Badger Bits: One more reason for Wisconsin's offensive ineptitude

Just like it was during the last two minutes of last night's 67-66 loss at Iowa, Wisconsin's inability to score has been dragging the team down all season. Everyone seems to have their own reason for the struggles: Jordan Taylor has regressed. The Badgers miss the presence of a second scorer following the departure of Jon Leuer. They don't have anyone who can create his own shot. They don't push the ball in transition enough. They are over-reliant on the 3-pointer.

All those reasons certainly have something to do with the Badgers' incompetence at the offensive end, but I'll offer up one more---one more that's actually part of a worrying trend that extends beyond the 2011-12 season. Last night, you might have noticed the Badgers weren't getting to the line very often. In fact, the Badgers shot only three free throws all game (all by Ryan Evans, whose only miss came on the front end of a 1-and-1 with under a minute left), while the Hawkeyes made 15 trips to charity stripe, converting nine of them.

This disparity in free throw attempts has plagued the Badgers all season, just as it did most of last season. Remember the good ol' days when Bo Ryan's Badgers made more free throws than their opponents attempted on a regular basis? Those days are over.

Uwgraph_medium
As you can see, the Badgers have been shooting fewer and fewer free throws over last six seasons or so. They're on pace for their lowest total during the Bo Ryan era. Which has been the case in each of the past four seasons. It's certainly a troubling reality for Badger fans.

Is it Wisconsin's lack of athleticism that's hurting them? The numbers during the Devin Harris, Alando Tucker and Trevon Hughes eras are quite a bit better than those of late. Perhaps heralded recruit Sam Dekker is the answer? There's no way of telling now, but the Badgers certainly need to do something to buck this trend.

Links


Here's a Russell Wilson story from the Denver Post with some comments from Colorado Rockies personnel. (h/t Dave Heller)

Wilson will be one of 10 quarterbacks to participate in Jon Gruden's 'QB Camp' for ESPN

Thanks to Chris Borland and Mike Taylor, the Badgers came in at No. 3 on the ESPN Big Ten guys' postseason rankings for linebackers.

Here's part two of Off Tackle Empire's look at the state of the B1G.

Wisconsin was the only Big Ten school to oppose the use of multi-year scholarships.

Chuck talked to Bemidji State beat writer Eric Stromgren about the Beavers' series against Wisconsin this weekend.

Road series have not been kind to the Badgers this season, but at least Keegan Meuer has performed well away from the Kohl Center.
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