The Wisconsin Badgers come to town tomorrow afternoon for a rematch with our Nebraska Cornhuskers. To get the scoop, we sat down (virtually) with Drew Hamm over at Bucky’s 5th Quarter and asked a few questions in preparation for the game. (You can find our own answers here.)
So without further ado, let’s get into it, shall we?
Kevin: Is Greg Gard on the hot seat? If yes, why?
Drew: Oh boy, has this season been fun on the ol’ Badgers Internet. Every game this season has been a referendum on Greg Gard’s job so currently ::double checks schedule:: Gard is fine because Wisconsin beat Ohio State in their last game. However, if Wisconsin is down at halftime to Nebraska or, heaven forbid, lose to the Huskers you are going to see some scorching hot takes that’ll be enough to give you sunburn in February. If I may speak for the entire staff of B5Q here, none of us believe that Gard has been on the hot seat at all this year. He is a fine coach and he has two excellent recruiting classes coming in. If there are still these problems of inconsistency and players transferring in two years well...then he’ll be on the hot seat for sure. For now: no.
Kevin: How many more players will Brad Davison violate before he graduates? Is he as dirty as, or a dirtier player than college version Grayson Allen and NBA version Draymond Green?
Drew: Davison is only a junior so he has a whole entire season left after this one to get under the skin of everyone in the B1G. Isn’t THAT exciting news? He seems to have two of these “incidents” every year, so there may still be one left in the holster for this year, but I think being suspended for one game earlier this year (hopefully) taught him a lesson. If you looked at all of the plays that Davison has been involved in that led to outrage in a vacuum you could probably explain each one away. However, the fact that it’s always happening to him year after year makes it a pattern of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and eventually that’s not a coincidence but dirty play. I like to think that he is a notch below Allen and Green on the Dirty Player Top-25, but I may be seeing that with my Badgers glasses on. I think he plays on a very thin line between “dirty” and “hard-nosed” and for whatever reason, he crosses the line more often than he should.
Kevin: Is the Kohl Center a better venue for basketball or for hockey?
Drew: I have, at various points during my lengthy college career, held season tickets for both sports so I do feel particularly qualified to pontificate on this topic. When I was in school (2003-2010, I took a year off, shut up!) the hockey team was really good. They won a national title while I was there and regularly played to almost sold out or completely sold out crowds. They were also in a different conference (the old WCHA as opposed to the B1G) [Editor’s Note: I miss the CCHA as well, a superior conference to the B1G and WCHA] that contained many schools with which the Badgers maintained a fierce rivalry (North Dakota, Minnesota Duluth, Denver, Colorado College) but now don’t play regularly. While you’d think just putting the name “Michigan” on the schedule would lead to fans being interested that is not the case for college hockey. I don’t care about Michigan’s hockey team (or Michigan State, Ohio State or Penn State) and I miss the old conference. All that being said, the Badgers hockey team currently stinks out loud. They are in last place in the B1G and now often play to a Kohl Center that is a third full.
The basketball team outdraws them by a considerable margin and when Marquette or Michigan State or another good team is in town, it can be rocking. However, during most games it...isn’t. The student section for basketball is worse than football or hockey, but the “old people” sections are usually pretty good for hoops. I guess my final answer is: historically the Kohl Center is a better hockey venue but currently it’s a better basketball one.
Kevin: Will Wisconsin shoot 1,000% from the three point line again this game, or will they be more like the 33% they actually average all season?
Drew: This is a road game for the Badgers, right? I think they’ll be LUCKY to shoot 33% from beyond the arc. The Badgers are a completely different team away from home this year because the other teams don’t allow Wisconsin to use their magnetic basketballs that go instantly through the hoo...oh, I probably shouldn’t be talking about this. I bet Wisconsin shoots 30% or less from three against Nebraska on Saturday.
Kevin: What’s your prediction for the number of questionable charges Brad Davison gets, how the game will go, and final score?
Drew: He probably only gets one and if it’s early in the game it’ll embolden him to try and take more which will all be called blocks because the refs don’t like calling too many charges for Davison because then it’ll be “a story.” While the Badgers do struggle on the road, I think they’ll win this game. It’ll be closer than the first meeting between these two teams though, let’s say Wisconsin 71 - Nebraska 65.
Big thank you to Drew and Bucky’s 5th Quarter for the answers. Now Go Big Red!