Not a bad start to the season.
Andy went into depth on the game last night, so I’m going to delve in a little deeper quick before the big football game this afternoon.
Let’s jump into the box score.
- Twice the Badgers held Northern Kentucky scoreless for five-minute spans. The first of these came at the end of the first half and helped Wisconsin put some distance between the teams heading into halftime. Before that run, the Badgers were only up six points. The second came late in the second half and obviously didn’t have quite the impact as the first run. What I do like to see is that the defense didn’t slack off at the end of the game. It would have been very easy to just coast to the finish line, but the Badgers didn’t do that.
- This leads into my second point of the defense overall. Much of last season the Badgers were criticized for the lack of defense that Bo Ryan teams showed in the past. It was a different type of team, but the bad defense really showed during the horrible stretch early in conference play. Now Northern Kentucky obviously isn’t a B1G offense, but they also aren’t a slouch. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if pride is coming into play as I’m sure they got sick of hearing how soft their defense could be. Let’s see if that continues because a tough defense would make this team nearly unstoppable.
- Wisconsin outscored the Norse 34-16 in the paint. First, this shouldn’t be terribly surprising since Kaminsky had quite the size advantage down low, but it also shows maturity to continue to take advantage of that fact. It’s also sort of cool that the Badgers had more point in the paint than the Norse scored all game. It’s nice to see the points in the paint up as it’s hard to go cold on lay-ups and dunks. When you rely on the outside shot, you get games such as Northwestern last year or either the Penn State or Illinois games in past B1G tournaments. Obviously the deep threat is still there, but when the inside game is strong, the outside shots are more open and provide a great balance.