Game Day Grades - Michigan

The shooting wasn't pretty, the perimeter shooting was awful and the deficit was overwhelming, but No.18 Wisconsin was solid from the free throw line, took care of the basketball and got key contributions from Trevon Hughes and Rob Wilson to pull out a Big Ten victory over Michigan. Badger Nation hands out the grades.

Offense: C-

A lot of the professors I when I was in school said they took into account improvement over the course of the class when assigning final grades. I am not one of those professors.

There's nothing that can be said about the first 10 or so minutes of the game that is positive. The Badgers stunk offensively. Couldn't hit the proverbial broad side of the barn.

So while the end result doesn't look all that bad (54 points on 57 possessions), the utter inability to score during the first quarter of the game leaves an awful taste in my mouth.

The Badgers still haven't found much offense out of the forward position since Jon Leuer went down. I'm beginning to think they won't.

Defense: B+

Wisconsin couldn't stop DeShawn Sims in the post, but then again there are several teams this season that have been guilty of that. Missing one of their better post defenders, that isn't all that surprising.

What was nice to see was the defense played on Manny Harris by Tim Jarmusz and others. Harris, who entered the game leading the conference in scoring at 19.6 points per game, was held to just 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting.

The Badgers didn't let Michigan's other players beat them, either, and that's why UW is celebrating a win tonight.

Coaching: B

Bo Ryan said it: "We're just going to keep finding ways."

That's about as insightful a response as I can give. The Badgers looked absolutely dead for most of the first half and found themselves down by 11 twice. But, like they seem to do more often than not, the Badgers found a way. After a while, it's more than coincidence, it's coaching. We're well past that point.

Credit to Ryan for sticking with Rob Wilson and letting the sophomore prove he belonged out there.

Player of the game: Rob Wilson (13 points, three rebounds). Trevon Hughes scored more points, but it is hard to argue that Wilson didn't have at least as big an impact. The sophomore gave UW a shot in the arm in the second half, at one point scoring 11 of 19 points as the Badgers came from nine back to up six. For someone with a ton of potential that has so far gone untapped, it could be a coming-out party for Wilson.


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