Balance. Balance. Balance.
It’s never easy when you lose a player who led the team in scoring, assists, rebounding, and steals.
Of course, the player this is in reference to is, Wisconsin great, Ethan Happ.
Maybe the most eye-popping stat that Happ led the team in was field goal attempts. Happ took 139 more shots than the second-leading shot taker.
That is far from the case with the 2019 Wisconsin Badgers squad.
Now with the departure of Khalil Iverson and Ethan Happ, Aleem Ford and Kobe King stepped into starting roles for the Badgers. The additions have drastically changed the offensive approach and have made Wisconsin tougher to defend.
“It’s difficult because they have five guys on the floor that can always shot,” said Linc Darner, Green Bay head coach. “In the past, they might have one or two guys that you can play off of or couldn’t shoot it, but it seems like the whole time they got guys out there, every one of them can shoot threes.”
Wisconsin rolled to an 88-70 win over the Green Bay Phoenix and have now won their last four games after dropping their first game of the season in overtime to St. Marys.
Once again, much like they did against Marquette, the balance was the key to the offensive attack and the unselfishness this team plays with was on display.
“I thought we shared the ball exceptionally well,” head coach Greg Gard said. “Proud of the guys and how they moved it. You have twenty-four assists on thirty-two field goals, and you don’t do that without being unselfish.”
The ball was popping and guys were finding open shooters which was highlighted best when Brevin Pritzl caught the ball on the wing then drove, and found an open Walt McGrory oin the corner who swung it to the wing and the ball was swung one more time for an open Aleem Ford three.
One of the biggest differences in the offense that players always speak of, is the spacing on the floor. Of course, this spacing is a result of the lineups on the court where all five guys can knock an open three.
The new shooting prowess was fully on display with the Badgers shooting 15-31 from beyond the arc, which is good for an incredible 48% from long range. Maybe even more incredible is the fact that seven guys knocked down a long ball, truly showing they’re depth and new shooting touch.
For reference, the last time we saw the Badgers in the 2018-2019 season, they shot an abysmal 20% from three.
We will have to wait to see if this was an anomaly but if they can keep this up, they are damn near unstoppable.
“If they shoot like that, I don’t know who could beat them. Even in the Big Ten,” head coach Linc Darner said.