This year’s men’s basketball team is certainly not what Badger fans are used to seeing. Last season, the Badgers were 17-3 and 7-1 in the Big Ten through 20 games, whereas this year’s squad is 10-10 and 3-4 in Big Ten play through 20 games.
Ethan Happ has been one of the few bright spots this season for the Badgers. In the Big Ten, Happ is 6th in points per game (16.7) and 4th in rebounds per game (8.5), while shooting .543% from the field. Ethan Happ is just one of two players averaging more than ten points a game for the Badgers, the other player being freshman Brad Davison (12.1). Davison is also just behind Happ in minutes played per game. Happ plays an average of 29.9 minutes per game while Davison plays an average of 29.3 minutes per game.
This season, the Badgers have kept an old tradition alive: playing well in the Kohl Center. So far the Badgers are 9-3 at home. However, two of those three games came in the form of 25-point and 20-point losses to Ohio State and Marquette, respectively. Six of Wisconsin’s final 11 regular season games are in the Kohl Center.
The Badgers on the road is an entirely different story. This team is 1-5 on the road and 0-2 in neutral sites, with the only victory coming in a 64-63 win against unranked Penn State.
Wisconsin has also struggled against ranked opponents this season, losing all five of their games against such teams. Of the last 11 games, only four are played against currently ranked opponents. Those opponents are No. 9 Michigan State (twice), No. 3 Purdue, and No. 23 Michigan.
Many of the problems plaguing this Badgers team stem from injury. Sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice and freshman guard Kobe King each only played in 10 games this season. Even though Trice played in just half of Wisconsin’s games so far, he still has the third most points per game for the team (9.4) and averaged the most minutes per game (31.5).
The Badgers have also had trouble scoring points this season. The team averages 68.4 points per game. Out of all Division I teams, that ranks 270th, with No. 1 Duke averaging 92.1 points per game. As a team, Wisconsin has a .465% field goal percentage while making .347% of three-pointers. However, the Badgers are only giving up an average of 64.8 points to opponents per game.
The simple answer for the Badgers’ offensive woes is that players need to make more of their shots. They average 53.3 shot attempts per game, but a .465% field goal percentage only gives them about 25 shots made per game. The Badgers are getting opportunities to win games and make their shots, but they just have not done much of either this season.