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Wisconsin Badgers Men’s Basketball: Does UW Have an Energy Problem?

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On Tuesday night, the No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (10-3 overall, 4-2 Big Ten) played one of their worst games in recent program history, losing to the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines (11-0 overall, 6-0 Big Ten), 77-54.

At one point, the Badgers were 40 points behind and if Michigan wanted it, that looked like it could be the last margin. In the middle 20 minutes of the game, the Badgers were outstripped 51-9 (!!!) while UW’s biggest and lone lead of the game was 5-4 with 17:42 to go in the first half.

There were plenty of people questioning the legitimacy of this Wolverines team before Tuesday night’s game and I have to imagine there are no more links after Michigan’s demolition in Wisconsin. Here are some post-game quotes from head coach Greg Gard and senior PG DMitrik Trice.

Greg Gard

  • When asked what went wrong in general, Our lack of aggressiveness. I think that was the difference.

When the game got out of hand, we got a little better. They were able to be on our heels and we didn’t respond the way we should.

  • Gard said the team would spend Tuesday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan before flying to New Jersey on Wednesday and staying there until Friday night, game against Rutgers.
  • I wanted to see how we did it tonight … we would see a team (Rutgers) who will come after us in the same way.
  • Gard didn’t think about putting Micah Potter back in the first half with two errors because the score was still close.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin in Michigan

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

  • As for where he thought the game was coming away from UW, I thought the two turning points were the two turnovers (back to back, wing access and then Trice ran into Reuvers, both leading to layups) which combined with Potter who there was not their momentum.
  • We got to a point where we were taking a lot of jumpshots, too many jumpshots.

We have to be more efficient, we have to take better pictures.

  • Look back and learn (on the tape) … there is no better solution than to jump right back on the track. Gard said the team can always learn something from a game, even one that seems as bad and useless as this one.

DMitrik Trice

  • When I was 40 in the second half, I naturally thought that was a lot of points.
  • We definitely showed some struggles (at the end) I think, and we have to keep working with that. Trice seemed disappointed with the team and with himself throughout his interview, but thought some of the positive steps the team had taken towards the end of the game could be carried over to Friday.
  • We never responded the way we wanted. They came out of the defense with a lot of fire and passion.

From the start (on Friday against Rutgers) we have come out with some energy, some passion and some struggle.

Their bench had a little more energy and you could feel that on the floor.

So I’ve lumped all three of these last quotes together because it’s kind of become a theme for the badgers in their losses and some of their wins this year: the other team has more fire or passion or whatever you want to call it it.

Wisconsin is an experienced team that is extremely even. They never seem to get too high or too low during a game, and that has helped them get back from shortages before! But this team seems to be starting slow and if they don’t play Nebraska, or whoever, it can bite them in the ass.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota, Michigan

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The fact that the opposing teams’ benches were loud and boisterous and supportive doesn’t seem like something that should be a HUGE deal, but it’s brought up regularly when it’s obvious to anyone watching the games, and maybe without fans in the arena. is it something UW needs to work on?

In this year’s Badgers 13 games, they lost or were level after the first quarter in five games. Their record in those five games is 2-3.

Slow start for Wisconsin

Game1Q scoreResult
Game1Q scoreResult
Marquette16-16(L) 67-65
Nebraska7-3(W) 67-53
Michigan state19-19(W) 85-76
Maryland13-9(L) 70-64
Michigan18-17(L) 77-54

It will be interesting to see what first 10 minutes the badgers will have against Rutgers on Friday, as you may be able to predict the outcome from the score.



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