Ethan Happ was pretty good against Michigan on Thursday, scoring 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting. The rest of the Wisconsin offense, however, was pretty bad, shooting 13 of 47 in a demoralizing 64-58 loss in Ann Arbor.
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard placed the blame for the loss almost squarely on the 11th-ranked Badgers’ inability to score near the basket during his postgame radio show with Matt Lepay.
“All it takes is one or two missed opportunities that they capitalize upon and eventually that chip in the window becomes a crack and the crack busts the window and we can’t get back to where we need to be,” Gard said. “Left too many points blank at the rim. Just start with that alone and we’re in good shape. Ethan was efficient in there but he also had some that got away that were timely opportunities to take advantage of.”
Gard also provided a quick update on injured guard Bronson Koenig when talking with the media.
#Badgers Gard says medical staff will make call on Koenig. No idea when he will play next.
— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) February 17, 2017
Here’s what else Gard to say during his talk with Lepay:
On scoring in the paint consistently
“We go 10 for 16 the first half in the paint and 7 for 21 in the second half. We can defend terrifically, but you’ve got to be able to put the ball in the basket and we weren’t able to do it at a consistent-enough rate. The thing that this group has struggled with all year is maintaining a level of consistency in different categories.”
“I have to look exactly at the shots we got during that time, but everything we were constructing and emphasizing was continuing to play from inside out. I thought we did a decent job at time. Ethan had a couple turnovers down the stretch when we were trying to make too much happen. We were able to get it there, but we’ve got to come away with something. We’ve got to finish when we’re point blank and we have the ball right at the rim.”
On Zak Showalter defending Derek Walton Jr., who finished with 5 points
“I thought he did a terrific job on Walton. We did as probably as well a job as anybody has done all year. Even defensively as a whole, we had timely miscues, but to be able to hold them to 64 and having a foul at the end. Unfortunately inopportune turnovers and the same thing with some defensive miscues and not being able to finish around the rim.”
On the Badgers’ frustration with shooting
“I’ve never sensed this group getting frustrated. I’m more concerned about the play around the rim. The 3s, we’ll get that, we’ll have streaks where get hot. We shot the line well, finally, but we didn’t get there enough.”
On freshman D’Mitrik Trice, who shot 2 of 15 in his first career start
“I thought he handled it well. Obviously he didn’t shoot it well, 2 for 15, some of that was him putting himself in tough positions. But for a freshman to be able to come in here, I thought he was very composed. A guy like that goes to the free-throw line more than anybody else. That tells me something in terms of other guys having to be better at finishing through contact and getting to the line. You have a freshman that weighs maybe 150 pounds shoot the most free throws, that’s a good sign for him but we’ve got to be better.”