Wisconsin Basketball: Another tough road loss for Badgers in Lincoln

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Wisconsin basketball team suffered another loss on Tuesday night and this time around it came to the hands of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, evening Wisconsin’s record to 9-9.

Wisconsin basketball has only lost to the Nebraska Cornhuskers twice since entering the conference in 2011.

When we circled this stretch on the calendar at the beginning of the season it looked very favorable. Recently with all of the misfortunes, the games at Rutgers and Nebraska still seemed winnable.

The Badger basketball team now has experienced their worst back-to-back conference losses in recent memory.

The Scarlet Knight and the Cornhuskers are the two teams who have struggled the most since joining the league. There’s no secret about that. We know it. They know it.

The Badgers entered the Rutgers game with a feeling that Wisconsin was back and they were going to dominate in old fashion. After a miserable defeat, there was minimal hope before tip off in Lincoln.

Greg Gard threw yet another lineup out on Tuesday night. Nate Reuvers stayed in the starting lineup, but Aleem Ford sat on the bench to start the game while Brevin Pritzl entered the game.

Pritzl played a very gutty game. The guard was on the court for 38 minutes. He only went 1-5 from behind-the-arc, but he drove to the basket, knocked in 10 points and grabbed 7 boards.

Yet again, the Badger basketball team fell victim to another guard explosion. This time around, James Palmer Jr., a transfer from Miami, dropped 18 points.

The Miami transfer did this by knocking down 8 free throws and not making a single three-pointer.

It’s not like Wisconsin was out-shot Tuesday night. Nebraska went 14 percent from downtown and 42 percent from the field. Badger basketball shot the same from the field and a little better from the three-point line at 26 percent.

However, the Badger basketball team was out shot from the free throw line (10 attempts to 28) and the Cornhuskers had a much higher percentage (40 percent to 75 percent).

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Brad Davison is a 78 percent free throw shooter. He averages less than four attempts per game. If the young guard wants to add more to his repertoire, he should try and

drive it more which will get him to the line. Take the points wherever you can get them.

Ethan Happ on the other hand is a lost cause when it comes to free throw shooting. The big man can score and dribble, but he struggles so much with his jumper and from the line. Happ has the ability to drive to the basket, but once he gets fouled, he turns in 1-6 nights from the charity stripe.

When Pritzl finally figures out his three-point shot isn’t falling, he’ll drive and get to the line. He shoots an impressive 80 percent. The guard from De Pere should’ve got to the line more than the two he did against Nebraska.

Greg Gard still hasn’t seemed to settle on a consistent rotation. I understand that the Wisconsin basketball team isn’t going to succeed like they normally do, but a little regularity wouldn’t hurt.

The Badger basketball team has two guards who have played in enough high-level competition where they should see more than seven minutes combined.

Walt McGrory and T.J. Schludnt are the only two guards the Badgers have right now in relief. Both back court players have recorded 20 minute games before. I know they’re very young and inexperienced, but let them play and make the youngsters prove something.

They’re capable of knocking down a shot from downtown. See what they can do by driving the lane and getting to the lane. As it was stated before, any scoring attempt would be nice.

Speaking of scoring, there obviously isn’t any other reliable shooter on the Badger basketball team than Brad Davison and Ethan Happ.

This isn’t your typical, find the three-pointer shooter and let him bail you out, Badger basketball team. The best three-point shooter is the point guard. And he isn’t even a true point guard.

I never like when a team’s point guard is their best shot from downtown. It’s even worse when he’s the only consistent one.

Aleem Ford can knock them down. He’s so one-dimensional though that teams can prepare for it and he no longer has any game.

Pritzl was brought onto the Badger basketball team because of his ability to light it up. We have yet to see it. There’s the old saying of shooters shoot, but less than 1.5 made three-pointers per game isn’t Badger basketball.

Ethan Happ is really good for the Badger basketball team and it seems as though his junior year is going to waste.

The All-American big man turned in another double-double. He shot 9-15 from the field resulting in 19 points and hauled in 11 rebounds. Happ dished two assists and stole the ball four times.

The guy can’t do it all. Especially when he’s doubled and tripled on every play. Even more so when the next player you’re expecting to takeover is a true freshman.

The most ideal situation last season and coming into this year was that Happ would draw the double, kick it to the open man and a Wisconsin Badger basketball player would knock down a three-pointer. Then if those wouldn’t fall, either one of the big men would coral the board and put it back.

That’s supposed to be the case, but Nate Reuvers failed to record a board against Nebraska. I understand he’s a true freshman and almost redshirted at one point, but he’s shown signs of being so good.

It’s not going to get any better. In fact, we may see the worst beat down in the past 19 seasons. The Badger basketball team travels to West Lafayette to play Purdue.

The Boilermaker are flirting with a number one seed. In fact, Busting Brackets has them on the one line this week.

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Who knows though. This is the Badger basketball team. It’s the Big Ten of 2018. Wisconsin looked so dominant against Indiana. Then they looked very bad against Rutgers and Nebraska. On Tuesday night, the Hoosiers knocked off Penn State. Your guess is as good as mine.