Game Day Grades

Two exhibition games, two solid showings for Wisconsin Basketball. Before the Badgers will play for real on Sunday, Badger Nation beat writer Michael Langlois dishes out the grades from an 80-47 victory over UW-Superior Wednesday.

MADISON - The Wisconsin Badgers hosted the UW-Superior Yellowjackets at the Kohl Center in the Badgers final tune-up before the start of the regular season. As expected, the Badgers easily handled the Yellowjackets and were able to control the game on both ends of the court.

The offense struggled at times from the perimeter but the strong post play by Keaton Nankivil and Jon Leuer made up for the lack of consistency from the outside. On defense, the Badgers harassed the Yellowjackets and forced 24 turnovers, Trevon Hughes led the defensive charge to the tune of 10 steals. Overall, the Badgers were rarely tested and played 'superior' on both ends of the court.

Offense: B+

The offense once again was aggressive early in the shot clock and looked to push the tempo when given the opportunity. Trevon Hughes was able to beat his man off the dribble whenever he pleased and ended up with a 9-to-0 assist-to-turnover ratio. Keaton Nankivil shot the ball with confidence and accuracy from the perimeter and was able to finish with authority in transition. Jon Leuer also finished well around the hoop and appeared dedicated to establishing himself as a low post threat throughout the game.

At times last year, Leuer tended to drift out to the perimeter with very little success and so far this year has spent most of his time in the paint. This will be an interesting trend to follow as the season unfolds and the Badgers establish an identity on offense. As mentioned earlier, the Badgers struggled from the outside and specifically Jason Bohannon had trouble finding the touch from behind the three point line. Bohannon does appear to have less movement in his shot which should theoretically allow him to get his shot off quicker, but he was not in rhythm and did not seem to have his legs under him when he went up with his shot.

Overall, the Badgers will need to rely on a balanced scoring attack and contributions from the bench in order to consistently put up points on the offensive end. Look for Rob Wilson to fill the need for a scorer off the bench and to provide a versatile option from wing.

Defense: A

The defense was stellar when viewed from afar and the Badgers clearly overwhelmed an overmatched UW-Superior squad. Trevon Hughes was able to wreak havoc on the Yellowjacket ball handlers and consistently anticipated passing lanes and moves by the UW-Superior guards. Ryan Evans was once again a presence in the paint and had eight rebounds and three blocks. The Badgers defensive effort as a team was impressive from start to finish and Wisconsin consistently out-hustled the Yellow Jackets. The only area for improvement was on the defensive glass where the Badgers gave up 11 offensive rebounds to an undersized UW-Superior team.

Coaching: A

Bo Ryan probably could have been in the stands for this game but nonetheless had his team playing hard and fundamentally sound. The Badgers were diving on the floor for loose balls throughout the contest and held a four to one assist to turnover ratio for the game. The real challenge will come when the Badgers and Ryan start facing teams with athletic guards who either press the Badgers are supply intense ball pressure on the perimeter.

Game MVP:

Trevon Hughes, he simply had his way on offense and defense and was able to display superior quickness, dribbling, strength and court vision throughout the game.

What's Next: IPFW @ 5pm on Sunday, November 15th.


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