Wisconsin HoopCap: Too Much Nigel Hayes For Rutgers
HoopCap’s have return after a few weeks of cupcake hiatus. It’s good to be back in the swing of things for the conference season. These will be a part of both Marquette and Wisconsin’s journeys through the conference season. Good start for Wisconsin beating pesky Rutgers, 74-54. Nigel Hayes was the story in this one.
Hayes does it inside the arc
At the beginning of the year, many people including yours truly criticize Nigel Hayes for taking too many three-pointers. He must have listened because Hayes is making the three a secondary part of his game. Hayes scored 20 points with 10 coming from the free-throw line. Only three shots taken by Badgers senior came from outside the paint. He made one of three. Hayes realized somewhere this season he’s a low-post/slasher first and that’s a dangerous thing for the rest of the Big Ten.
Showie steps up to the plate
It’s been awhile since we could talk about a big Zak Showalter game. He likes playing Rutgers as the Badgers senior had a big game against them last year as well. Showalter finished with 18 points with 2-for-5 from deep. He played his game very effectively. For Wisconsin to have their fourth/fifth option be able to score 15 points in a game is massive. He picked up a struggling Bronson Koenig.
Sloppy play early didn’t hurt Bucky
Wisconsin did not get off to the best start with seven early turnovers with many of them being unforced errors. Thankfully for Badgers, they played great defense early on holding Scarlet Knights down. Wisconsin fixed their turnover problem and only had six the rest of the way. The one looming problem for this team is turnovers, and that’s very uncommon for Wisconsin. I would imagine this is something that gets better as the year goes on.
Badgers weathered the Scarlet Knight storm
Things got a little tight in the second half when Rutgers pulled within 10 points by the seven minute mark. Scarlet Knights hit five of nine threes to start out the second. Badgers did a good job of not letting the opposition get any closer than the double-digit mark. Wisconsin pushed back the lead with tough defense and timely shot-making.
Players of the Game
Hayes, Mike Williams (Rutgers) – Like we said about Hayes, he played about as good of a game as you want from him. If Wisconsin gets this version of Hayes every game, they’re going to be very good. Mike Williams had a game for Rutgers. He finished with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Williams was one of two players in double-figures for the road team.
Wisconsin gets a full week off before taking on Indiana in a premier Big Ten game next Tuesday night on the road. Badgers look to get their revenge from last year’s slopfest in Bloomington. It should be a much better game than last year’s.