Wisconsin basketball was back in action as they took on Maryland for their second game in just three nights. The Badgers were looking to avoid having lost five out of their last six games. With the poor defense combined with some apparent fatigue showing, Wisconsin lost again 73-55.
Here are three things from the loss.
Replacing Max Klesmit
Once again, Wisconsin would be without starter Max Klesmit. Klesmit took a nasty shot to the face that knocked him out of the game against Penn State. Missing his second consecutive game, it was again on both Jordan Davis and Connor Essegian to fill his void. Klesmit has proven to be the ultimate glue guy for Wisconsin this season. He does all the dirty work, and not to mention does a fantastic job guarding the opposing team’s best player. Last game versus Northwestern, Jordan Davis filled his shoes in the starting lineup and responded with a career-high fifteen points. Tonight, Essegian led the way in picking up the slack with his own nineteen points.
The Badgers desperately need Klesmit back in action soon. He brings toughness and tenacity that can’t be replaced on the defensive end. Let’s hope to see him return soon.
Quick Turnaround for Wisconsin Basketball
I mentioned above how this was a quick turnaround for Wisconsin. Due to Northwestern dealing with Covid-19 issues last week, their contest versus the Badgers was postponed and rescheduled for Monday night. After that loss to Northwestern, the Badgers flew to Maryland that night for tonight’s game. A few times, the Badgers just looked to be getting outworked in this game. We even saw a few players asking to be taken out of the game to get a rest.
A reason this could be concerning moving forward is for play in March. When it comes to tournament time, you will be playing every other night. Wisconsin might play on consecutive days if they want to make some noise in the Big Ten tournament. Luckily, that and the NCAA tournament are so far away that there are much bigger things to worry about now.
A super disappointing effort from Wisconsin basketball on the defensive end this evening. There is no room for error on the defense for a team that sometimes struggles offensively. Maryland completely had their way on that end tonight. Starting the second half 8/8 from the field, they took a double-digit lead and never looked back. Maryland dominated the paint in the second half and dominated on the glass. They finished with 38 points in the paint.
To be blunt, Wisconsin is not talented enough to be outworked like this. If they want to get back on track, they have to lock in on the defensive end and allow that to carry into their offense.
A positive from the game tonight was Freshman Connor Essegian. He is so damn good and continues to carry the Badger’s offense. As we advance, I genuinely hope to see coach Greg Gard look to run the offense through him.
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