Wisconsin Basketball: 3 key questions ahead of Rutgers game

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Wisconsin basketball

Jan 27, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; The Wisconsin basketball Badgers bench reacts during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Here are three questions for the Wisconsin basketball team heading into their matchup with Rutgers Friday night.

The Wisconsin basketball team got punched in the mouth on Tuesday night when they went to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines. The game resulted in a 23-point loss, but sometimes losses once in a while can be a good thing. I think it can keep a team humble, but it also exposes areas where teams can improve. I think the Wisconsin basketball season can learn a lot from their recent loss to Michigan.

With that said, after a 23-point loss where you are down by 40 at one point, there are probably more than three things the Wisconsin basketball team should look to improve upon. But I picked out three things that Badger fans should watch for on Friday night when they travel to Rutgers and look to get back into the win column.

Will there finally be some energy from the bench?

This is something that has been bugging me since their loss to Maryland at home. Energy is something every college basketball team thrives on. Usually, that energy comes from the fans in the arena. Unfortunately, there aren’t fans in the arena to cheer on the home teams.

The Kohl Center is a historically tough place to play for visiting teams and the fans are a big reason why. Without the fans, teams are turning to their benches to provide some energy and noise. That positive energy is infectious and in my opinion, can really help a team play better.

Maryland came to the Kohl Center a few weeks ago and shocked the Badgers. They were hitting a ton of their shots. A big reason for that was Maryland’s bench. They were constantly cheering and making noise, adding positive energy to the Terp’s winning effort.

The Wisconsin bench, on the other hand, was quiet and flat.

Since that game, I figured the Wisconsin bench would try to come to life a bit. Instead, it’s been more of the same thing. They barely beat Indiana in 2OT and a Minnesota team who can’t wain away games.

Then they go to Michigan and get smoked. The Michigan bench was wild, to the point where I was so annoyed, I started resenting them. Then I started thinking that I was so annoyed with them because they were having fun. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s bench looked like a bunch of statues.

Now, there’s a difference between lively and just obnoxious, like the Michigan bench was when they were doing CPR when they went up by 40, but at least they were doing something.

This Wisconsin team needs a little boost and that energy should come from the bench.

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