Wisconsin basketball’s road trip continued this evening in College Park, Maryland. After losing 73-55 to the Maryland Terrapins, they can’t come home quick enough.
Wisconsin Basketball highlights
Freshman guard, Connor Essegian, seems to be getting more and more comfortable in his starting role. The “Baby-Faced Assassin” 19 points, on 6-12 shooting from the field, led all Wisconsin scoring. His dead-eye accuracy was exhibited with his 4 of 6 shooting from long range.
Tyler Wahl had 13 points 6-13 shooting from the field and Steven Crowl scored 11 points, 4 of 7 from the field and 1 of 3 from 3-point range.
The Badgers continued their excellent ball security, committing only 8 turnovers all game. Coming into the contest, Wisconsin was 2nd in the Big Ten, as well as 2nd in the nation at 9.0 turnovers per game. They trailed Penn State by three-tenths of a turnover.
Wisconsin showed signs of improvement in free-throw shooting, going 6-7 from the foul line.
Areas of Concern
I realize that you folks are probably tired of me harping about the rebounding, but as long as they continue to get pounded on the boards, I’m going to keep pointing it out. When your starting 7 foot center, who has 3 or more inches of height than the first 10 men in Maryland’s rotation, plays 29 minutes, and only has TWO rebounds, something is seriously wrong.
Normally defense is a Wisconsin strong point, but this evening it was lagging. For the season, Maryland has been shooting 44.4% from the field. Tonight they were a sizzling 56%. Couple that with Wisconsin’s poor 39.6% and you have the recipe for an 18-point loss.
Maryland had four players in double digits, led by Jahmir Young with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Donta Scott had a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Julian Reese also had 14 points and Hakim Hart rounded out the major scoring for Maryland with 13 points to go along with 8 assists.
Play of the game
The play of the game came very early for Wisconsin tonight.
At the 18:15 minute mark of the first half, Tyler Wahl committed his only turnover of the evening. Maryland’s Donald Carey intercepted an errant Wahl pass and passed it along to a wide-open Jahmir Young. He had a clear path to the basket and was going up for what he thought was an easy deuce.
Streaking out of nowhere, Chucky leaped and made a beautiful block on the layup that Jordan Davis was able to grab. Besides the sheer athleticism this play displayed, I loved the hustle that Hepburn showed. It would have been very simple to just give a half-assed effort there, but Hepburn gave maximum effort and it showed.
Wisconsin Basketball limps into a home matchup against Illinois
It’s safe to say this mini-road trip didn’t turn out as planned. Junior guard Max Klesmit still has not taken the court since his injury in the Penn State game. On deck is an Illinois team that started UW’s last 3 game skid.
However, this is a much different Wisconsin team with Wahl back. Road games in the Big Ten are very tough for everyone but those rare, special teams. The 07-08 and 14-15 Wisconsin teams both went 16-2 in the conference and three out of four of those losses came on the road. I think this is a decent, but not special, edition of the Badgers, so rough stretches in the road should be expected.
This crucial match-up against Illinois is slated for a 2 p.m. (CST) tip-off and will be aired on Fox (not FoxSports) TV.