The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team returned to hardwood late Wednesday night to signal their season against the Eastern Illinois Panthers. The two teams played a close match last year after a heartfelt tribute to Howard Moore and his family.
This season, the Badgers entered with high hopes, and were able to secure their first win of the year in close proximity, as Wisconsin beat Eastern Illinois by 10 points.
And these are the people go to bed!
The # Border Take care of East Illinois 77 to 67.
Nate Reevers led all scorers with 18 points and nine rebounds.
– Bucky’s 5th Quarter (OB5K) November 26, 2020
Early in the game, the Wisconsin net went inside the Reeves which was hot with seven of the team’s first nine points.
After the media’s first timeout, Joshi Davis and Ben Carlson, a pair of freshmen, were able to enter the scoring column in their first game action at the college level. The pair looked good with an offensive look, and helped the Badgers to a 15-10 advantage in the first half.
Wisconsin were able to extend their lead to 12-0 in the final half of the first half, which included three points from Micah Potter and Brad Davison, and some consistent play by Ben Carlson.
The Badgers moved into intermission with a 23-point advantage with 9 assists, and the EIU dropped to just 23.5% shooting.
The # Border Take a 43-20 lead in half.
Ben Carlson and Jonathan Davis combined for 16 points, while Nate Reverse added 14 points.
UW shot 51.7% off the field and 81.8% off the FT line.
– Bucky’s 5th Quarter (OB5K) November 26, 2020
In the opening moments of the second half, a third new man appeared on the court, as the older man, Steven Carroll, was the first player on the bench.
Although Kroll didn’t impress as much as Davis and Carlson, the Badgers were able to move their first distance from Eastern Illinois into the first media timeout.
After the timeout, the Panthers went on a short 16-3 loss, and some were stopped by Badger on offense. Tyler Wahl, however, will give the team a good boost, pushing Wisconsin’s lead back to the remaining 17 with a 6:31 lead.
In the final minutes of the game, Badgers returned to the bench, and E.I.U. Was able to close the gap slightly.
In the end, Wisconsin won by 77 to 67.
- Nate Riverver -> 18 points (6-of-10 shooting), nine rebounds, five blocks
- Micah Potter -> Nine points (3-of-7 shooting), eight rebounds, two assists
- Ben Carlson -> 13 points (4-of-5 shooting), two rebounds, one block
- Josiah Wallace -> 22 points (9-of-16 shooting), four rebounds, three assists
No. 1: Freshman Debbie.
Greg Guard made it clear at the start of the game that he had confidence in a pair of his latest players. Ben Carlson and Jonathan Davis both entered the game shortly after the first media timeout, and the boy performed.
The pair boosted the team on both ends of the court in the first half. Both players scored eight points at midpoint, and immediately showed why they were looking for a four-star prospect in high school.
As mentioned earlier, in the second half Steven Carroll also took part in the action in his first collegiate minutes. A fourth newcomer, Carter Gilmore, also appeared late in the mop-up duty.
Carlson and Davis, however, were the story, while both youngsters scored 21 points.
No. 2: Long lines
One thing that jumps for the Badgers this season is the exchange with Greg Guard’s own lineups. The team has a whole host of senior leaders, and a bunch of talented options like Tyler Wahl, Ben Carlson and Jonathan Davis.
The starting lineup is matched by five seniors, and the group has two 6-foot-10 + forwards in Potter and Reeves, and a 6-foot-8 Alim Ford with some great lengths to hold the short upcoming role. Tyler Wahl’s growth rate has increased to 6 ft-9 with the addition of another taller body to play the reversal / potter or Ford spell, and Ben Carlson is another 6 ft-9 ahead. It also helps to get the frontcourt out.
The Guard switched those five players up and down their lineup against a small Eastern Illinois team. It will be interesting to see if Guard continues to move forward this season, as the added versatility can really help with B1G’s toughness this season.
The team beat East Illinois by 40 to 37, giving the group much needed improvement before playing the Big Ten, but the length and flexibility with which the front court rotates is certainly a positive development.
Number 3: Balanced scoring
Last season, the start of all five badgers against Eastern Illinois was eight points higher than per game. Three of them (Reverse, Potter, Davison) have double breasted double digits.
In the opening game, Wisconsin continued to strike a balanced attack that distributed shots to many players.
Against Eastern Illinois, six different players attempted six or more shots, while three players (Reverse, Carlson, and Trice) scored more than 10 points.
To lean on a team without an A-star player, Wisconsin will need continuous production from the entire team to produce this season and meet high expectations.
Next: The Badgers will return to action against the Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Friday. The tip-off is scheduled for 8pm CST on BTN.