Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, May 24, 2024

Wisconsin rebounds in convincing win

The Badgers have lost six games this year, and heading into Saturday's contest, had rebounded from each of the first five defeats with wins the next time out. So when Wisconsin played host to a struggling Indiana squad just four days after suffering a 63-56 home loss to Illinois, head coach Bo Ryan had some simple words.

""Short memories for players, when it comes to things like [losses]. Just get out there and play.""

And play well they did.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox

Wisconsin returned to form offensively, after a dismal second half against the Illini, in their 83-55 win over the Hoosiers. Ryan got a strong start from his team much like the Illinois game, but this time they did not give the visitor a chance to inch their way back into the game.

""On Tuesday night against Illinois we did a good job, started out quick but we didn't finish the game strong,"" senior guard Jason Bohannon said. ""You want to continue to build upon [a lead] and tonight we did a very good job of that, not letting them get back in the game and making it a game.""

Wisconsin led by double-digits less than five minutes in, pushed it to 20 a few minutes later and never allowed it to get closer than 16 after that. Against Illinois the Badgers watched an 11-point lead shrink to nothing in just three and a half minutes.

According to senior guard Trevon Hughes, the memories of Tuesday helped drive Saturday's performance.

""Basically we just hate the way it feels. We hate losing. We know that the way we lose is when we get away from our game plan,"" Hughes said. ""If we stayed in tune to that throughout the whole 40 minutes of a game, then we'll be fine. That's what we did tonight.""

That game plan came down to better execution of the Badgers' drive-and-dish offense, both in hitting open shots and inside the paint. Nearly 40 percent of Wisconsin's points came from shots inside the key, and numerous other baskets resulted from players getting inside and then finding outside shooters.

Even the Badger bigs were getting involved as junior forward Keaton Nankivil found Bohannon twice with cross-court passes out of the post for open 3-pointers. Freshman forward Mike Bruesewitz also registered a pair of assists after finding open teammates on the perimeter.

But according to Ryan, it all started with good drives.

""You can get something positive, get an and-1, get a bucket, drive and then kick and find somebody"" Ryan said. ""Like Mike Bruesewitz driving toward the rim, Indiana collapsed, he kicked it out twice for two 3s. Now that's the same as attacking the rim to get a shot in the paint, but also attacking, it's the same as a post feed and then a kickout.""

Ryan's counterpart Tom Crean echoed that sentiment, saying that his team just lacked the defensive intensity to stay in front of Badger players. Despite a number of different defensive looks, Badgers kept getting open outside as well as around the basket.

""We tried to do a lot of switching. We played zone, but it didn't make a difference"" Crean said. ""We felt like we had to stop the dribble and they just make a pass out to one of their guys who can shoot the ball, which is really everybody.""

That was the difference. The Badgers refocused, fixed some of the issues that troubled them against Illinois and stayed true to the identity they have taken on since junior forward Jon Leuer went down with a wrist injury.

""Our players are astute enough to know that when we go over our clips and everything else, that the things that didn't happen in a game that came out on the [losing] side are things that can be corrected,"" Ryan said. ""Those same shots that you don't make can go down the next game. If you don't believe that then you shouldn't be playing the game.""

Without a single losing streak this season, it seems the Badgers are true believers in that.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal