The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team came into the fray again Wednesday night against the East Illinois Panthers. Both teams played in a close match last year that paid tribute to Howard Moore and his family.
This season, the Badgers entered with high expectations, and as Wisconsin beat East Illinois by 10 points they were able to get their first win of the year in close fashion.
That’s it folks. Go to bed!
The # Badgers Note East Illinois 77 to 67.
Nate Rivers led the way with 18 points and nine rebounds.
– Bucky 5th Quarter (@ B5Q) November 26, 2020
At the start of the game, Wisconsin were able to get inside the Nate Rivers, who were hot with seven of their first nine points.
After the first media time, a pair of newcomers, Johnny Davis and Ben Carlson, were able to enter the score column in their first game activity at the college level. Both looked good and helped the Badgers advance 15-10 in the first half.
Thanks to Wisconsin’s 12-0 in the final stages of the first half, which included three points from Mike Potter and Brad Davison, and some strong play from Ben Carlson.
The Badgers played 23 assists with nine assists and kept the EIU at 23.5% for shooting.
The # Badgers Get a 43-20 lead in the half.
Ben Carlson and Jonathan Davis added 16 combined points, while Nate Revers added his own 14 points.
51.7% from the field and 81.8% from the FD tax.
– Bucky 5th Quarter (@ B5Q) November 26, 2020
In the opening moments of the second half the third newcomer looked on the court because the big man Steven Kroll was the first player to leave the bench.
Although the crawl did not affect the game as much as Davis and Carlson, the Badgers were able to maintain the distance from East Illinois to the first media deadline.
As time went on, the Panthers were able to push the deficit a little bit after 16-3, and some stagnation blamed by the Badgers. Tyler Wall will give the team a good boost, pushing Wisconsin’s lead to 17 with 6:31 left.
In the final minutes of the game, the Badgers returned to the bench and were able to close the EIU gap slightly.
In the end, Wisconsin will win 77 to 67.
- Nate Reverse -> 18 points (6-in-10 shooting), nine recycling, five volumes
- Micah Potter -> Nine points (3-in-7 shooting), eight restarts, two assists
- Ben Carlson -> 13 points (4-in-5 shooting), two restarts, one block
- Josiah Wallace -> 22 points (9-for-16 shooting), four restarts, three assists
Number 1: Newcomers are introduced
Greg Kart made it clear at the start of the game that he was confident in his new pair. Ben Carlson and Jonathan Davis were both inserted into the game shortly after the end of the first media time, and the boy performed them.
Both provoked the team on both ends of the court in the first half. Both players scored eight points in the middle and immediately showed why they look forward to four-star chances in high school.
As mentioned earlier, Steven Kroll also showed action with his first college minutes in the second half. Carter Gilmore, the fourth newcomer, saw minutes late on the mop-up duty.
Carlson and Davis were both storytellers because the two youngsters combined for 21 points.
Number 2: Long rows
One thing that has been jumping on the bandwagon this season is the exchange that Greg Kard has with his ranks. The team also has full senior leaders, and has a youthful infusion of talented options such as Tyler Wall, Ben Carlson and Jonathan Davis.
There are five seniors in the starting lineup, and this group has some great lengths with two 6-foot-10+ perspectives on Potter and Reverse, and the 6-foot-8 Aleem Ford holds a small forward character. Tyler Wall’s development adds another long body to the 6-foot-9, playing forward to spell out Revers / Potter or Ford, and Ben Carlson comes forward to help court another 6-foot-9.
Kart moved all five of those players in his lineup against a short East Illinois team. It will be interesting to see if Kart continues to improve this season, as the extra versatility could help this team with the toughness of P1G this season.
Eastern Illinois led the team from 40 to 37, giving the team the much-needed improvement ahead of the Big Ten game, but the length and flexibility with the front court rotation is definitely a positive development.
Number 3: Symmetric score
Last season, all five Badgers starters against East Illinois averaged more than eight points per game. Three of those players (Revers, Potter, Davison) are in double figures on average.
In the opening game, Wisconsin continued a consistent attack that distributed shots to several players.
Six different players attempted six or more shots against Eastern Illinois, with three players (Revers, Carlson and Trice) scoring over 10 points.
With a team that does not have a star player to lean on, Wisconsin will need consistent production from across the team to produce this season and meet high expectations.
Next: The Badgers will take action again Friday on the Arkansas Pine-Bluff. 8pm CST on DT-Off PDN.