At the beginning of the year we made predictions on the season and both Andy and I figured they’d lose at least one conference road game.
Neither of us thought it’d be that one.
The lack of a deep, experienced depth showed as the Badgers were stunned by Rutgers in their first ever conference trip to New Jersey.
Let’s look at the box score.
- The combination of Dekker, Dukan, Hayes, Koenig, and Showalter was a -4 overall when playing together. While they didn’t have a ton of minutes together, this group was in the game down the stretch and a -4 isn’t going to get it done. For whatever reason, Dekker just hasn’t stepped up as the go-to guy down the stretch. He will have his games and his unbelievable plays, but the two guys that want the ball at the end of the game are Kaminsky and Jackson. Obviously neither were in the game, so the possessions down the stretch just didn’t have a flow to them. One plus was Koenig, who did look ready to take on that roll as late game shooter. He looked confident and the team is going to need someone like that going forward.
- Rutgers shot 54% from the field and scored 67 points. That’s the part we know. What’s crazy about it is how high above average that shooting percentage was. After that performance, Rutgers is now shooting a measly 38% from the field, good for last in the conference. They also now average 58 points a game, again, good for last in the B1G. The first half they looked like the team that has the worst offense in the conference. That second half they looked anything like it.
- Wisconsin attempted twice as many layups as Rutgers and made almost three times as many. While that may not seem like a huge stat, the Badgers scored 16 more points than Rutgers on layups (26-10). This shows that Rutgers really did shoot the lights out because when you give up that many extra points at the basket, you have to get them back either in jump shots or at the free throw line. Rutgers only hit three more free throws than the Badgers, which shows how deadly their outside game was last night.
- Finally, the bench only played a total of 36 minutes, and that would have been even lower if Jackson wouldn’t have gotten hurt. It’s kind of scary knowing how little faith Bo has in the bench and this is something we are going to look at this week. If Jackson or Kaminsky (or heaven help us, both) miss any extended length of time, someone is going to have to step up. No way Bo will be able to ride six (seven if you could Showalter) players through the conference schedule and expect them to be fresh for the tournament.