After a drubbing in West Lafayette, Ind., at the hands of then-No. 3 Purdue, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team (3-4 Big Ten, 10-10 overall) was desperate for a win — or at least a good all-around performance.
Nothing has come easy for the Wisconsin Badgers (2-4 Big Ten, 9-10 overall) during the 2017-’18 season.
As the final buzzer sounded in Lincoln and the Wisconsin men’s basketball team (2-3 Big Ten, 9-9 overall) dropped to .500 nearly 20 games into the season, the situation felt unprecedented. The Badgers have dropped out of the NCAA Tournament conversation entirely and have slipped to No. 75 in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings.
Wisconsin’s 19-year NCAA Tournament appearance streak is in dire straights. Following a season-long five game winning streak, the Badgers (2-2 Big Ten, 9-8 overall) fell last Friday to once-lowly Rutgers.
Riding a five-game winning streak into snowy Piscataway, N.J., the Wisconsin Badgers (2-1 Big Ten, 9-7 overall) are looking to continue their winning ways and overcome their recent string of injuries against Rutgers (0-3, 10-6). After already missing guards D’Mitrik Trice and Kobe King, the Badgers had to make another adjustment to their starting lineup in their most recent victory against Indiana when redshirt sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl was ruled out with a concussion that he suffered pregame.
The Wisconsin men’s basketball team (2-1 Big Ten, 9-7 overall) re-arrived at its conference schedule as the Badgers downed Indiana (1-2, 8-7), 71-61, for their fifth straight win. With redshirt sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl joining the ranks of the medically sidelined for UW, the Badgers desperately needed a win. Redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ laid down his best performance of the season, torching the Hoosiers inside to the tune of 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting despite making just six of his 11 free throw attempts. Happ also grabbed 10 rebounds, handed out four assists, blocked two shots and recorded four steals — all team-highs.
Just hours before the Wisconsin football team kicks off against Miami at the Orange Bowl, the Badger men’s basketball team (1-1 Big Ten, 7-7 overall) will welcome the UMass-Lowell River Hawks (6-6) to the Kohl Center in its last contest before conference play resumes.
After a long layoff for final exams, the Wisconsin Badgers (1-1 Big Ten, 6-7 overall) refocused on the coming conference season as they walloped Green Bay (5-8) 81-60 at the Kohl Center Saturday evening. The result was never in doubt as UW raced out to a 25-9 lead, finding the bottom of the net on its first 10 shots to open the game. The Badgers were unstoppable in the lane, outscoring the Phoenix 46-14 in the paint as redshirt junior forward Ethan Happ, freshman guard Brad Davison and junior forward Khalil Iverson each scored in double digits.
The last time the Wisconsin Badgers were on the Kohl Center floor came more than one week ago, when freshman guard Brad Davison drew a charge 94 feet from UW’s basket with two seconds remaining.
Sports editor Ben Pickman and men's basketball beat writer Thomas Valtin-Erwin recap Wisconsin's wild victory over Western Kentucky.
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Sometimes the opposite is true. And sometimes, as the Wisconsin Badgers (1-1 Big Ten, 5-7 overall) learned Wednesday night, being smart is best of all. When Western Kentucky (6-4) guard Darius Thompson silenced the Kohl Center with a runner that knotted the game at 80-80 with 2.0 seconds to play, head coach Greg Gard’s options were limited. He could have Brevin Pritzl fling the ball the length of the court and hope for a short jumper, he could bank on a running 40-footer a la Ben Brust in 2013, or he could run the clock out and take his chances in overtime. Instead, he sent freshman guard Brad Davison to draw a charge 93 feet from the basket.
Coming into the season, redshirt junior Aleem Ford wasn’t sure just how much he’d contribute to the 2017-’18 Wisconsin Badgers (1-1 Big Ten, 5-7 overall). But after taking advantage of his early season opportunities, Ford moved into UW’s starting lineup just four games into the year.
Wisconsin guard T.J. Schlundt’s pregame preparation has not changed since his days of playing high school basketball. Patience and discipline have been key for the redshirt junior guard who is expected to play in his third consecutive game Wednesday evening when UW (1-1 Big Ten, 4-7 overall) faces off against Western Kentucky (6-3).
While sitting on the bench as the final buzzer sounded in Wisconsin’s (1-1 Big Ten, 4-7 overall) 82-63 loss to Marquette (7-3), freshman guard Brad Davison buried his head in his sweat towel.
Playing without two of its top guards Saturday morning, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team (1-1 Big Ten, 4-7 overall) looked lethargic early and struggled to slow down a high-powered Marquette (7-3) offense as the Badgers dropped the seventh of their last nine games, 82-63. Just before the game tipped off it was announced that sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice, the team’s starting point guard, would undergo foot surgery Monday and would be out indefinitely.
Ethan Happ’s team hasn’t been closing out games. After another late collapse, this time against Temple, the frustration is starting to boil over for the redshirt junior forward and his teammates. “The biggest thing is just playing a full 40 [minutes]. Games that we've been right there in, it's been 20 minutes here and then a letdown for three and the lead gets away from us,” Happ said.
Sports editor Ben Pickman and men's basketball beat writer Thomas Valtin-Erwin discuss Wisconsin basketball's late-game struggles, grade its rotation players through ten games and discuss what it needs to do to turn around its slow start to the season.
First there was Xavier. Then there was Baylor. Following that, UCLA. Penn State nearly joined the club Monday night. For the fifth time already in the young season the Wisconsin men’s basketball team (1-1 Big Ten, 4-6 overall) collapsed down the stretch, blowing a late three-point lead to let Temple (5-2) steal a 59-55 victory. Things began swimmingly for the Badgers, as they stormed out to a 7-2 lead in the first 2:31 of the game.
After a two-game break to open conference play the Wisconsin men’s basketball team (1-1 Big Ten, 4-5 overall) will return to its non-conference schedule Wednesday as it head to Philadelphia, Penn., to take on the Temple Owls (4-2). After dropping four of five games to limp into Big Ten play, the Badgers nearly had the life drained out of them as they were run off the Kohl Center floor by Ohio State and nearly blew a 17-point lead at Penn State. Desperate for answers, UW now hosts a Temple team that already has four solid wins under its belt, having taken down Old Dominion, Auburn, Clemson and South Carolina to open the season. Led by the sharpshooting quartet of Quinton Rose, Shizz Alston, Obi Enechionyia and Josh Brown — who have collectively made 44.3 percent of their 97 three-point attempts — the Owls can score from anywhere on the court. Rose, who leads the team with 19 points per game, could cause major problems for the Badgers.
Needing a win to avoid dropping its sixth game of the season, Wisconsin (1-1 Big Ten, 4-5 overall) came out with energy and a much-needed sense of urgency against Penn State (1-1, 7-3) Monday night.