The Wisconsin Badgers are in the midst of a pretty tough stretch. After starting the season 11-2. the Badgers have lost five of their last six games, falling to 12-7. This week, Wisconsin had to play on the road in back-to-back games, one at Northwestern and one at Maryland. The Northwestern game, which the Badgers lost 66-63, was a makeup game. The two teams were originally slated to play last week Saturday. Unfortunately, the game was postponed for health and safety concerns.
Every Friday, sophomore point guard Chucky Hepburn joins former Packers fullback John Kuhn and former Wisconsin basketball star Brian Butch on their show “Nine 2 Noon.” In his most recent appearance, Hepburn discussed how Wisconsin can get back on track and how the weird week affected them.
Chucky Hepburn Talks about the Badgers’ Biggest Challenge and How to Turn It Around
“I would say the biggest challenge in this stretch is not having Max Klesmit while we had to play those two games in 48 [hours]. That’s probably the biggest challenge, not playing with our full strengths.
“We can turn this around by starting out right. You know, our defense has not been the greatest at all, we all know that. But we gotta start turning that around if we wanna win games. If we wanna make it to March Madness.”
The Importance of Max Klesmit
So far this season, junior guard Max Klesmit is averaging 6.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. However, it is on the defensive side of the ball that he really makes an impact. The Badgers have sorely missed his defense, as the hosts of “Nine 2 Noon” have pointed on numerous times. They asked Hepburn to talk about the losses of Klesmit and Tyler Wahl during this stretch has been a struggle:
“Max Klesmit, you know, he is just one of those guys that brings so much energy on defense. You know, they’re scoring too much, we go to a media timeout, he’s yelling, he’s high-energy, trying to get us all going on defense.”
Klesmit was away from the Badgers during their last two games because of stitches in his upper lip. He suffered the injury in Wisconsin’s win over Penn State on January 17.