Greg Gard and the Wisconsin Badgers basketball program lost their second straight game on Sunday afternoon, falling 75-69 to Purdue.
Though UW was able to bring themselves within striking distance multiple times, they were unable to get over the hump. With the loss, the Badgers are now second in the Big Ten.
Here are some of my takeaways and notes from Sunday’s loss to the Boilermakers.
Tyler Wahl Kept Wisconsin Basketball in it, But it Wasn’t Enough
In a game where the usual offensive spark plugs, Max Klesmit and AJ Storr, struggled, veteran forward Tyler Wahl was one of Wisconsin’s most impactful players.
Wahl finished Sunday’s contest with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks. Six of his seven rebounds were on the offensive glass, an area where UW was beaten 14-10. Wahl made his bread in the paint, hitting 10 of 15 shots down low — marking his career high in made attempts — with some coming directly against Zach Edey.
“His offense was better than our defense on some of those plays,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said postgame. “He does a good job of working the baseline and getting those angles.”
Wahl’s heroics weren’t enough to bring Wisconsin past the Boilermakers, but it’s a testament to how this team is constructed. Even if the best offensive players are out of their groove, someone else can step up, and Wahl was the one who brought the spark.
Rebounding a Big Factor in the Wisconsin Basketball Loss
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, reasons Wisconsin fell to Purdue was losing the rebounding battle. As mentioned, UW was outrebounded 14-10 on the offensive glass, but they were also beaten 42-29 overall.
“They got a bunch of offensive rebounds and it ended up leading to points, fouls, a whole lot of bad things. We didn’t match the physicality as much as we needed to today,” Tyler Wahl said during postgame media availability.
The Boilermakers were able to capitalize on second-chance opportunities often, beating the Badgers 21-14 in second-chance points.
Of course, Purdue has 7-foot-4 Zach Edey, so they have a big advantage on the glass, but quite a few of Purdue’s second-chance opportunities came off rebounds that were within a Badger’s player reach. There’s no reason to panic about the rebounding at this point, but it was a big reason UW lost its second straight game.
Shot Selection Was Questionable at Moments for Wisconsin Basketball
Wisconsin struggled mightily from beyond the arc, hitting just 3-of-19 attempts overall with zero three-point makes in the second half.
“When we’re heat-checking and we haven’t had any heat, we shouldn’t be heat-checking,” Gard said.
AJ Storr struggled in Sunday’s contest, going 4-15 from the field and missing all four 3-point attempts. Shot selection played a big role in that, with one contested three in there. He was pulled later in the game after attempting a contested jumper in favor of Connor Essegian.
Against a team as strong as Purdue, you can’t make the shot choices Wisconsin did.
Nolan Winter provided some solid minutes for Greg Gard and the Badgers on Sunday. While his youth did show at times, the true freshman held his own against Zach Edey, even logging a steal from Purdue’s star. While Winter struggled offensively, he did log three rebounds and a steal on the night while putting out some solid tape.
Wisconsin started off the game strong against Edey, holding him to just five points in the first half, but the 7-foot-4 big man notched 13 second-half points. UW’s defense just wasn’t strong enough.
Connor Essegian provided a bit of a spark off the bench, notching six points, one rebound, and an assist, finishing with a +/- of 4.
The Wisconsin Badgers didn’t have an answer for Lance Jones, who tied Tyler Wahl for the highest scorer with 20 points and led all three-point shooters with three makes from beyond the arc.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read our work at BadgerNotes.com. For more Wisconsin Badgers Athletics and Big Ten content, follow us on Twitter & Facebook. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Also, follow Jake Maier on Twitter @JakeJMaier for more Wisconsin football, basketball, and recruiting coverage.
Also, be sure to check out our shop, subscribe to our newsletter, and the BadgerNotes After Dark podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other streaming platforms. Because of your support, we have become one of the fastest-growing independent media outlets focused on giving a voice to the fans!
Where Luke Fickell Ranks Among the Highest Paid College Football Coaches
Wisconsin Football Recruiting Target Picks up Unfortunate Crystal Ball
Wisconsin Football Taps E.J. Whitlow as New Defensive Line Coach
Former Wisconsin Basketball Star Frank Kaminsky Inks New Deal
Wisconsin Football Student Section Was Embarrassing vs. Ohio State
Paul Chryst Emerging as Top Target for Big Ten Coaching Vacancy
FB Recruiting3 days ago
Wisconsin Football Receives Some Disappointing Recruiting News
Football4 days ago
Wisconsin Football ‘Fortunes Could Change’ Amid Conference Realignment
FB Recruiting3 days ago
Wisconsin Football Late to the Dance, Makes Unexpected Play for Recruit
FB Recruiting3 days ago
Wisconsin Football Survives Cut as Blue-Chip Recruit Trims List