Breakdownability: Ohio State – Wisconsin II

Written February 16th, 2013 by Ken

If you think he looks cranky now….

School: University of Wisconsin – Madison

Location: Madison, WI

Founded: 1848

Student Population: 42,595 total, 28,897 undergrad

School Type: Public

Stadium: Kohl Center (you’re still welcome)

Seating: 17,230

Opened: 1998

Head Coach: William Francis ‘Bo’ Ryan, Jr.

Experience: 12nd year

The last we looked, the 14th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes rolled Wisconsin 58-49 in Columbus. The Buckeyes are currently ranked 13th, while the Badgers sit at 20th. The previous meeting was an odd game in that:

  • Wisconsin had the distinction of not attempting a free throw. Not one.

  • Wisconsin’s offense was also out of proportion with their 3-pt attempts. Typically, 3′s account for 38% of their FG attempts, that night it was 54%. They started hoisting them as they got off the bus and did not waver.

  • In contrast, Ohio State who average 30% of their FGA’s as 3-pointers, ended the game with 10% 3PA’s; that 5 attempts, to save you doing the math.

  • OSU had 4 rebounds less than their average, which makes sense with the slower pace of play. Wisky has 11 rebounds less than their average. Probably cranking up so many shots from afar kept the out of good rebounding position.

Both teams come off challenging games last Thursday; Ohio State scraping by Northwestern and Wisconsin falling in overtime to Minnesota. The Buckeyes went on a 12-2 run in the last three minutes of the game to put away the Wildcats. DeShaun Thomas provided the offensive momentum in the 2nd half with 15 points, 9 from the foul line and 3 FG’s.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s offense flopped in overtime like their defenders, scoring 4 points; two free throws and a late tip-in. From the filed, Berrgren’s tip-in notwithstanding, they missed nine field goal attempts. Hopefully, the Badgers can build on that performance for Sunday afternoon.

I’ll pull together a few stats, with commentary, and then off we go to my family’s sandbox. Information will be pulled from the excellent site at Statsheet. You’re familiar with the drill by now.


The Badgers (17-8, 8-4) are not an exciting team to watch, by any means. They plod along with the relatively few possessions per game (63), resulting in relatively low scoring affairs. Their starting lineup is pretty familiar to us by now; Ben ‘Wolverine Killer’ Brust (G, 6’1”), Ryan Evans (G/F,6’6”), Jared Berggren (F/C, 6’10”), Traevon Jackson (G, 6’2”) and our favorite BB ginger/ flopper, Mike Bruesewitz (F, 6’6”). Starter stats, below.

#1 B. Brust 25 34 11.2 42 39 67 5.3 2.6 1.2
#5 R. Evans 25 30 10.6 39 9 40 7.8 1.9 1.6
#40 J. Berggren 25 29 11.7 48 28 71 6.9 0.9 0.9
#12 T. Jackson 25 26 6.2 34 28 78 2.2 2.4 2.0
#31 M. Bruesewitz 23 28 6.9 44 30 66 5.4 1.7 1.2

Ohio State

The Buckeyes (18-6, 8-4) travel to the Kohl Center to deal with a Badger team that’s 13-2 at home this season. For your reviewing pleasure, your OSU starters; Aaron Craft (G, 6’2”), Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (G, 6’4”), DeShaun Thomas (F, 6’7”), Sam Thompson (F,6’7”) and Amir Williams (C, 6’11”). Seeing significant playing time will be Shannon Scott (G, 6’1”), Evan Ravenal (C/F, 6’8”) and LaQuinton Ross (F, 6’8”). Key stats for starters below:

#1 D. Thomas 24 35 20.2 46 39 83 6.2 1.5 1.5
#4 A. Craft 24 33 9.5 40 31 81 3.8 4.5 1.9
#32 L. Smith Jr. 24 28 10.3 45 40 67 5.3 1.8 1.5
#12 S. Thompson 24 24 7.0 48 32 70 3.3 1.1 1.0
#3 S. Scott 24 20 4.8 41 37 59 2.5 4.0 1.2
#30 E. Ravenel 24 18 5.5 55 0 63 4.6 0.3 1.0
#23 A. Williams 24 17 4.5 61 0 55 4.2 0.1 0.9

The below table has the comparative Four Factors as well as possessions per game (PPP), points per possession – offense (PPP-O) and points allowed per possession (PPP-D).

   eFG%       TO%     Off Reb     FT Rate       PPG    PPP (O)    PPP (D)
Wisconsin 49.0% 15.1% 34.4% 30.1% 63 1.07 0.90
Ohio State 51.7% 17.1% 33.8% 34.8% 65 1.10 0.91

As the key metrics indicate, although their records are similar, there are a few differences. Ohio State is a better shooting team, but Wisconsin protects the ball better and is a bit better getting to offensive rebounds.

Psst, Thad. Draw up a lot of these, please.

In the last meeting, Thomas and Craft were the only Buckeyes in double figures. The Bucks need a showing closer to the Northwestern game where there were four players in double digits. The additional scoring will be needed, since I anticipate the Badgers will at least get to the free throw line a few more times than the January 29th game.

Ohio State needs to be patient in this game because I think that Wisconsin will try to slow the game down, since that’s who they are. OSU needs to maintain some sort of up-tempo style, hopefully driven by on-ball pressure and fast breaks as a result of generating turnovers and defensive rebounding. The Badgers average 54 FG attempts per game, about the same as the Buckeyes. However, 38% of their FG attempts are 3-pointers (22) and Wisky only makes 31% of them, so this opens up opportunities for some long rebounds to trigger fast breaks for the Buckeyes.

In my preview of the January 29th game, I suggested to Thad that if the game is close toward the end, and OSU must foul, foul Ryan Evans, who is making an astonishingly bad 41% of his free throws. Thad did me one better; he didn’t send any Badger to the foul line. 

I’d like to let The Doors wrap the preview..


Tip-off is on Sunday at 1:00 PM EST at the Kohl Center. Please join us for the live chat a 12:45PM. The game is televised on CBS, if you plan to watch. 



  1. erictbbcNo Gravatar
    February 16th, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    These guys better be ready to deal with it again.

    Great work on the previews this year Ken.


  2. C-DogNo Gravatar
    February 16th, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I guess one “William Francis” wasn’t enough.


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