So I’m glad Andy did such a great job with the postgame because I had the flu yesterday and while the game was on, deep analysis wasn’t going to be my forte. The first half ran as I was expecting, a close game with Sykes getting his, but the foul trouble was just too much. Anyways, here’s a couple other points to think about a day later.
- Wisconsin shot 13-23 from the free throw line in the first half. Yes, a lot has been made about the Badgers drawing a lot of fouls in the first half, and it did setup the game nice for the second half, but that’s not like a Bo Ryan team to miss that many free throws. You could see it in their body language as everyone consistently hit one of two free throws. It’s not the end of the world since they got to the line so often, but come Big Ten time (or even over the next couple weeks), leaving ten points on the court (in the first half!) will be too much.
- The big three shot 19-27 from inside the arc. While all three of Hayes, Dekker, and Kaminsky can shoot from range, their percentage for made field goals (or getting to the line) is going to be stronger inside the paint. It’s nice to see them still hit outside shots because of the mismatches it causes, but their bread and butter is going to be on lay-ups, put backs, and drives. I was unable to find a shot chart, but other than one real long two that Hayes made, I feel like most of those made baskets weren’t even of the midrange variety. When you have a size advantage like the Badgers did (and will have quite often) pounding it down low and getting other teams in foul trouble will open up other facets of the game. I know I brought it up last week, but I love seeing Dekker unafraid to create his own shot. That’s what we were anticipating after seeing him in high school, but now the confidence is completely there.
- The Badgers finished the first half on a 12-5 run. While it didn’t put the game away, they took a two point lead with six minutes left and made it nine at half. It would have been nice to see them not give up three chances on the last possession, but heading into halftime up nine with the Phoenix in serious foul trouble sounds a lot better than only being up two. This is a big game for the Phoenix and rightfully so. They have a solid team again this year and nearly every year it’s a close game. If the score is within a basket heading into halftime, it’s tough for fans not to start getting worried (which seemed like was happening in the first half anyways). Wisconsin didn’t shoot as lights out in the first half as they did against Chattanooga, but Green Bay is a much better team. It’s bound to happen and it’s a nice reality check. Winning by 24 was just icing on the cake.