After a third-place finish in the Battle 4 Atlantis 2022, UW Badgers Basketball now stands at 5-1. If it wasn’t for an officiating missed call at the end of the Kansas game, this team would be 6-0. It was a solid showing from a young Wisconsin team regardless. Here is what we know after six games.
UW Badgers Basketball Can Play With Any Team In the Country
It was really easy for Wisconsin to fold when down 41-26 in the second half against Kansas on Thursday. It was also easy to fold when they were down 60-52 with less than four minutes to go in regulation. Instead, the Badgers erased both deficits and had that game won. Tyler Wahl carried the team on his back on the offensive side and generated stops on the defensive side.
It’s worth noting UW Badgers Basketball had that game won against the No. 3 team in the country and the defending national champions. However, a missed call by the officials allowed for Kansas to tie the game on an uncontested three. This is a young team, but they have grit and toughness to them. While the offense struggled most of the season to this point, we saw once the offense is alive, they can compete with any team in the country,
Connor Essegian Continues To Impress
I’ve made it obvious how much I liked the Connor Essegian pickup from day one. I thought he was an under-recruited player who could be really good for UW Badgers Basketball. I did not expect him to be this good and contribute this much right away, I think he was the most impressive player for the Badgers in the Battle 4 Atlantis 2022.
Through six games, Essegian is averaging 9.7 points a game and is shooting 54% from three. What might be more impressive is the work he does off the ball. He’s constantly moving and finding ways to get open. You don’t see a lot of freshmen in college basketball do that this early in their career. He’s becoming a huge weapon off the bench for the Badgers.
Backup Point Guard Is Still a Question For UW Badgers Basketball
Chucky Hepburn struggled for most of the Battle 4 Atlantis. However, he got the mojo back after a great ending to the USC game. It looks like he’s trying to do a little too much right now and I think that’s OK because he’s learning to be a leader. He’s going to learn to let the game come to him.
Backing up Hepburn is Kamari McGee and Isaac Lindsey. McGee struggled in the Battle 4 Atlantis 2022 and only appeared in the Kansas game. He only played five minutes and committed three fouls. It’s been an early-season struggle for the UW-Green Bay transfer.
I liked what Lindsey showed in this tournament. He appeared in every game and was the reason UW Badgers Basketball stayed in the game against Dayton Wednesday. He was also able to hit a few shots as well. Expect more playing time for Lindsey. He’s earned it.
Hepburn and Wahl Seem To Be Hitting Their Strides
Both Tyler Wahl and Chucky Hepburn struggled against UW-Green Bay last week and then Wednesday against Dayton. Wahl missed a handful of high-percentage shots at the rim and Hepburn looked rushed and unconfident. However, Wahl found his stride with 23 points against Kansas and then 14 against USC. Hepburn returned to form as well with 17 Friday afternoon. It’s been an early-season slump for the two best UW Badgers Basketball players, but they seem to have gotten out of it.
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