Photo credit: JOHN HART, State Journal
By Oliver Schapiro
MADISON— The Wisconsin Badgers picked up their first win of the year on their home floor on Friday, as they defeated the EIU Panthers 65-52. It was a cold shooting night from deep, but UW was able to play staunch defense and fend off the Eastern Illinois upset bid. Here are WSUM’s grades for each Badger’s individual performance against EIU:
D’Mitrik Trice: C
Trice sat most of the first half after injuring his head early in the game. Even though Trice saw consistent minutes in the second half, he was very quiet this evening. For the junior, it was a lot of dribbling, and not a lot of production. After a good first game versus St. Mary’s, the Ohio native will look to rebound next game vs McNeese State.
Aleem Ford: B
Ford played an average game overall. He had a few aggressive drives. but struggled to hit the iconic Aleem Ford open corner 3 until the second half dagger as the Badgers finally pulled away. The Georgia native has a lot of potential but has still yet to fully live up to it. Hopefully Gard can really crack his shell open this year as his raw skillset is one to be reckoned with when fully catalyzed.
Kobe King: A+
With a pull up contested jumper and an explosive poster dunk, King made a statement from the beginning of this game. The backdoor cuts and slashing aggressiveness shown by King boosted the Badgers offense to a new level. Even though his play tempered off in the second half, if Kobe King can develop consistency throughout this season, this will be a much better season for the Badgers.
Nate Reuvers: A+
Nate Reuvers oozes talent. A 7 foot rim protector who can step out and hit a 3? Sign me up. Reuvers played an excellent first half, with multiple blocks, rebounds, and aggressive play in the post. Reuvers final stat line tied his own Wisconsin record for blocks in a single game with 9. He was one block away from a triple double, and finished with 14 points, 14 boards, and the 9 rejections.
Brad Davison: C
Yes, Brad Davison is the engine that runs this Badger train, but tonight he struggled to find an offensive rhythm. As the point guard, Davison was able to distribute the ball fairly well, but still was reluctant to pull the trigger when he had open looks. Brad should never hesitate as he is the leader and most consistent player on the squad.
Tyler Wahl: B
Wahl, like Pritzl, provided the Badgers with solid minutes off the bench to give King and Ford rest. Even though Wahl is not the most explosive player, effort and scrap will always be a constant with him and so long as he has no lapses defensively, games like tonight will be important for him to provide to this Badger squad.
Brevin Pritzl: B
In the first half, Brevin was 1 for 2 from three point range, and played solid minutes off the bench. Look for Brevin to shoot more as the Badgers get into conference play with defenses pressing in on Davison and Reuvers.
Trevor Anderson: B+
Anderson had a positive differential when on the court, which is always a good sign. Unfortunately, he missed a layup at the end of the first half to the displeasure of Coach Gard. Anderson is an intriguing role player for the Badgers, as he has excellent ball-handling skills. If Anderson can provide more offensive boost and start finishing in the interior look for his minutes to increase as the year progresses.