It was a second half to forget for the Wisconsin Badgers. After trailing by only four at half, they were out-scored 41-27 in the second half at Maryland. The final score of Wisconsin v Maryland Basketball was 73-55. Wisconsin has now lost five of their last six and fall to 4-5 in the conference after a 3-0 start. Here are three takeaways from tonight’s game.
Connor Essegian Didn’t Play Like A Freshman
Connor Essegian was by far the best player on the court for Wisconsin against Maryland Basketball. The freshman has had his share of tough moments in conference play. That wasn’t the case tonight. Essegian led the Badgers with 19 points and was 4-6 from three.
It was the right move for Greg Gard to inset Essegian into the starting lineup for the third game now. Essegian is one of the five best players on this roster, and he needs to be a focal point moving forward. He’s their best shooter and one of their best offensive options. We knew how good he was coming off the bench. However, it sure looks like he’s becoming a stud as a starter now.
Wisconsin Was Embarrassed In The Paint By Maryland Basketball
Maryland came out of the locker room making their first eight shots of the second half. Seven of them were at the rim and un-contested. The Badgers let Maryland do whatever they wanted and did little to attempt to stop it.
Maryland 8-of-8 shooting in the second half.
Seven have come from point blank range.
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) January 26, 2023
At one point, Maryland had 32 points in the paint. That simply can’t happen. Credit Maryland, however as they did shoot 56% for the game and shot 6-14 from three. They are typically not known for their three-point shooting but they also didn’t need it either. Wisconsin did get the deficit back to single digits a few times, but the Terrapins answered immediately.
Chucky Hepburn Struggled for Wisconsin vs. Maryland Basketball
I do think playing two road games in three days and the tight schedule Wisconsin was on played a small factor. I would not have been thrilled with it either. Playing in different time zones with not much time to adjust can take a toll on a coach and a player.
At the same time, these were two winnable games on the road, and Chucky Hepburn struggled in both games. He has had to defend Boo Buie and Jahmir Young who are two experienced and really good point guards. Wisconsin also asks a lot of him, and he has to bring his A-game every night.
At the same time, Hepburn can not only take three shots and expect Wisconsin to win. The Badgers are not good enough to get away with that, and they have a razor thin margin for error. It doesn’t get any easier as Hepburn will likely draw the defensive assignment of Terrance Shannon Jr of Illinois Saturday. Shannon Jr is better than both Buie and Young.
Chucky Hepburn is a talented point guard. He’s asked to do a ton, but he needs to be better than he did in this Wisconsin-Maryland Basketball game. He certainly can, and I think he will.
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