Hoopcap: Clutch Koenig Comes Through Again
Wisconsin Badgers are attempting to be the shining light in what has been an otherwise bad Big Ten. The road was clear for the team after their game with Minnesota on Saturday afternoon. Most of their remaining tough games are at home, but an obvious roadblock stood in their way on Saturday afternoon. Badgers found a way to win a hard-fought overtime victory with more heroics from Bronson Koenig.
Big shot Bronson
Honest question, is there a more clutch player in Badgers history than Bronson Koenig? I’m not sure. We could have a one to two minute YouTube compilation of big shots made by Badgers point guard. Greg Gard deserves some credit for the play call with a double-screen giving Koenig the open chance.
Ethan Happ dominated the post
Much like his Wisconsin counterpart, Luke Fischer, Ethan Happ had a massive day in post. Happ finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and five blocks. That’s the type of stat line NBA scouts will salivate over. He took full advantage of Minnesota’s lack of interior size. Nigel Hayes also did the same with 21 points mostly inside the three-point line.
Big Three needs to be the Big Four
I’ve beaten this drum for awhile, but why not a couple more pounds? Badgers need a fourth scorer in the worst way. Hayes, Happ and Koenig scored 50 of the 78 points scored, yet that’s not always going to be there for the team. Whether it’s Zak Showalter, Khalil Iverson or Vitto Brown, someone has to be a reliable scorer.
Wisconsin-Minnesota hoops rivalry could be real fun
Without an ax trophy, people don’t care about Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry in basketball as much as they do with football and hockey. That being said, these games could be really entertaining as well as more competitive recruiting battles between Gard and Richard Pitino. It’s clear the young Gophers coach is building a solid program. The big hope obviously is that Pitino stays at Minnesota versus moving to other schools.
Players of the Game: Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Amir Coffey (Minnesota)
Next up: Badgers don’t get much time off as they battle with Penn State on Tuesday. Don’t expect a lot of offense in this one. Nittany Lions are strong there, but nowhere else. They’ve struggled on the road against better competition.