Despite Tough Loss, Wisconsin Badgers Will Improve

Mary Langenfeld – US Presswire

It wasn’t a good night for the Wisconsin Badgers. They went on the road for the first time and got crushed by the Florida Gators, losing 74-56.

The Badgers allowed the Gators to shoot a blistering 61.9 percent from the field, including a 50 percent showing from beyond the arc, and they were also beaten badly on the boards as Florida held a 40-21 rebounding edge.

The thing we have to remember is that life on the road is tough in college basketball. The Badgers were up against the No. 10 team in the nation and simply did not do enough to get the job done.

As Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan put it, the game served as a lesson learned for the Badgers.

“We were won the road for the first time with these guys,” Ryan said in a story on the school web site. “What you like to do is get them away somewhere before you come in and play a game like this, but that didn’t  happen. This is the way you have to pay your dues.”

No doubt about that.

But it is still early in the season and the Badgers are still going to be a very good basketball team. Ryan will get this team on track and have it rolling when it matters.

Jared Berggren and Sam Dekker poured in 11 points apiece and will continue to play key roles within the offense.

From a defensive standpoint, the Badgers forced 20 turnovers and that is an encouraging sign for a team that hangs its hat on grinding it out on defense.

On most nights, forcing 20 turnovers will lead to a win. The problem was the Badgers didn’t shoot well (35.6 percent) and Florida was clicking offensively.

In the end, it’s one loss to a good team on the road. It’s not the end of the world for the Badgers.

Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at

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