Bluiett Gets Hot Late & Buries Wisconsin
A day late with the Wisconsin recap, but I checked out the game on DVR on Friday, so you’re getting some thoughts on the game. Xavier-Wisconsin was an enjoyable basketball game. It went down to the wire, and a young Badgers team showed some promise against a good Xavier team. But Trevon Bluiett got hot late with two huge threes down the stretch to push the Musketeers over the top against a young Badgers team. Still, there’s a lot to like if you’re a Wisconsin fan.
Happ looks like a premier player
This should not shock anyone, but Happ looked like a top tier talent in college basketball. The Wisconsin junior finished with 21 points, seven assists and four rebounds. The array of post moves that Happ showed off against Xavier was very impressive. He looks like someone you can count on to get 15 points or more every night out, and Happ has to be that player for Wisconsin if the Badgers want to keep their status as one of the best teams in the Big Ten.
Badgers need more help on the glass
For the first time in a long while, Badgers do not have much size. Sure, Andy Van Vliet is a seven footer, but he’s not a physical player inside plus he only played 11 minutes on Thursday night. Happ is the only big man inside, and he’s the only one that can provide consistent rebound support, even if he didn’t do much against the Musketeers’ bigs. Khalil Iverson is physical, but he’s only 6’5. He’s going to struggle against bigger teams. Badgers are going to need to find some physicality as the year goes on.
Davison and Ford could be key for this team down the road
Badgers do have some talented freshmen that could prove vital as the months go on. Brad Davison and Aleem Ford looked like key cogs off the bench for Wisconsin. Davison is basically a blonde Zak Showalter (Not really, but he’s going to draw that comparison ofte). He’s every white Wisconsin player superlative in the book but a damn good player especially on defense. Ford played 29 minutes and hit a huge shot to tie the game at 64. The much-heralded Kobe King hasn’t done much yet, but I assume he’ll play a role on this team.
Things do not get easier for Wisconsin as they play in the Hall of Fame Classic against Baylor on Monday night. They have another opportunity to beat a ranked opponent. Badgers have seen Baylor a couple times in the past few years, and they’ve had good success in the past against Scott Drew’s 2-3 zone. They’ll hope for similar luck on Monday night.