Opening Comments: It was probably a good thing to have a laugher after the intensity of the Duke game. A game like this kills the strength of schedule, but ours was so high, no permanent damage will occur.
For a look at why it is important to follow Ken Pomeroy's principles if you wish to understand basketball well, check out the rebounding numbers below.
Summarizing the game in a few words: UW had its best offensive day and third best defensive day against the worst team of the year. Don’t draw many conclusions.
Pace: The game featured 62 possessions.
Efficiency: If you did not understand the possessions, you might think UW had a good scoring day to get to 79 points. Knowing there were only 62 possessions, you can see UW had a great scoring day. UW pumped in points at a rate of 1.27 per possession. Anything above 1.00 is decent. Our previous best this year was 1.20 against IPFW.
On defense, UW put the screws to Grambling holding them to .74 PPP. UW achieved .68 against Oakland and .74 against IPFW.
Shooting: Yikes! UW shot lights out and Grambling shot like the lights were out.
eFG%: Grambling bottomed out at 31.8% UW stoked 66.7%. Wow.
3 pt shooting: Grambling was 3/11 for 27%. UW hit 6/12 for 50%. Plus 9 points for UW.
2pt shooting: If you are not hitting outside, why not move in and try that? Grambling hit 30% inside the arc going 13/44. UW was a stunning 21/33 or 64%. UW scored +16 inside the arc.
1pt shooting: Grambling won the quality battle hitting 79 % to UW’s 68%. UW won the quantity battle taking 14 more shots – 28 and hitting 8 more19 to Grambling’s 11. UW scored +8 from the line.
Rebounding: UW out rebounded Grambling 37 to 27. So, UW had a much better day rebounding, right? Well… read on.
UW Defensive end: UW defended the glass well getting 31 of 42 rebounding opportunities, or 74% thus holding Grambling to 26%. Regular readers know anything under 33% is better than average and UW is typically excellent at protecting the boards. UW has averaged 74% defensive rebounds, or have given up 26% offensive rebounds for the year, about where we were last year.
UW Offensive End: Due to UW’s sharpshooting, there were only 22 rebounding opportunities on UW’s end and UW grabbed 6 or 27%. So on both end, the defense was comparably efficient with each side defending the glass well.
How can it be that UW had 10 extra boards yet rebounding was a draw? Because Grambling clanked so many shots, UW ran up the numbers getting the same % of a larger number on defense. That is something not reported in the paper. You have to do the calculations.
Turnovers: UW was its typically efficient self coughing up only 10 turnovers, or 16%. Anything below 21% is better than average. But, as is often the case, this did not result in an advantage – Grambling only had 11 or 18% turnover rate. So, UW only had one extra possession via turnovers.
Fouls: Grambling fouled 23 times to UW’s 13. That is a very low Tucker/Taylor-team-like total. UW has averaged 16 and our opponents 20.
Playing time: Bo had a chance to empty the bench going 9 deep with double digit minutes. JBo once again had the most minutes – but only 31 this game. Hughes played 27 and Taylor 25. Rob Wilson got to see 19. Evans and Berggren got into double figures. JP Gavinski saw some action, but Markolf did not.
Notable Performances: Trevon pumped in 20 on 11 FGA’s, 6-7 from the line, 7 rebounds, but had 4 TO’s. Bohannon, Leuer and Taylor all had 11. JBo got his deep shot working and hit 3-4 three pointers. Jordan Taylor had a good offensive day scoring 11 on 6 shots, 7 rebounds, and no turnovers. Jordan, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of my people.
Shetown’s Grade: Shetown stepped out on a limb and made these predictions:
1. Badgers force the inside game, with Leuer and Nankivil combining for more than 25 points. With Grambling’s extreme lack of size, I like Wisconsin’s bigs scoring opportunities. Almost. Last time Shetown said “more than 25” and they scored 25 and being as hard-hearted as I am, I called it a miss. So, the kinder/gentler side of me is saying “almost.” Leuer and Nankivil scored 18. But, between the two, they barely played a full game logging 43 minutes. Bruesewitz had 2 and Berggren 5 bring the bigs up to 25. So, the pressure was on Gavinski to put them over the top. No such luck. The bigs missed by 1 point. If only you had said 25 or more.
2. Badgers protect the ball, turning it over less than 17% of the time. Grambling has forced some turnovers, but I think the Badgers are too disciplined for it to be a factor. Hit. UW turned it over 16% of the time.
3. The guards post up a bunch in the offense and score on post moves. As previously stated, they are tiny, so tiny that Hughes, Bohannon, Wilson, Evans, Jarmusz, and Taylor should be able to abuse their guards in the post. Incomplete. I did not see the game and do not know if they were successful or not. Help here … Shetown's Edit: Hit. Pop, J-Bo, and Jordan all posted up and scored inside.
4. Badgers rain threes, shooting better than 40% from 3. The team is on a hot streak from 3, and play a team that isn’t good at defending them. Hit. UW drains 50%.
5. Due to #1 and #3, Wisconsin attempts more than 28 free throws. If Wisconsin plays their average pace and Grambling sends them to the line as often as they have others, Wisconsin should attempt 33 FTs. Nearly a hit. Why didn’t you say 28 or more?
My Prediction: Badgers continue their winning ways, and cruise to an easy 83-44 win in 70 possessions. Hit. 79 – 46 in 62 possessions.
Closing Thoughts: Badgers did what they needed to do to put down a really poor opponent.
Just think how much better it would be if broadcasters reported "the best offense" and the "best defense" by Points per 100 Possessions instead of points per game. Just think how much better it would be if they reported offensive rebounding percentage instead of total rebounds. When will they learn?