Edwards and Edwards Get On Wisconsin
Like a 1980s Mike Tyson fight, this one was effectively over before the late-arrivers had gotten to their seats. Purdue, the third-ranked team in the nation, came out firing and didn’t miss much early, amassing a 12-0 lead before the Badgers realized warm-ups were over that ballooned to a comical, Globetrotter-like 23-4 before Wisconsin got their tails out from between their legs. For a while there, it really looked like nobody on the Badgers wanted to shoot.
Then Ethan Happ got to the line and airballed his first free throw. It was that kind of night for Wisconsin as the Boilermakers handled business, 78-50 and moved to 7-0 in the Big Ten. It earned Matty a one-on-one with Scott Van Pelt on Sportscenter.
What Was Great
Vincent Edwards continued his assault on the Big Ten with another great game. He was very assertive and had a dunk that almost blew the roof off of Mackey.
Pay special attention to the collision with Happ afterwards. Edwards gave him a shove and Happ hooked his arm to let Vincent know he didn’t care for it...and that was it. Just two seniors who have battled each other for years.
Later in the game, with Isaac Haas having perhaps his toughest-luck game of the season (or maybe his career?), Matt Haarms brought the Dutch Thunder:
Haarms finished with his third double-digit scoring game of the season, including his first made three of his collegiate career and another five blocks.
I mentioned in the headline that Edwards and Edwards were the story and they were. Vincent had a neat 20 points on 8/13 shooting, while adding five rebounds, four assists and two steals. What a great game.
Carsen, meanwhile, was his aggressive, confident self and finished with 21 points on 9/16 shooting, two rebounds, three assists and a whopping FIVE steals. Carsen was intercepting lazy passes and swiping balls away all night like Michael at Harry’s a decade ago.
PJ Thompson continued to be his steady, awesome, consistent, quiet self. He had 14 points and was 4/5 from deep. He’s shooting 48% from long range.
Ryan Cline deserves a mention, since he has been a non-factor for a while now. But tonight he stepped it up, hitting all three of his shots (which were all from deep) to chip in nine points, but he also had three rebounds, two assists and two steals to go with zero turnovers and zero fouls. All positives for Ryan.
What Was Less Than Great
Not sure what happened to Isaac Haas tonight, but his 0/5, two point performance isn’t what you want on your NBA draft resume, but the big guy has been so good for so long, he’s allowed to have an off night. Think about how balanced this team is -- their 7’2” senior center has a nearly scoreless night and the team still wins by almost 30.
Dakota also had his worst game of the season, scoring just two points on 1/5 shooting. However, these guys always find ways to contribute and Dakota had four rebounds and five helpers.
Tweet of the Night
There is a possibility that Mackey Arena at Purdue is the loudest venue in college hoops. It kinda hurts to work here actually— Dave Flemming (@FlemmingDave) January 16, 2018
Dave knows what’s up.
Greg Gard falls to 0-4 all-time versus Purdue. Someone tell Jon Rothstein that this is not your father’s Wisconsin team.
Purdue shot 52% from the field and 64% (!) from three-point range. Oddly, they were only 40% (4/10) from the line. Wisky was 83% from the line but 35% from the field and 32% from three. That tells the story. Interestingly, Purdue had only six offensive rebounds for the game, but that may have been more a product of their excellent shooting.
Carsen went up for at least his third dunk attempt of the last few weeks that didn’t go down. Perhaps he was told not to try that again because with about five minutes left and the Boilers up by 25, he had another clear break, looked back to see if anyone was close….and laid it in.