The Wisconsin Badgers are in serious danger of falling out of contention for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. After losing to Nebraska last weekend, Wisconsin has just six games remaining in the regular season. They are currently 14-10, but just 6-8 in Big Ten Conference play. Now, the Badgers’ last eight losses have come by an average of just over nine points. This number is highly inflated, however, by 18-point losses to Maryland and Illinois. Many, if not most, of their games have been incredibly close.
One of the reasons why the Badgers are in this downward spiral is due to poor gameplay and execution late in their games. This was evident against Nebraska when sophomore guard Chucky Hepburn settled for a long three instead of driving to the lane with a chance to win the game in regulation. With many questioning what exactly is going on with this team, former Wisconsin Badgers star Brian Butch offered his explanation.
Brian Butch Gets Into the X’s and O’s of the Wisconsin Badgers Late-Game Failures
Former Wisconsin Badgers star Brian Butch co-hosts the show “Nine 2 Noon” with former Green Bay Packers fullback John Kuhn on 97.3 The Game. During Monday’s show, Butch went into detail about exactly how the Badgers’ late game plays have led to failure.
“So they go with go-screen. Let’s go last three games. Northwestern, end of the game, they didn’t go any go-screen. They just went Chucky single operate. I personally didn’t love that. I just think Chucky is a sophomore, give him some help. So what do they do against Penn State? They do that go-screen action. Again, it’s not really a screen. So don’t get mad at the guard from coming. It’s a quick screen.
“So what that does is it is supposed to create confusion among the two guards up top. If there’s an actual screen, most teams switch that. If it’s a go screen, that’s what you’re hoping for. That lack of communication, and all of a sudden you have a second to get the advantage. And in the game of basketball, it’s all you’re trying to do is create that advantage.
“As soon as that happens, that is when Chucky has to go off the hip. Then you can either crossover, go back, if they play high-side on that. However you got to read that, but you have to attack downhill based right away when that go-screen happens. Or lack there of screen because that is when the confusion happens. As soon as that’s over with, you’ve lost your advantage.
“Now it becomes a one-on-one game, and you see that step-back.”
Kuhn then asked Butch if it really is that simple. He said that the way Butch says it, it sounds so simple. Why aren’t the Badgers doing that?
“For me, Greg [Gard] is coaching them up. They changed to the go-screen against Penn State. The go-screen against Penn State was different than the go-screen against Nebraska. Why? Because Nebraska scouted at the end of the game, they know what it is. For me though, they changed it enough there where Chucky still should have had the advantage.”
This continues the narrative that Butch and others educated about the Wisconsin Badgers basketball program have been preaching. Greg Gard is a good coach. The problem is that the players are young and in need of development. These late-game plays and losses are frustrating to fans. Do not think for a moment, though, that they are less frustrating to the coaches and players. They know what needs to be fixed. The coaches know how to fix it. That being said, such fixes take time.
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