In Enemy Territory: 10 Questions With The Badger Of Honor


Follow @NN_Keepinitheel

Like us on Facebook

I sat down with the editor of Badger of Honor Jack Moore to discuss UNCs first matchup in the ACC/Big Ten tournament the Wisconsin Badgers.

KIH-Matt Hamm
BOH-Jack Moore
KIH-Tell me about the Badgers style of play, what should UNC fans look for?

BOH-One word: slow.  On offense, Wisconsin will get exceptionally deep in the shot clock on almost every possession. They typically do not turn the ball over, looking for either the perfect look inside, or (over 40% of the time this year) playing for the open three. On defense, they don’t gamble, instead looking to force long shots and pick up the defensive rebound.

KIH-Who’s the Badgers top 2 players?

BOH-Number one is clearly Jordan Taylor, the preseason First Team All-American point guard. He is the team’s only senior starter and the face of the team this year. He has been off to a somewhat slow start, playing a background role against the poor teams on the first part of the schedule, but his 18-point, eight- assist performance against BYU should be more like it for the Badgers’ star.

BOH-  Number two is debatable, as beyond Taylor it is more about depth than star power. I would go with center Jared Berggren. He profiles as the typical Wisconsin big man – a skinny, slow, white guy who can shoot the three a bit. However, like Jon Leuer before him, there is more than meets the eye. For Berggren, it’s the post move – he has the ability to score from inside the arc unlike anybody on the Badgers, with a 63.2% FG% from two for his career.

More answers from the enemy after the jump

KIH-Who’s the best Wisconsin player nobody knows?

BOH- Berggren? But I already used him, so we’ll go with Ben Brust, the sophomore sixth man. In just six games, Brust is already 19-39 from three-point land. His 12.8 PPG average leads the team, and when you consider he gets about 10 possessions fewer per game than the typical player on the typical team, that PPG number is even more impressive.

KIH-How would you rate the Badgers recruiting class?

BOH- The Badgers are only graduating two players, Taylor and bench swingman Rob Wilson, so it’s not so much a recruiting class as it is one recruit: Sam Dekker. Dekker is a small forward from Wisconsin who should be the next big-time scorer for the Badgers. He is supposedly able to score from all points on the floor and his offensive ability has been compared to Brian Butch.

KIH-With UNCs loss to UNLV are Wisconsin fans feeling confident they too can knock off the Heels?

BOH-Not confident, but perhaps hopeful would be the better word. I think many Badgers fans feel there could  be a red victory at the Kohl Center, but UNC still has too much talent to underrate, and I think a victory at the Dean Dome would be a bit of a shock to most, especially those who will make this game their first viewing of the year.

Which UNC player concerns you the most?

KIH-Fans all over the country hate UNC even when a rivalry isn’t present do Badgers fans hate the Heels?  If so why?

BOH- Duke is by far the more hated team around these parts. UNC has the typical “hatred” any team that is routinely favored has, but it doesn’t really go beyond that. It seemed like UNC and specifically Tyler Hansbrough had its fair share of fans here back in 2009 when they made their title run.

KIH-Without being a homer how good is Wisconsin really this year?  How far do you think they can realistically go?

BOH-I think Wisconsin is pretty clearly the second best team in the Big Ten (Ohio State at number one, of course), and with a relatively weak conference schedule the Badgers should challenge for the conference title. The Badgers should go to another Sweet 16 and I think they have a good chance to make a deep run.

KIH-In your opinion who is the greatest Wisconsin Badger basketball team of all time

BOH-The 2000 team which went to the Final Four jumps to mind for me, but I was a bit young to truly appreciate that team. Instead, I’d go with, on a purely subjective basis, the 2007-2008 Elite Eight team.  They went 31-5 and won both the Big Ten regular season and conference tournament championships.  Alando Tucker was one of Wisconsin’s best offensive players, a young Trevon Hughes was developing, and it contained another NBAer in Marcus Landry.

KIH-Tell all the UNC fans reading one thing they need to know about Wisconsin Badger basketball.

BOH-Don’t be fooled by the low point totals this team routinely puts up. The offense is consistently one of the most efficient in the NCAA because of the deliberate nature of the swing offense. They will find good shots, and this year, they at least appear to have the shooters to make them count. A similar approached worked for UNLV, and if Wisconsin can execute their game plan, they can put up enough points to sink  the Tar Heels as well. The Tar Heels are favorites and rightfully so, but this game should be as close as the rankings suggest.

Keep It Heel!

Follow @NN_Keepinitheel

Like us on Facebook

Be sure to support Badger of Honor