It wasn’t pretty, but the Badgers got the job done. In a physical game that had remnants of classic Big Ten games, the Boilermakers came into Madison unafraid and almost left with a win.
With Illinois upsetting Maryland last night, Wisconsin and Iowa are already the last two Big Ten teams still undefeated in conference play. It appears to be a down year for the conference, but that could mean more parity as well.
Let’s look into the box score a little more.
- The bench only played a total of 28 minutes last night. A huge part of this was Dukan getting into foul trouble on two cheap fouls in the first half, but I think it’s pretty obvious who Bo trusts in close games. Koenig played 15 minutes but was mostly a wash as he didn’t contribute much, but also didn’t hurt the team. Overall, playing with only six players is going to hurt you, but with such a good starting five, you can get away with it once and a while.
- The starting five of Dekker, Gasser, Hayes, Jackson, and Kaminsky were a plus-five in scoring on the night (h/t www.scacchoops.com). This stat takes into account how many points were scored for and against when certain groups of players are on the court. While having a positive number is obviously good, you’d like to see that number a little higher when that certain group is on the court together as much as those five are. For comparison purposes, that same group was a plus-19 against Penn State (which is also higher than you’d expect). I’d personally like to see that group at the plus 8-12 range.
- Purdue scored 38 of its 55 points in the paint while outscoring Wisconsin by 12 in that category. Heading into the game, we knew that Purdue was going to have to outscore the Badgers in the paint to win, and it was almost enough. While having two seven footers to defend is extremely difficult, it was still weird to see the Badger big guys get scored on as much as they did last night. It’s definitely an outlier, so no need to get worried, but hats off to the Boilermakers for knowing their strength and maximizing it.