Wisconsin has put up 306 3-pointers in Big Ten play this season, more than anyone else in the conference despite an especially low tempo of play. It's curious that the Badgers have gravitated so much towards the 3-point line, considering how not-good they have been beyond it. They rank ninth in the conference making their treys at a 31.6 percent clip, trailing far behind league leaders Indiana (39.6 percent) and Northwestern (39.4 percent). Considering all this, it's even more of a wonder just where exactly Sunday's breath of fresh air came from.
The Badgers went 11-for-22 from long range in a 65-55 win over Penn State. Five of them came on sequential possessions in the first half, including three in a row from Josh Gasser, who bumped his average up to 47.1 percent on the year. Gasser was much more aggressive on the offensive end, stepping up and launching shots that he has often been quick to pass up this season.
Whether they can turn the performance into stretch wins and a deep run in the postseason remains to be seen. Jared Berggren won't turn in many more 3-for-3 outings, and when the Nittany Lions crawled back from down 20 to within six we were once again reminded that this team will never be rid of its frustrating offensive doldrums. Still, it feels good to make your damn shots for once, and if Wisconsin can carry that shooting momentum forward they could finish up with a special season.
There was plenty more on the Badgers' shooting renaissance after the game, starting off with our own John Veldhuis. Tom Oates took note of Wisconsin's increased aggressiveness, in particular Gasser's. Jim Polzin pronounces the team's Kohl Center woes dead. Jeff Potrykus notes that the coaching staff had been waiting all season for Gasser to step up.
Tom Oates takes a retro look back at Bo Ryan's first team in Madison.
He also has something he would like to get off his chest regarding the WIAA and the UW athletic department.
The Badgers ended a five-game losing streak, taking out Denver 5-2 on Saturday at the Kohl Center.
Obligatory Danny O'Brien thing: Vandy head coach James Franklin denies tampering with his former recruit.
Bob Bostad is on the move again, leaving Paul Chryst and Pitt to join up with Greg Schiano and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the new offensive line coach.
Kyle Wojta explains that if not for a long-snapping highlight thrown in at the end of his high school reel, he never would have been considered to walk on at UW.
Jeff Potrtkus on the salary gap between the coaching staffs at UW and Ohio State.
Peter Konz comes in at No. 17 on Adam Rittenberg's look back at the Top 25 players in the Big Ten this past season.