as many as 30 points in the final 20 minutes.
But the number that stood out about Bohannon's night was his work on the offensive glass. With the Badgers out rebounding its foes on the offensive glass by an average of 1.4 per game, Bohannon grabbed three offensive boards, helping UW turn 12 offensive rebounds into 11 second chance points.
"We knew with their zone defense that if we had inside position, we would have (the rebound)," said Bohannon, who also grabbed a career-high six rebounds and dished out a career-best five assists. "It was like we were on defense. We ended up getting some good boards and being at the right place at the right time."
The Badgers hit their average in rebounding defense, as UW entered the game allowing only 28.4 boards per game and shut down Northwestern from the beginning. The Badgers limited Northwestern to just 21 first half points, held the Wildcats under 30 percent shooting in the second half and a season-low 45 points.
"I thought it was one of our best defensive performances of the year," said sophomore Jon Leuer, who chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds. "I felt anything they tried to do, we had an answer for it. I was really pleased for the effort that everyone gave."