At times, this game was a much bigger struggle than expected, but the final score didn’t show it. Wisconsin won 69-51 behind 36 points from their bench. Khalil Iverson was spectacular for the Badgers, recording 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks, and a few monstrous throw downs.
Vitto Brown tacked on a game-high 12 points on 5-7 shooting, while Bronson Koenig rounded out Wisconsin’s double-figure scorers with 10.
Wisconsin’s defense was stifling all game, holding Chicago State to just 35% shooting. The lone bright side for the Cougars was Fred Sims, who scored a game-high 26 points.
- Khalil Iverson is just a terrific basketball player. He isn’t a good shooter yet, but he is just so good at everything else that it doesn’t matter. He chases down loose balls, pulls down key offensive rebounds, blocks shots, plays great defense, and has excellent court vision. Oh yeah, and he throws down monster dunks. He needs to be on the floor as much as possible, because whenever he is, good things happen. He is a pure playmaker.
- Speaking of guys that need to be on the floor more, freshman D’Mitrik Trice does not play like a freshman. He is so poised and skilled. His court vision was on full display today, as he dropped seven assists without committing a turnover. He is going to be a special player for the Badgers.
- On the flip side, Wisconsin’s seniors did not play like seniors today. Zak Showalter picked up two early fouls, including a very silly one on a loose ball. Someone with his experience shouldn’t be picking up fouls like that. Nigel Hayes was abysmal, shooting 1-8 from the floor, 1-4 from the line, and turning it over twice. He has had some bad games as a Badger, and this stacks up with any of them. Vitto Brown shot well, but like usual, he made some awful decisions. He should never put the ball on the floor. Ever.
- Ethan Happ attempted only six shots today, which is somehow his season high. That trend can’t continue if Wisconsin wants to be successful. He is one of the most skilled big men in the country. He needs to be much more assertive.
- Good news: Wisconsin only shot 19 3-pointers.
- Bad news: They only hit 5.