The #23 Wisconsin basketball team defeated in-state rival Marquette to move to 7-1 on the season. After a closely contested first half, the Badgers led the Golden Eagles 34-31. But an offensive explosion in the second half helped the Badgers to bust the game wide open and cruise to an easy win over Marquette.
We are learning more and more about this team each game and they are starting to show us how good they really are. Here are three takeaways from the Badgers’ latest win.
1. If Johnny Davis continues this play, he won’t be on the Wisconsin basketball team next season
Johnny Davis continues to play at a high level for the Badgers. He came into the game averaging almost 20 points per game. He dropped 25 points on 9/14. from the field. He added 6/8 from the free-throw line.
He ignited the Badgers’ offense, which was somewhat stagnant to start the game. He was able to get to the hoop, pull up from midrange, and get pretty much whatever he wanted in the second half.
The rest of the country is quickly finding out what Wisconsin basketball fans already knew. That Johnny Davis is going to be one of the top players in the Big Ten sooner rather than later. That’s looking like it’s going to be this season. Wisconsin basketball fans should enjoy this season with Johnny Davis because this could very well be his last in Madison if he keeps this up.
Although it would suck for Badger fans if Davis left early, it would still benefit the program in the future. Seeing a player leave after their sophomore year to go to the NBA would show potential recruits that the Wisconsin basketball program is capable of getting players into the NBA.
2. The Wisconsin basketball team is lucky Brad Davison is back this year
When the 2020-21 season ended, there was a mass exodus of players who were a part of the Wisconsin basketball program for years. All of them could have come back with the extra year of eligibility granted to each player from the covid season. Seven players either graduated or transferred from the program but one stuck around: Brad Davison.
Davison, who opposing fans love to make fun of for seemingly playing at Wisconsin forever, came back for one more season with the Badgers. His nickname on the team is ‘Grandpa,’ which fits him pretty well considering he is the oldest player on the team.
But the Badgers are very fortunate to have Davison back on the squad this year. With such a young backcourt, his veteran leadership is going to pay dividends for the future of this program. Chucky Hepburn and Lorne Bowman II are going to learn a lot from him. Not to mention his scoring has pulled the Badgers out of a scoring drought or two already this year.
We all know Davis is the go-to guy for the Badgers, but Brad Davison is a hell of a second option for this young Wisconsin team.
3. The defense for this Wisconsin basketball team continues to keep them in games
Wisconsin’s offense has a tendency to go through some scoring droughts. It’s not as bad as last year, but there are still some 5-6 minute stretches where they just can’t get the ball in the hoop. When this happens, their defense becomes even more important so the opponent can’t take or grow a lead. Being able to play tight defense and limit scoring while they are in a scoring drought themselves is huge.
In the first half, the Badgers were in a bit of a drought, but their defense kept the game tight with the Golden Eagles.
In the second half, even with their offensive explosion, the Badgers’ defense put the clamps on Marquette. They still allowed 76 points to the Golden Eagles, but about 10 of those points came in the final 2:40 when the backups came into the game. It was a 13-point win, but the game wasn’t even that close.
They held Maquette’s two leading scorers, Justin Lewis (16.1 ppg) and Darryl Morsell (15.3 ppg), to just 25 points combined.
The defense was once again a big reason for the win.