Opening Comments: UW easily handled UIC 79 to 43. The main reason was poor competition. But, UW had a superior rebounding day.
Breadtree cited an article earlier from John Gassaway (the former BigTen Wonk). Link. I encourage you to read this if you have not done so. He does a good job of laying out the problem of looking at raw rebounding numbers and discussing coaching strategy.
Summarizing the game in a few words: UW had its best rebounding day of the year, second best offensive day and second best defensive day to lead to a rout.
Pace: The game was a deliberate 59 possessions, making it the second lowest this year (exceeded only by Milwaukee’s 57). The game could have been speeded up by fouling more and turning the ball over more, but the teams decided to play with fewer mistakes. Remember that when you see more possessions – you often see sloppy play.
Efficiency: UW put up 79 points. That would appear to be a good scoring day for UW. Knowing that there were only 59 possessions, you can see it was a very good day indeed.
UIC scored at .73PPP, the third lowest for our opponents this year (exceeded by Fort Wayne and Cal Poly). Obviously, we need to play some tougher competition to see how good our defense really is.
On the other end, UW scored at 1.34 PPP, our second best of the year (behind Cal Poly’s 1.38).
Shooting: UW took 41% of FG opportunities from beyond the arc (our norm is 34%). But, the pickings were easy. Life is good when the three’s are dropping.
eFG%: UIC shot at 39% compared to UW’s 62%. Our opponents typically shoot at 44% and we have been hitting at 54%.
3 pt shooting: UW invested an extra 9 possessions in three point shots. They turned out to be good investments.
UIC tried 14 and made 3, or 21%. UW tried 9 more (23 attempts) and made 8 more. UW was 11 for 23 or 48% and picked up 24 points from deep.
I recognize that UIC is a weak opponent, but I wonder how many zones we will see this year (also, look at rebounding numbers)?
2pt shooting: Inside the arc, UIC tried 36 shots and UW 33. But, despite taking 3 fewer attempts, UW scored 3 extra baskets. UIC made 15 (42%) while UW made 18 (55%). UW picked up another 6 points inside.
1pt shooting: UW won both the quantity and quality awards from the line. UIC was 4-6 for 67% and UW 10-14 for 71%. UW picked up our final 6 points at the line.
Rebounding: UW won the rebounding battle on both ends of the floor decisively.
UW Defensive end: There were 33 rebounding opportunities and UW successfully defended the glass getting 27 and leaving 6 for UIC. UW held UIC to 18%, which is excellent. The national average is 33% and UW is typically an excellent 26%.
UW Offensive End: UW crashed the boards and grabbed 50% of the offensive rebounding opportunities. Yikes! There were 26 chances and UW got 13. That was our best performance of the year.
Turnovers: UIC had 12 TO’s, or 20% of possessions. UW had 9 or 15%, which is slightly better than our typically excellent 16%. That gave UW an extra 3 possessions from turnovers. When you win by 36, 3 extra possessions do not seem like much. In a close game, they are critical.
Fouls: UIC had only 17 fouls, four fewer than our opponent’s typical 21. UW had only 11, which is better than our typical 16.
Playing time: Bo played 9 players 10 or more minutes. Besides the starters, Taylor 21, Evans 16, Wilson 16, and Bruesewitz 13. Nankivil only played 14.
Notable Performances: Needless to say, there were many good offensive performances and I will only mention a few. Leuer was Leuer, which means he was excellent. He scored 17 on 8 FGA’s, 4-4 from the line, 7 rebounds. If he is half as effective in B10 play, he will be fantastic.
Evans made some shots today. Ryan was 5-7, 5 rebounds, and scored 10. Great job!
Bohannon found his stroke, and then some. He scored 15 on 8 shots, 5-6 from deep, grabbed a couple of boards, and blocked yet another shot. JBO is becoming the Bill Russell of B10 guards. JBO, my people will probably question why we scheduled UIC when we meet at the campfire, but you will get many a mention as well the way you knocked down those threes.
Grading Shetown’s Predictions:
1. Badgers dominate the glass, grabbing 75% or more of the defensive rebounding opportunities and 35% or more of the offensive. UIC is a terrible rebounding team and UW isn’t. Plain and simple. Hit. UW dominated both ends grabbing 82% on defense, 50% on offense.
2. Neely and Kreps combine for 20 points or less. Both of them are not efficient offensively and having the likes of Trevon Hughes and Jordan Taylor guarding them will make them even less effective. Miss. They scored 24 but needed 27 shots to do it.
3. UIC attempts less than 10 free throws. They normally don’t get to the line much, and the Badgers are better than average at not sending teams to the line. Add it together, and I think they have a legit shot at making the “make more than opponents’ attempt” become true again after this game. Hit. They shot only 6. Nice gutsy prediction that came home.
4. Trevon Hughes scores more than 15. From what I can tell, their guards are bad, and Pop always makes bad guards look horrible. Narrow Miss. Pop got 12 on 9 FGA’s. But then Hughes only played 22 minutes. Factor in JBO (15) and Taylor (11) and it is clear that your point was correct.
5. The Badgers turn it over less than 15% of the time. UIC forces a lot of turnovers, but I doubt it affects the Badgers at all. Major miss. They turned it over 15%. Next time be sure to say 15% or less J
Shetown’s Prediction: The Badgers win their 4th straight, drowning the Flames 78-49 in 65 possessions. Hit. 79-43 in 59 possessions. Good guess.
Closing Thoughts: I have come to believe that D1 basketball needs to reduce the number of teams (conferences). There are too many buy games. If there were 1/3 fewer conferences, the big teams would have to play each other and leave home once in awhile.
The problem is that you learn so little about your team. Is our defense good? Is our offense good? To answer these questions, one needs to exclude buy games.
It is tempting to draw conclusions based upon this game, but they are likely unwarranted due to the competition. From here on out, we are playing with real bullets and everything will be much tougher, obviously.
We now are entering my favorite time in the sporting calendar.