Wisconsin Basketball Team: Badgers Take Musketeers to the Brink

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 16: D'Mitrik Trice of the Wisconsin Badgers shoots against Justin Robinson
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 16: D'Mitrik Trice of the Wisconsin Badgers shoots against Justin Robinson /

The Wisconsin basketball team played in their first toughest game this season.  The badgers had a really good showing on their home court.

A young Badger team played an experienced Musketeer team and almost pulled off an upset.

Coming into the game we knew the Wisconsin basketball team was going to have a tough time keeping up with the talented, experienced Xavier Musketeer team.

The visitors ranked 15th in the country while Wisconsin basketball is only receiving votes.

Wisconsin Badgers Basketball
Wisconsin Badgers Basketball /

Wisconsin Badgers Basketball

Wisconsin basketball couldn’t get a stop to start the game. They let Quentin Goodin, a guy who only averaged 5 points per game coming into the season, an easy trip to the lane. Early on, we had a sense that J.P. Macura was going go off if Trevon Bluiett was going to struggle.

Bluiett started 0-3 from the field while turning the ball over two times. Macura on the other hand had two easy trips to the bucket for easy baskets.

The Badgers had to do something different defensively. That’s when the freshman from Maple Grove, Minnesota entered the game.

Brad Davison is going to be a difference maker. There was a different spark in the Wisconsin basketball defense. Davison eventually went on to play 28 minutes, recorded 12 points and came up with four steals.

He didn’t shoot all that well from the field. Davison went 4-11 on field goals and 1-5 from downtown.

12 points is still 12 points seeing that Wisconsin basketball only got 18 from their bench. The other six came from Aleem Ford knocking down two key three-pointers.

Davison is going to be a special player at Wisconsin. He looks like your typical Badger guard. Ford is still developing as a redshirt freshman. Those two look like they’re going to be key parts of the rotation all season.

The biggest takeaway from this game is the lack of diversity in scoring.

Happ is an established scorer, but he left a lot at the rim. His footwork is great. He’s got defenders in spin-cycles, but Happ had problems finishing. If he would’ve made just a few more than he did, the big man would’ve had close to 30.

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Brevin Pritzil shot the ball nice for 13 points in his first big game against a tough opponent as the shooting guard for the Wisconsin basketball team.

D’Mitrik Trice contributed a nice nine points, but only made 1 of 5 from long range. You can’t rely on your point guard to get everything done, but he has to establish himself as a three-point threat.

Khalil Iverson contributed 8 as he went 3-4 from the field and 2-2 from the ling. This is one guy who needs to take over. If others are struggling, the junior swing man has to take more than four shots and go to the line more than once.

That leads us right to the guys who had a rough night.

Van Vliet only took two shots and one from long distance and missed them all. His only point came from a free throw. He only grabbed one defensive board.

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Charles Thomas IV played five minutes only and went 0-1. Alex Illikainen also only saw five minutes of playing time and didn’t attempt a shot. Kobe King failed to record anything in his 12 minutes of action. 

Wisconsin basketball can’t rely on only three-four players a night. Only two guys scoring from the bench isn’t going to hold up in conference play.

Good thing they’re young. This was a great learning experience.

The Wisconsin basketball team saw a timely three-pointer from Ford late in the first half which tied the game. The Badgers had an opportunity to take the lead as Trice brought the ball down with 30 seconds left. He didn’t pass once, there was too much dribbling and they came up with an empty possession.

The point guard made up for it as he hit a clutch jumper to give Wisconsin basketball a 66-64 lead with 2:44 left. From there though, the youth the of Badgers and talent of the Musketeers set in.

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Bluiett came to life with an 8-0 run by himself. He knocked in two free throws, followed it up with two from behind-the-arc and Happ and Davison missed two layups.

Wisconsin only connected on four more points as they lost by ten, 80-70.

The team showed flashes of where they’re going to be really good. Davison adds a spark to the defense. Happ did put in 21 points so if a few more shots would’ve fallen, things could’ve have been a lot different.

He’ll have nights where those shots go in. Then there will be games, like the onewhere their seems to be a lid on the hoop.

This was a typical showing of one team being more experienced than the other. I don’t think Xavier is any more talented than Wisconsin. It just came down to who was more poised to close out a game. A more seasoned Happ is going to finish at the rim. An older Davison will make those layups. A more comfortable Trice is going to connect on more than just one three-pointer.

Next: Wisconsin Basketball: Badgers Take an Honorable L

Up next for the Wisconsin basketball team is the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City Missouri. The Badgers draw the Baylor Bears on Monday night and will play either Creighton or UCLA the next day depending on their outcome.