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Badger Bits: Another Sub-40 Percent Shooting Performance Dooms Badgers

Weak offense against Ohio State leaves Wisconsin still struggling from the field.

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Jamie Sabau

Wisconsin continued to struggle offensively in Tuesday evening's loss at Ohio State. Despite shooting 39 percent (11-of-28) from three-point range, the Badgers shot just 37 percent from the field.

The lack of efficiency and persistent offensive woes have worsened as of late. Entering the Ohio State game, the Badgers ranked 158th nationally in field goal percentage for Division-1 basketball, making just 43.5 percent of their shots on the season. That percentage drops to about 40 percent when you consider what UW has shot from the field during just conference play.

It only gets worse. In the Badgers' last three games, they have failed to shoot above 37 percent.

So what to make of all this?

Wisconsin basketball is not branded as a offensive juggernaut, but the offensive droughts and struggles are occurring on a more consistent basis than we've seen in the past.

The Badgers certainly lack a go-to player who can create his own shot or score at will. Look at how easily Deshaun Thomas managed to put up 25 points on the Badgers Tuesday night. Now, that's an extreme example considering Thomas is probably the best scorer in the Big Ten, but in the past couple seasons Jordan Taylor or Jon Leuer would fill that role.

Ultimately, Wisconsin does not attack the basket enough and attempt to score off dribble penetration. Sam Dekker and George Marshall have shown the ability in flashes, but it needs to come on a more consistent basis. Why did the Badgers not attempt a single free shot shot against Ohio State? Because of a lack of offensive aggressiveness to drive inside and score in the low post.

Many of UW's three-point attempts are solid, open looks, but they can't be relied upon so heavily because they're difficult to hit on a consistent basis. As we saw against Ohio State, it's always alarming to see the Badgers shoot more 3-point attempts than 2-pointers. The consequences of those shooting habits were evident in how the second half of the Ohio State game progressed.

Wednesday's Links:

BTN's recap (with highlights) of Wisconsin's loss to Ohio State.

See where the experts would place Wisconsin -- and the rest of the Big Ten -- in their brackets if March Madness began today.

Minnesota finally got off the schneid with a win over Nebraska Tuesday night.

UW's defense somewhat faded in the second half, particularly against Deshaun Thomas.

Jeff Potrykus takes a last look at the Ohio State game.