Grades: First half offense earns high marks

first_imgEvery week, Herald Sports will look back at the Wisconsin men’s basketball team and grade the Badgers in various aspects of the game, including offense, defense and bench scoring.Here is how the Badgers fared last week in a pair of home games against Illinois and Indiana:Offense — 3 of 5If you take out the second half of both games, this grade would be a perfect five of five. Before halftime, Wisconsin shot a combined 29-for-57, or 50.8 percent against Illinois and Indiana. In the second half of the two games, though, the Badgers cooled off significantly, shooting 23-of-62, or 37.1 percent.Overall, UW averaged nearly 70 points on the week, which is slightly above the Badgers’ season average of 68 points per game. Wisconsin was especially effective from beyond the arc against the Illini and Hoosiers, hitting 21 times on 54 attempts. Senior guard Jason Bohannon fueled the Badgers’ strong shooting as he caught fire from deep, connecting 10 times on 17 attempts for an impressive 58.8 percent mark.Defense — 3 of 5Defensively, Wisconsin was dominant in the latter of the two games. In a matchup last Tuesday with Illinois, however, UW could not stop the Illini offense. In particular, junior guard Demetri McCamey and junior forward Mike Tisdale were virtually unstoppable. Illinois’ inside-outside duo combined for 46 points on the night as neither player seemed to miss a shot. McCamey and Tisdale did an excellent job of exploiting the Badgers’ weakness in covering the pick-and-pop, which allowed Tisdale to score 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, with most of the big man’s attempts coming on mid-range jumpers.Against Indiana, on the other hand, the Badgers were especially opportunistic. They did not stop the Hoosiers from shooting a high percentage, as IU went 20-for-43 from the field. Instead, UW took advantage of its greater size, cleaning up the boards against the Big Ten’s second-leading offensive rebounding team coming into the game. UW outrebounded IU 33-26, which led to an 18-5 advantage in second-chance points. Turnovers also played a key role, as the Badgers recorded 29 points off 21 Indiana turnovers.Number of the Week — 30It’s the number of points Bohannon scored against the Hoosiers in Wisconsin’s 83-55 blowout victory. This is significant because it’s a career-best for the Marion, Iowa native, and it demonstrates just how impressive the 6-foot-2 guard’s play has been of late.In each of the Badgers’ last four games, Bohannon has led the team in scoring with an average of 20.5 points per game.Through 25 games this season, J-Bo has posted double digit point totals 17 times, good for the second-highest total on the season behind Trevon Hughes with 20. With 30 points Saturday, Bohannon also became the first Badger to eclipse the 30-point mark on the season and the only current player in cardinal and white to score 30 points in a game.Quote of the Week — Bo RyanHead coach Bo Ryan delivered a pair of good quotes this week, though one was far more positive than the other. When asked about the mood in the locker room following Tuesday’s disappointing loss to Illinois, Ryan’s answer was short and to the point.“Next (question),” he responded.After easily downing Indiana, on the other hand, Ryan showed off his more light-hearted side, joking with the same reporter that asked about the mood in the locker room as he opened it up for questions following Saturday’s victory.“It’s all about the mood in the locker room,” Ryan joked before going on to explain himself. “I don’t answer that question. I wasn’t trying to be wise with you. It’s just some things are personal to the guys.”Moment of the Week — Smith’s 3-point playWith less than 30 seconds remaining Saturday, the UW lineup consisted of five players who see all or a significant portion of their time in practice on the scout team in Wquinton Smith, Brett Valentyn, J.P. Gavinski, Mike Bruesewitz and Jared Berggren. Though the Badgers had a commanding lead and IU head coach Tom Crean had also gone to his bench, Smith’s drive with 23 second remaining impressed all those who stuck around until the end. The 5-foot-11 junior guard beat Indiana’s Daniel Moore off the dribble and converted the layup while drawing a foul call on Moore. Smith also hit the free throw, completing the old fashioned 3-point play and giving Wisconsin a short-lived 30-point advantage. Watching the reaction of Smith’s teammates on the bench was a great way to end the game.last_img read more

USC seeks to reverse its fortunes against UC Irvine

first_imgCurrently holding an overall 6-15 record, and 2-5 in conference, the USC Men’s Volleyball team has struggled to find their rhythm this season. However, they will face No. 4 UC Irvine at home this Saturday coming off a solid road win against Stanford last weekend. Freshman middle blocker Sam Lewis leaps high to complete a shot. Sunny Dong | Daily TrojanAfter falling in the first set 21-25, the Trojans came back and won three straight sets to take the match. Senior outside hitter Jack Wyett lead the team offensively with 15 kills and one ace. Freshman middle blocker Sam Lewis made a significant impact with 12 kills and six blocks by the end of the night, also contributing two aces. Junior outside hitter Gianluca Grasso had an outstanding service performance with three aces and an additional seven kills. Junior outside hitter Ryan Moss boasted a .438 hitting percentage with his seven kills. Setters freshman Chris Hall and redshirt senior Gert Lisha successfully ran their 6-2 offense with 18 and 22 assists, respectively. Freshman libero Cole Paxson lead the team in serve receive and defensively with five digs. “There was more energy throughout the team, and we played more as a cohesive unit,” Wyett said. “With that, everything else just followed. We made our serves a lot down the stretch. [Lewis] was a big factor for us during crunch time. And our defense was pretty tenacious throughout the whole match. The mentality throughout was super strong in comparison to our other matches.” As for Stanford, freshman opposite hitter Jaylen Jasper led the team with 20 kills along with freshman outside hitter JP Reilly, who added 13 kills. Junior setter Russell Dervay put up 43 assists with the help of senior libero Evan Enriques who had a .973 reception percentage and 13 digs. The Cardinal made a total of 28 errors to USC’s 16, leaving them with little room for victory. This Saturday the Men of Troy will return home to play UC Irvine in a non-conference match. They will rely on their big hitters, Wyett, Lewis, Grasso, and Moss, along with Lisha and Hall as setters. Sophomore opposite Aaron Strange weighed in on what they need to do technically to beat the Anteaters. “We definitely have to take their angle away because they are an angle dominant hitting team,” Strange said. “They don’t really hit balls extremely hard. They are very shotty. Our back row defense needs to be prepared to pick up tips. As for serving goals, we need to serve hard and not let that interfere with our mental game.” They will be looking at Paxson and libero Matt Douglas to defend against their shots. With a more mental view of the game, Wyett spoke to their team goals. “We need to go in with the mentality that we can beat them,” Wyett said. “They have a couple really good guys. And I think if we can shut them down in the early part of the match it will instill the mentality that we are capable of beating any team.” The Trojans will need to defend against the Anteaters coming off a win against UC San Diego. Freshman middle blocker Austin Wilmot was named Big West Defensive Player of the Week this week after average 1.82 blocks over 11 sets. In their most recent match against the Tritons, he put up 13 blocks. Also in their last match, senior outside hitter Aaron Koubi put up 12 kills. He was followed closely by junior opposite hitter Karl Apfelbach and freshman outside hitter Joel Schneidmiller who each added 11 kills. Defensively, sophomore middle blocker Scott Stadick had 4 blocks and senior outside hitter David Parker contributed 8 digs. The Trojans will need to defend and strategically put the ball away by avoiding their block. They will look to improve their record and gain more momentum for their last few games of the season, ending with a match-up against UCLA on March 31.last_img read more