Opening Comments: UW thumped a young and overmatched North Carolina State team 87-48.
In Shetown’s prediction thread, many Wolf Pack fans came over and suggested their young team was in deep trouble playing an experienced UW team in a hostile place. They were right. I appreciated the insights that their fan base brought to board (in stark contrast to what is happening over on the football board). However, I feel a need to make a bad pun such as: “What’s for dinner? Road kill and hushed puppies”, but I do not want to disrespect the well meaning and insightful NCS fans that visited our board. But, that does not mean I should try to stop you…
UW has discovered the key to winning for the rest of the season. Simply do the following:
* Hit 55% of your three attempts, or better
* Turn the ball over no more than 10% of the time
* Grab offensive rebounds at a 45% clip, or better
* Hit at least 77% of your free throws
* Hold your opponents to 32% shooting inside the arc, or less
Our strategy is now set.
Summarizing the game in a few words: UW dominated all phases of the game, but the most stunning was the 55% success rate from beyond the arc.
Pace: The game had 62 possessions by my estimation. FYI … I calculate the possessions for both teams and average them and then round. In this case, NCS had 63.2 possessions and UW 60.4. Since fractions are not possible and there cannot be more than one possession difference between the two teams, typically, our formula failed this time. But, 62 seems like a good number and I am sticking with it.
If you are wondering, possessions are estimated as: FGA + .475*FTA – Off Reb + Turnovers.
Efficiency: Was it good offense or good defense for UW? Both, in big measures. UW scored a stunning 1.40 PPP. Yikes! Meanwhile, NCS clanked their way to .77PPP. That puts UW at 1.18 PPP for the year on offense and .88 PPP on defense. These are raw numbers that do not reflect strength of schedule.
Shooting: UW outshot NCS in both quantity and quality at the arc, inside the arc, and at the line.
eFG%: UW had a ridiculous 60% eFG%. Meanwhile, NCS struggled at 35%.
3 pt shooting: UW drained threes at an amazing 55% rate. UW was 11 for 20. NCS took 13 threes and made but 4 or 32%, which is close to the national average. UW outscored NCS by 21 outside the arc.
2pt shooting: NCS shot more or less the same percentage inside the arc as outside the arc. NCS was 14 of 44 for 32%. UW shot a respectable 17 of 36 or 47%, which was our fourth best in seven games. UW picked up another 6 points inside the arc.
1pt shooting: UW cleaned up at the line as well. UW made 77% (20 – 26) while NCS was at 62% (8 – 13). That put UW up by 12 at the line.
The “We Make More Free Throws Than Our Opponents Attempt” Scoreboard
UW Makes: 94 Opponent Attempts: 99 Difference: -5
We need to pick it up at the line to get our old favorite beer drinking game line back.
As you know, I a trying to track where points come on the floor to see if there are any insights to be learned. Here it is for this game:
Location UW Opp
Arc 38% 25%
Mid Range 14% 4%
Paint 25% 36%
FT Line 23% 19%
NCS actually outscored UW in the paint 26 to 22.
Rebounding: UW did not dominate the defensive glass like usual, but crashed the boards with a vengeance on offense.
UW Defensive End: UW did a relatively poor job defending the defensive glass. NCS got 32% of their misses (13 of 40), near the national average of 33%, but far more than UW’s typical 26% of last year.
UW Offensive End: UW had a great day on the offensive glass. UW grabbed 45% of our misses (14 of 31). So, after an off day against ND, UW is back on a torrid offensive rebounding streak.
Turnovers: Once again, UW won the TO battle. NCS had 13, for 21%. That is on the national average, but high for a UW opponent since UW plays position and not a denying defense.
UW had but 6 turnovers, or 10%. Low turnovers have been a Bo hallmark. This game was excellent. UW had a plus 7 turnover margin, something an inexperienced team playing in a hostile environment cannot afford.
Opportunity Index: UW had a plus 8 OI. UW was plus one in offensive rebounds and plus 7 on turnovers. All this resulted in UW scoring plus 9 in points off turnovers (UW 18, NCS 9) and plus 9 in second chance points (19 to 10).
Fouls: NCS had 21 fouls to UW’s 11. Those extra 10 fouls lead to 13 extra free throw attempts and 12 extra points from the line for UW.
Playing time: Bo played 9 ten or more minutes. All the starters got at least 20 minutes (and not more than 29). Smith got 16, Evans 18, Jarmusz 16 and Berggren 12. There was a JP Gavinski sighting.
NCS played 9 10 or more minutes as well.
Notable Performances: Leuer had a 22 -11 dub dub. He only needed 11 FGA’s and 8 FTA’s to get there. He missed four shots from the floor, but picked up 3 offensive rebounds. His only blemishes were two turnovers. Jon, I salute you.
Taylor scored 21 on 12 shots and 4 FTA’s. He had 3 boards and but one TO in 29 minutes. Excellent work.
Jared Berggren scored 12 on 4-5 shooting from the floor, 3-3 from deep, 1-2 from the line and chipped in 3 boards in 12 minutes of work. Jared, long will the tales of your exploits be told around the campfires of my people.
Bruesewitz scored 9 on 3 FGA’s and no FTA’s. I will leave it to the reader to deduce where the shots came from. Mike, I salute you.
For NCS, Scott Wood was a thorn in UW’s side scoring 13 on 10 FGA’s. He displayed excellent catch and shoot skills coming around screens.
Grading Shetown’s Predictions
1. The Badgers re-establish their dominance on the offensive boards, grabbing at least 40%. The Badgers are good at them and NCSU is terrible at stopping them. Hit. UW got 45%. That was an aggressive prediction that came home
2. The bench, Gasser, and Bruesewitz score at least 49% of the team’s points. I think the friendly confines help the role players find their stroke again. FYI, they currently score 44.1% of the points. Miss. Taylor, Nankivil and Leuer scored 50 of 87.
3. The Badgers get their 3-point shooting ability back, and shoot better than 35%. The team shot 42% in the Kohl Center and 17% in Orlando. I think the Kohl Center shooting returns. Major Hit. UW popped at a stunning 55%.
The Badgers take out their disappointment from Orlando on the Wolfpack, Cesar Milan-ing them 75-62 in 64 possessions. Hit, sort of. UW won 87 to 48 in 62 possessions. You did not give UW enough credit and NCS too much, but you erred in the right direction.
Closing Thoughts: In retrospect, the powers to be would have been wise to have UW play Maryland and NCS play PSU. Those would have made more engaging competition.
It is amazing how much better shooting was in the Kohl center (and against NCS). There is no place like home.
I really like the ACC/B10 challenge. It makes for an engaging few days of TV. I find myself cheering for our fellow B10 teams when I might not otherwise. But most importantly, we get to schedule some good games. Otherwise, the temptation is to bring in a team for a buy game that is not engaging. I hope they keep the challenge going. If not, I hope they do it against another conference. I wish they would do it with two conferences each year.