Wisconsin HoopCap: Happ Helps Take Down Hoosiers
Wisconsin had their first real test of the Big Ten season playing Indiana on the road with the bright lights of ESPN being there. Hoosiers had fallen on hard times recently losing their last two games to Nebraska and Louisville. Wisconsin made it known quickly they were one of the best in the Big Ten with a 13-0 run. Badgers received their best game from Indiana, but in the end, Wisconsin pulled away with a 75-68 victory. Badgers haven’t lost since before Thanksgiving.
Badgers start off hot, hot, hot
To me, Wisconsin making the first 13 points of the game really set the tone for what was on the horizon in this game. Indiana came back because it’s basketball and Hoosiers are a good team, yet it still made somewhat of a statement that Badgers weren’t going to be a ‘get right’ team for Indiana. This is a welcomed sight to see given how much Wisconsin struggled in first halves this year.
Ethan Happ took Thomas Bryant’s lunch money
Take a peek at DraftExpress, you’ll find Thomas Bryant is the 20th best player on the board for the NBA. Ethan Happ made him look like a walk-on in certain spots yesterday. Happ had full control of the post with 19 points, six boards and four assists. By the end of the year, Happ will be the best player on the court. When Wisconsin runs their offense through him, they are very very hard to beat. Expect more of it as the season goes on.
Bronson Koenig found his stroke from three
It’s been a rough go of it for Bronson Koenig before last night. He found himself in a little bit of a shooting slump since Marquette game but broke out of it in a big way. Koenig made all five of his three point attempts to finish with 17 points on the night. Koenig hit timely three after timely three keeping Hoosiers away from taking over the lead. We know he loves big games, and Koenig showed it again on Tuesday night.
Bench production still an issue
Don’t know what Badgers are going to do about their bench moving forward. At some point, they’re going to need a guy to carry them who isn’t part of their starting five. Happ, Koenig and Nigel Hayes can do a lot, but bench play needs to be better or all of the starters will have very tired legs come tournament time. Greg Gard only played two off the bench which is a curious move. We’ll see if that’s what Wisconsin sticks to for the whole Big 10 season.
Players of the game.
Happ (Wisconsin), De’Ron Davis (Indiana)
Badgers continue their swing through Indiana with a matchup against Purdue on Sunday right during Green Bay Packers game making it a fun Sunday for bar owners with Bucks at 1:00 pm, Packers and Badgers at 3:30 pm. Boilermakers lost at home to Minnesota in a surprising defeat last weekend and get to redeem themselves before seeing Wisconsin on Thursday versus Ohio State. Caleb Swanigen and Happ is going to be a delight.