There has been a lot of chatter in the past 48 hours about Rob Wilson's performance in the Michigan State loss, particularly regarding his decision to attack the rim instead of milk clock. As the lone Wilson apologist on the planet, even I know that it was not the smartest move.
But I'm not blind either. Rob was *this close* to providing Wisconsin's exclamation point on the game. If Wilson had held the ball a millisecond longer and delivered an underhand pass around Draymond Green, Jon Leuer was open and ready to flush it.
Instead, Wilson went for the dagger like you knew he would. What people cannot figure out is why Wilson was on the floor for 32 minutes against the Spartans. Especially after he struggled last week. How in the world did he go from Bo Ryan's doghouse to his longest leash ever in a matter of two games?
It's been almost painful to watch Wilson get the quick hook every game and see how bummed he is when that happens. When Josh Gasser's offensive struggles prompted Bo Ryan to search for other options, Wilson was healthy and probably desperate for a chance. He had played really well against both Michigan and Michigan State at home last year and scored seven points in seven minutes in Ann Arbor during his freshman year, so the matchups made sense. Did you know that Wilson is still shooting over 70% inside the arc?
Even on "the drive," you have to admire Wilson's aggressiveness even while being digusted with the timing. I really didn't mind that Rob shot 1-of-8 from the field. He took good jump shots, and Gasser's shooting has not been anything to write home about anyway. What's frustrating is Wisconsin was not able to get Wilson the ball in the post against the Spartans; that is where he can really do some damage.
The problem is that Wilson played just how you thought he might in these situations --like a guy who has not played enough meaningful minutes. The junior has played 668 minutes in his career, a number Gasser will surpass as a freshman at his current pace.
Maybe the comparison to Gasser is not fair, but on this year's team it's noteworthy. When you disregard games in which Wilson played less than 10 minutes, his scoring average rises modestly to 4+ ppg and his turnover rate remains respectable. Yet he doesn't rebound very well and has more of a one-track scorer's mindset when he gets the ball. Gasser remains the better option in terms of playmaking and valuing the ball.
Hopefully Ryan can find a happy medium at shooting guard between Wilson and Gasser, rather than fluctuating between two extremes. Everyone in Badger nation is waiting anxiously.