December 2, 2008

Post-Virginia Tech analysis

MADISON, Wis. - A win on the road, especially in the early stages of the season are what can boost a team's confidence moving forward. Following it's exhilarating two-point win last night at Virginia Tech, the Wisconsin men's basketball team hopes to carry that momentum into Saturday's rivalry game at Marquette.

Before UW packs up and heads to the Bradley Center, takes a look back at the Badger's win against the Hokies. The following is an analysis of the nine UW players to see game action Monday night.

Guard Trevon Hughes:
Stat line: 12 points, three assists, one rebound and one steal on 5-for-11 shooting from the field.

Analysis: Hughes seems to have command of the Badger offense when he controls the ball more so this year than his first two seasons. In past years his patience seemed to run thin at certain times and that would turn into difficult and usually forced shots. So far this season, that has not been the case as he utilizes screens and ball fakes to gain an edge on his defenders.

That has led to a .491 shooting percentage from the floor and an even better .538 mark from three point range. Last night, he also displayed a knack for hitting the clutch shot when he connected on the runner with less than one second to play to seal the win.

Grade: A

Guard Jason Bohannon:
Stat line: 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field (all from beyond the arc). He did not register any rebounds or assists and connected on both of his free throw attempts.

Analysis: Coming into the game, Bohannon had been struggling to find his shooting touch. But as all good shooters do, he kept shooting the ball and they started to go in the hoop. Last night, when the Badgers needed a big bucket, Bohannon delivered. His three shots from downtown were major boosts for the Badger offense as it had been lacking over the past few games. His clutch free throws with UW holding a slim one-point lead in the late stages of the game were critical.

Grade: A

Forward Joe Krabbenhoft
Stat line: Nine points, two rebounds, four assists and one steal on 2-of-6 shooting. The senior also connected on 5-of-6 free throw attempts, including a pair in the final minute of the game.

Analysis: While the man Krabbenhoft was guarding the majority of the game went off for a game high 30 points, it was not because UW's senior was playing shoddy defense. A.D. Vassallo just had a night where he could not miss from distance and most of his shots were contested and difficult. Sometimes a shooter just gets hot and has a night like his. Still, Krabbenhoft displayed great leadership in the final moments of the game by knocking down two critical free throws that gave UW a three-point lead at the time, and ripping down hard-fought rebounds throughout.

Grade: B+

Forward Marcus Landry
Stat line: 18 points, one rebound, four assists, two blocks and one steal on 6-7 shooting. He also hit on all four of his three-point attempts.

Analysis: Landry's ability to draw his defender out to the perimeter is so impressive for his size. Not only does he have the post game that needs to be respected, but his shooting from distance is catching up. When Landry is able to work the perimeter, it opens up driving lanes that Hughes, Jon Leuer and others can exploit. The only downfall is that when shooting from the outside, Landry is taken out of the rebounding mix when he misses.

Grade: A

Forward Keaton Nankivil
Stat line: Zero points, three rebounds, one block and one steal on 0-for-2 shooting.

Analysis: Nankivil has yet to develop a consistent scoring touch so far this season. But he has developed into a solid rebounder and decent defender considering he is usually smaller than the man he is guarding. Early in the game against Virginia Tech, Nankivil missed a jumper and seemed hesitant to shoot from that point on. It seems the sophomore needs to develop some confidence with his mid-range game and once that happens, it will do nothing but help the Badger offense.

Grade: B

Forward Jon Leuer
Stat line: 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks on 6-for-11 shooting. The sophomore also hit both of his three-point shots and was perfect from the line.

Analysis: It is amazing how light Leuer is on his feet when he takes his man off the dribble. He has an excellent first step and a physicality around the rim that catches many unfamiliar opponents off guard. Not only has he shown his ability to drive the lane, but he can hit from beyond the arc. When the perimeter shot is falling like it did on Monday, defenders are caught in a tough position because they have to respect both his shot and his ability to drive.

Grade: A

Guard Jordan Taylor
Stat line: Two points, one rebound and one assist on 1-for-4 shooting.

Analysis: Taylor looked both poised and aggressive in his first true road game at the collegiate level. He attacked the rim at times and scored on a nifty reverse lay-up. The true freshman did not turn the ball over and seems to be developing into a comfortable replacement when Hughes needs a break.

Grade: B+

Guard Tim Jarmusz
Stat line: Zero points, three rebounds and one assist. He did not attempt a shot in the win.

Analysis: Jarmusz is the definition of Wisconsin basketball. He is gritty and determined with an impressive work ethic. Last night, he had the task of matching up with Vassallo at certain points of the game, and while he did not completely shut the hot-shooting Hokie down, he helped limit him for certain stretches.

Grade: B

Forward Robert Wilson
Stat line: Five points, one rebound, one assist and one steal on 1-for-1 shooting from the floor.

Analysis: Wilson has continually shown great flashes of athleticism in the early stages of the season. For a true freshman, his confidence is shy-high and he is unafraid of attacking opponents, especially when he wants to get to the rim. He also presents a dangerous weapon around the perimeter as he has the capability to shoot the three like he showed against Virginia Tech.

Grade: B

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