Badgers shoot themselves out of a victory, drop 49-47 decision to Michigan State

There are simply no two ways around this one, Wisconsin should've won this game and free throws killed them. It really is that simple as the Badgers (13-6, 3-2 B1G) dropped an ugly game, 49-47, to Michigan State (17-3, 6-1 B1G) at the Kohl Center on Tuesday night.

All you really need to know is Wisconsin shot all of 7-18 from the free throw line. 11 missed free throws? Yep, and just think, if they made even 4 of those missed FT's we'd be talking about an ugly Wisconsin win versus an ugly loss to Tom Izzo's bunch. 

This game was disgusting on many levels, so I'll spare you all the gory details and let's just jump into the player grades and breakdowns.


Players Stats/Thoughts Grade
Ben Brust, G

8pts, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3-7 FG's, 2-6 3pt FG's, 35 min.

Brust wasn't much of a factor at all in this one, but that's not saying much considering the fact that none of the Badgers were that big of factors in this one. However, he did play some decent defense. His FG shooting has really lagged as of late and that's worrisome.

Mike Bruesewitz, F

10pts, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 4-10 FG's, 2-6 3pt FG's, 35 min.

He was about the only one on this team you can say anything good about. If it weren't for his energy, timely plays on both sides of the ball and ability to somewhat shoot the ball UW would've been lucky to have reached the 40's period.

Ryan Evans, F

6pts, 11 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 1 block, 1 steal, 2-12 FG's, 1-2 3pt FG's, 34 min.

This game was brutal to watch because of Evans. Yes, he crashed the boards, but for every rebound he had he had a missed shot on the other end of the floor. What good is a ton of rebounding if you can't make a basket on the other end and you're the one taking the most shots out of everyone? BRUTAL.

Traevon Jackson, G

7pts, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 fouls, 2 turnovers, 2-9 FG's, 0-3 3pt FG's, 1-4 FT's, 28 min.

Ouch, simply ouch… He went from a guy that looked like he was putting it together to the normal turnover prone, ugly shooting, needless driving offensively inept player we saw earlier this year. At some point he's gotta put it together on the OFFENSIVE side of the court or he'll cost Bucky a game… Oh wait, nevermind.

Jared Berggren, F

9pts, 9 rebounds, 3-10 FG's, 1-5 3pt FG's, 2-8 FT's, 3 assists, 1 block, 36 min.

This wasn't as bad a line as the shooting numbers tell you as it was nearly a double double for him, but then again he was the worst offender from the FT line and he's usually not. For a guy who shot 75% from the line last year that's simply unacceptable.

Sam Dekker, F

3pts, 1 turnover, 1-2 FG's & 3pt FG's, 13 min.

Dekker wasn't the man slashing to the basket as he was used more as swing man in the offense with the ball in his hands tonight. However little action he saw he was at least somewhat effective in burying one three pointer. If this team is going to win ball games he needs to be taking more than two shots in whatever minutes he's seeing on the court. Explosiveness is what's missing from the offense and he's got it in bunches.

George Marshall, G

4pts, 1-4 FG's & FT's, 1-3 3pt FG's, 17 min.

Marshall had been one of the few guys this team could count on from the line, but that wasn't the case as he missed the front end of a crucial 2 shot situation with about 3.1 left on the clock in the game, with his team down 2. He also couldn't find the rim at all on the next one that he needed to miss intentionally. That should tell you all you need to know about the Badgers in this one.

Evan Anderson, F

0pts, 0 rebounds, 1 turnover, 2 minutes

The simple fact that Anderson was even in a game against Michigan State was frightening enough, but he looked scared and timid and the turnover he had showed that to be true. He's not anywhere near being ready to contribute in any fashion to this team and that's got to be scary if one more of the front line players goes down.


3 Takeaways:

- Yes, I'm going to beat a dead horse here, mainly because apparently it hasn't been beaten into the heads of the players much - MAKE YOUR FREAKING FREE THROWS. Something has got to change because the Badgers have been lucky a few times to get away with bad free throw shooting, but it just cost them against a good team like I feared it would earlier this season.

- The offense needs to stop running through Ryan Evans. At what point will they realize he's not the best option to get you a slash to the basket or a quick jumper if needed. 2-12 from the field? Are you kidding me man?

- As much as this game sucked and it appears we're back to the old version of Wisconsin basketball, we've also seen the great version of it twice in conference play. So, the Badgers need to do some soul searching as things are just getting started along the rough and tumble Big Ten road. Luckily they'll have two more opportunities in the next 7 days to play against Top 15 foes, so perhaps they get their stuff together and shock us all against Minnesota this next weekend? Probably not, but who knows what team we'll see coming into the Kohl Center.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, as well as Publisher of Big Ten site