Here's my pinch hit. I hope turumon had a better time hunting than I did watching this game. At least the football Badgers won.
Opening Comments: I hate games like these. About five minutes into the game, I sensed that this would be one of those games that UW would keep very, very close, but wouldn’t pull out at the end. I’m not happy to say I was right on the money with this, as the Badgers had a one-point lead with 55 seconds remaining, but ended up losing 68-65.
Summarizing the game in a few words: UNLV’s jumpshooting and pressure defense overcame the Badgers’ ability to get to and sink shots at the free throw line.
Pace: As always, you have to know the pace of the game to put everything else in context. This game was at 64 possessions. In the previous three games were at 66, 71, and 63.
Efficiency: Was this a close loss because of bad offense or bad defense? Both. UW scored at 1.02 PPP, which is very below average for the Badgers, as they had put up a ridiculous 1.43 PPP in the previous two games.
UW held UNLV to 1.06 PPP. The previous high this season was 0.94 by UW-LaCrosse in the first exhibtion game.
Shooting: UW had their worst day so far this year outside the arc, inside the arc, and at the line.
eFG%: For those unaware, eFG% is like your regular FG% but it gives a 3Pt basket a weight of 1.5 since it is worth more than a two point shot.
UNLV shot an eFG% of 58%. That is terrible defense by UW, or great marksmanship by UNLV. UW shot 42% for their worst performance of the year.
3 pt shooting: Wisconsin took two extra shots from deep, 20 to UNLV’s 18, but made three fewer, 6 to UNLV’s 9. UNLV hit a sizzling 50% while UW was a cold 30%. UNLV picked up 9 points outside the arc.
2pt shooting: UNLV hit 15 of 31 shots inside the arc for 48%. UW, meanwhile, fizzled out at 41% having made 13 of 32. The Rebels edged UW by 4 points inside the arc.
Most of the inside the arc points were also inside the paint. UNLV outscored UW 18 to 16 in the paint and 12 to 10 on midrange shots.
1pt shooting: UNLV got to the line 17 times and made 11 for 65%. That’s pretty bad considering how well they shot from everywhere else. UW smoked them at the line making 21 of 26 for 81%. This gave UW an extra 10 points from the line.
Rebounding: When UW shot and missed, which they did often, the results were nearly a draw. When UNLV shot and missed, UW cleaned up the misses effectively.
UW Defensive end: UNLV provided 30 rebounding opportunities on their misses and picked up 7, for 23%. Regular readers will note that 33% is the national average, but UW typically holds their opponents to around 26%. So, this was a win for UW, and expected given UNLV’s smaller line-up.
UW Offensive End: UW had 36 chances to follow their misses. UW managed to get 14, or 39%. That is great for a UW team, and with another few games of this sort and I think we can start to say that it isn’t an aberration.
Turnovers: UNLV had 12 TO’s, or 19% while UW had 15 for 23%. UW typically is near the top in the nation at avoiding TO’s and hasn’t been doing too well early on here. This pattern is one Bo may have to address.
Opportunity Index: The OI was a modest +4 for the game. UNLV had 7 offensive rebounds to UW’s 14. But, UNLV had three extra chances via turnovers.
Fouls: UNLV had 23 fouls and UW had 19. Last year, UW average 16 and our opponents 17. The officiating in this game was average at best and made me miss the level of competence in the Big Ten. Two jump balls were whistled within milliseconds of the ball being touched by an opposing player. Over-the-backs were called just because the player getting boxed out got a rebound via being that much taller than the other person. This isn’t loser’s lament, they were inconsistently awful for both sides. You can at least live with consistently bad since you know how the game is going to get called. But these guys would let hacks go on one end, and call a phantom hand check on the other side.
Playing time: Bo went 8 deep (10 or more minutes) with Valentyn getting with 6 minutes. Bruesewitz and Gasser started again. Evans (20) played starter’s minutes.
Notable Performances: UW had 3 players in double figures:
* Taylor – 19 on 4-8 shooting, 8-9 from the line and 3 of 4 from the arc
* Evans – 11 on 4-8 shooting, 3-4 from the line, but unfortunately 4 TOs too
* Leuer – 10 on 3-11 shooting, 3-5 from the line, and 4 fouls
Leuer, who had been a machine, turned out a stinker of a game. He sat the final 10:26 of the first half with 2 fouls and never really got on track offensively in the second. He forced shots over double teams and didn’t establish a presence on the low block at all.
Evans turned it on offensively in the second half, including another rim-rattling dunk, but coughed up 4 of the team 6 first half turnovers. He was also the second-leading rebounder with 6 and played great defense on Tre’Von Willis. Bruiser also had a rough day at the office, matching Evans’ four turnovers.
Gasser had another okay outing with 7 points, 7 boards, and 2 assists, albeit he needed 8 shots to get it, including a 1-6 performance from 3.
Jordan Taylor was basically the only Badger with a relatively flawless game, but he was visibly fatigued at the end due to dealing with full court pressure for 37 minutes and a flu bug bothering him. Jordan, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of turumon's people.
For UNLV, Chace Stanback scored 25 points on 14 FGAs, including 4-7 from three. Oscar Bellfield also dropped 18 points on 11 FGAs and 4-6 from beyond the arc.
Grading My Predictions
1. Leuer continues his tear and scores above 19 again. UNLV doesn’t have a guy to cover him… Not many teams we face will. Miss. Leuer had what may very well end up being his worst performance of the season, scoring 10 on 11 FGAs and 5 FTAs.
2. The Badgers shoot better than 38% from beyond the arc. With the Rebels being concerned about letting Leuer in the paint, they’ll give a few too many open looks from outside that the Badgers bury. Miss. They had many open looks, but could only muster 30%. I blame the hard rims.
3. The Badgers continue their dominance on the offensive glass, grabbing 39% or more of the opportunities. I’ll keep rolling the dice with this one until I’m wrong. Miss. Son of a bit… I missed by 12 one-hundredths of a percent.
4. Badgers hold Willis to 10 points or less. I think the Badgers badger the leading scorer for UNLV into a bad game his first go-around this season after serving his paltry 4-game suspension for a Boo Wade-type incident. Hit. In one of the few bright spots of this game, Ryan Evans made his season debut a forgettable showing.
When the final buzzer sounds on Saturday night, I predict a Badger victory by the score of 70-63 in 64 possessions. Miss. Correct in possessions and pretty close on the score… if I flipped teams.
Closing Thoughts: UW failed their first real test of the season. It’s early and it was a hostile environment so I won’t put much into it, but I hope Bo makes turnovers and post presence focal points in practice this upcoming week.
To continue turumon’s new feature…
Unwarranted Conclusions Based Upon the UNLV Game:
1. Jon Leuer is a fouling machine and will only shoot heavily contested 15-foot jump shots.
2. Inbounding plays are a major concern for this team.
3. UW will cough up the rock as often as Indiana.
4. UW’s defense will greatly contribute to the creation of every team’s 3-point shooting highlight reel
5. Ryan Evans will be the team’s second leading scorer
I think we’ll know a lot more about this team a week from now. Something tells me they’ll be 5-1 on November 29th.