After struggling since his career-high performance against Purdue in late January, Nankivil had his most productive game since against the Hoosiers.
Over the past six games Nankivil has struggled from the floor. He was just 21-of-46 (45 percent) from the floor, including 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) from three-point range. He was averaging 8.1 ppg over the stretch, after recording his career-high 25 points against the Boilermakers.
Nankivil finished the game against Indiana with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc.
"I'm happy with the result," Nankivil said. "It was just taking what's open at certain points in the shot clock. Where we might have been hesitant last year to shoot those shots, we are going to let them go if they are good looks."
Not only was Nankivil getting the job done on the offensive end, but he also excelled on the defensive end, where he tied a career high with four blocked shots. He last had four blocks against Oakland in November.
"I think a lot of that has a lot to do with the way that Indiana was attacking the basket," Nankivil explained. "They are just a relentless team, a block is not going to stop them from going to the basket. Give them credit for just attacking the basket, too."
Nankivil also added three rebounds.
New-look for UW
It was an unfamiliar look for the Badgers as they stepped out on the Assembly Hall floor. The Badgers started three guards (Jason Bohannon, Jordan Taylor and Trevon Hughes) alongside Keaton Nankivil and Jon Leuer.
"I didn't realize it was a new starting five until like tip-off," Hughes said. "It was a nice addition to have two guards on the floor and Jon back in. It opened the floor up and made it easier to run our offense. We practiced like that, but I just thought it was for practice."
It turned out that it was a huge success. All five players in the starting lineup finished with double figures in points and the Badgers crushed the Hoosiers.
"It was good to see that we were balanced tonight," Leuer said. "Regardless of who is starting, it really doesn't make a lot of difference. Whoever is on the floor just has to contribute and just try and help this team win.
Taylor and Leuer finished with 13 points. Nankivil had 14. Bohannon had 11 and Hughes finished with a game-high 17.
"Judging by the result, I wouldn't have known that if you wouldn't have said anything," Nankivil said about all five players being in double figures. "I think it was a good team effort. It wasn't too heavy on one person. That kind of stuff can cause us problems. If we can spread the ball around and distribute the ball, we are a pretty tough team."
The Badgers were also extremely efficient with the new starting lineup. They shot 8-of-11 from the three-point line. The 72.7 percent output was the best percentage since 2/16/2000 versus Michigan where the Badgers shot 70.6 percent.
"We definitely were clicking tonight in all phases," Leuer said. "Obviously we had some mistakes, some turnovers and things like that, that are correctable. For the most part we played a pretty solid game. We were pretty disciplined and we didn't let the crowd or all of those other factors affect our play. That was a sign that we are kind of maturing."