So yeah. That happened. And it wasn't as if I was feeling any sort of worry either. I was happy. I was hyped. Those of you who read the game thread. You know.
I was feeling good.
And like the rest who were watching, my spirit was broken by what John Gasaway called the single worst offensive performance of the past seven seasons. I know what you're saying. But there's a 36-33 game the Badgers dealt with? That was slower, and more efficient. This was a game where the offensive talent of the Badgers seems to have been stolen by an alien race in order for them to play a brutally efficient brand of basketball.
So as the title says. How do we rebuild from this latest cratering?
1) Penn State
Right now there is an improbable but real worry that the shots won't fall again, and the likely back to back against Penn State will generate at least a split. But here's the thing? The Badgers have a decided rebounding advantage over the Nittany Lions.
A part of the reason why the Badgers have had trouble with Sparty was that Sparty works just as hard, if not a little harder on the glass. And before the floodgates opened? They were killing the Badgers with second chance points. Penn State doesn't have that strength.
Disaster may strike, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I mean...
2) Death by the three.
There seems to be a playbook on how to beat the Badgers now. Chase Brust and Dekker all around the town, and give Bruesewitz, Berggren, and Traevon Jackson all the looks they can eat. By all logic, it seems to be working. The Badgers are 10 for their last 51 from beyond the arc.
But here's the thing, for two of the problem shooters? There's hope for progression to the mean. Berggren's last two seasons ended with 31 percent and 37 percent accuracy from beyond the arc (currently at 25 percent). And we all know who Traevon's dad is. There's a genetic predisposition to hitting from three despite his current 27 percent accuracy.
(Did you notice I didn't mention Bruesewitz there? There's a reason. BE THE GINGER ENERGY GUY, BRUISER.)
And I know the coaching staff is smart. I know there has to be conversations going on to see about putting George Marshall into a sort of Ben Brust 2011-2012 vintage role of three point fun and gunning. He's hitting 39 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. They have to be considering getting him out there as the kickout for any driving players.
3) This team has been left for dead twice before.
We all remember that feeling after the Marquette game. 6-4. The offense looked terrible. (Gasp!) We had some point guard issues. (Double gasp!) There was legitimate concern that the Badgers weren't going to make the tournament.
But they got healthy.
Then they lost three of four ending January. Couldn't score in the first half of the Iowa game, and fifty was a dream in the other three. Ryan Evans was told I hate you and your stupid flattop on so many occasions that he would have put a sadfaced emoji upon his social media platform if he wasn't a sane college senior. The Bubble seemed like a place we would have lived and died upon.
But they got healthy.
The style the Badgers play is rife with these sorts of valleys. If you're going to play slow and fire up threes a lot? There's going to be some rat feces in there. The Badgers never play the same game twice, and when you play two bad games in a row? It's easy to panic. Don't
They're going to have one more upswing. They're the team no one knows what they're going to face. Embrace the randomness. Embrace the wild card.
There's only one more crash before the season's over, anyway.