Juniors steal the show in Badgers Senior Night win over Purdue


Well, that wasn't as difficult as the score indicated, and that means seniors Ben Brust, Zach Bohannon and Evan Anderson went out winners in their final home contest in a Badger uniform. They can thank junior forward Frank Kaminsky, as he poured in a game high 22 points in Wisconsin's 76-70 win over Purdue. 

It marked UW's first eight game Big Ten winning streak since the 1940-41 season (hint, that one ended up alright), and with one more win the Badgers will be the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament next week. 

Wisconsin also got major contributions from fellow juniors Traevon Jackson (14 points) and Josh Gasser (13 points) on the way to victory. 

Perhaps the biggest piece of news in the win was that the Badgers showed they didn't need Sam Dekker to go off to win. In fact, Dekker had perhaps his worst game in a Badger uniform—going 1-of-7 from the field and ending the game with five points and five rebounds. It was the second straight game that Dekker had as many or more rebounds than points. 

While it wasn't always perfect for the Badgers, they had the game under control from start to finish. It was easily Wisconsin's best performance in Big Ten play from start to finish. the six point margin was nowhere near indicative of UW's control in this game. 

Let's get to the grades…


Player Stats/Thoughts Grade

Ben Brust, G

9pts, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3-11 FGs

It wasn't the amazing ending at home like some hoped, but Brust wasn't terrible either. He maintained his impact on the defensive end despite his troubles on offense. Going 1-of-5 for one of the better three-point shooters in Wisconsin history wasn't the way he wanted to go out. 

Nigel Hayes, F

9pts, 6 rebounds, 4-8 FGs

It wasn't perfect but Hayes had a bigger impact that he did in his last game at the very least. He was better from the field, but he was massively better on the defensive end of the floor as well. A solid contribution for the freshman on senior night. 

Traevon Jackson, G

14pts, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 4-6 FGs

Where has this Traevon Jackson been all season long? No, seriously, I want to know. This version of T-Jack is the one we have seen glimpses of and never seen put together until tonight. He was nearly perfect as a shooter, but also became a facilitator for his teammates at the right times. It was nearly the perfect combo for the score first point guard. 

Sam Dekker, F

5pts, 5 rebounds, 1-7 FGs

I guess this was a nice night to let others shine? Or it was the worst game of Dekker's career in the Cardinal and White—you take your pick. Either way it wasn't pretty and it wasn't NBA 1st round draft pick worthy. Good thing it won't be the lasting memory of his season either. The only saving grace was his work on the defensive end, which included 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot. 

Josh Gasser, G

13pts, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4-6 FGS

It's your own fault if you don't recognize how important Gasser has been to the Badgers as of late. He's back to the player most thought he would be entering last season. Unfortunately for him others have overshadowed what he's done in the past month or so. If Wisconsin goes deep in the Big Ten or NCAA tourneys it will be because of Gasser's play. 

Bronson Koenig, G

2pts, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1-3 FGs

The freshman has started to put it together late in the season. On Wednesday it was more on the defensive end in his 16 minutes of play, and that bodes well going forward in his career. Simply put, this guy is sowing the seeds towards stardom next season. He did a lot of little things against Purdue that require a closer look to appreciate. His game is advancing instead of regressing. 

Frank Kaminsky, F

22pts, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 8-11 FGs

Wisconsin broke Purdue from nearly the word go on Wednesday night, and the catalyst for that was Kaminsky. About the only flaw in his game was his 4 fouls, however he did just about everything else perfect to help send the seniors out as winners. 22 points in 27 minutes is hard to argue with. 



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