Jan 9, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA;Wisconsin Badgers forward Tyler Wahl (5) takes a shot against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at the Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Kucin Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

3 Takeaways From Wisconsin Basketball Win Over Stanford

3 Takeaways From Wisconsin Basketball Win Over Stanford

On Friday night, the Wisconsin Badgers improved to 2-0 on the young season after defeating the Stanford Cardinals 60-50 in front of 17,927 fans at American Family Field in the inaugural Brew City Battle.

Coach Gard and the Badgers, who controlled the game from the jump, overcame a rough shooting night by winning the ole Wisconsin way – with suffocating defense, holding the Cardinals to a mere 36.2% from the field and 1-of-17 from beyond the arc.

UW struggled to find an offensive rhythm, connecting on just 5-of-20 three-point attempts but mitigated their shooting woes by taking care of the basketball – turning the ball over only eight times.

Senior forward Tyler Wahl again led the way for the Badgers, finishing with 17 points, five rebounds, and three steals in 32 minutes. UW also received contributions from Jordan Davis and Chucky Hepburn, who registered 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Here are three takeaways from Wisconsin basketball’s win over Stanford.

Wisconsin’s defense looked fantastic

UW showed enough moxy to win the old-fashioned way on a night when the shots weren’t falling, holding the Stanford Cardinals to 36.2% from the field and an abysmal 5.9% from beyond the arc.

In addition, Wisconsin’s defense forced 16 turnovers, which they turned into 18 points, and prevented Stanford from scoring a single fastbreak point. Small sample size, but the defensive versatility and grit were on full display tonight.

Connor essegian was ready when called upon

Starting shooting guard Max Klesmit spent a healthy portion of the game in foul trouble, forcing freshman Connor Essegian into an extended role right out of the gate.

In 23 minutes, Essegian was active on defense and added eight points and two rebounds on 3-of-9 shooting from the field (2-of-4 from three).

The Indiana native has proven to be a spark plug off the bench offensively and has already made my prediction of him becoming the sixth man look good. Every time he shoots the ball, it feels like it’s going to go in.

Buy Connor Essegian stock now, Badger fans, because this kid is really damn good.

Tyler Wahl is a star

The Wisconsin Badgers have a star, and his name is Tyler Wahl. Not only is he the best and most versatile defender on the court, but he’s also become an assertive low-post presence on offense for UW.

Wahl led the Badgers with 17 points tonight, and it’s abundantly clear that coach Gard wants the offense to run through him and Hepburn whenever possible. UW has made a concerted effort to touch the post, which will undoubtedly lead to a greater potential offensive efficiency as they work to find their identity.

What’s next

Wisconsin basketball (2-0) returns to the court on November 15 when the Badgers take on UW-Green Bay at the Kohl Center.

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