BTN Stats Guys: Badgers' numbers add up

Following Wednesday night’s win over Illinois, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan told the media he felt his team got some good looks on offense, hit some shots, and got to the free throw line. Those words accurately sum up the Badgers through 16 games as almost everything from players wearing cardinal and white have been good this season.

At 16-0, Wisconsin is off to its best start in program history, eclipsing its 15-0 starts from the 1911-12 and 1913-14 seasons.

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But as Ryan alluded to following the Badgers’ 25-point win over the Fighting Illini (the largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent in program history), their balanced and efficient offense has been the primary reason to their fast start.

Wisconsin Badgers Offense
Last season This season
PPG 64.0 76.4
Points per play 0.88 1.03
* Score % 39.9 47.7
* Percentage of plays where at least one point is scored

The Badgers have gotten good looks all season because of ball movement and getting everyone involved. Wednesday marked the fifth game this season Wisconsin had at least five players with at least 10 points, the most such games among Big Ten teams this season.

At 76.4 points per game, Wisconsin is on pace for its highest scoring season since Ryan took over in 2001-02.  Even though that scoring average ranks seventh in the Big Ten, the Badgers have been the most efficient scoring team, averaging a conference-best 1.03 points per play.

The Badgers haven’t gone empty handed on many trips down the floor this season. They rank second in the Big Ten with a 47.7 scoring percentage, a significant increase from the 39.9 percent rate last season. Scoring percentage measures the amount of plays in which at least one point is scored, which also factors in trips to the free throw line.

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As they get deeper into conference play and then into the NCAA Tournament, winning games at different paces will be vital for the Badgers. They’ve already won games scoring in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 100s. They are the only Division I team to achieve that feat so far this season.

Another winning recipe the Badgers have exhibited this season is not beating themselves. They average just 8.2 turnovers this season, the fewest among Division I teams. Their turnover percentage (percentage of possessions in which a turnover is recorded) is just 10.9, third-best in the nation.

Looking ahead, the red-hot Badgers don’t play again until Jan. 14 when they head to Bloomington to face the Indiana Hoosiers. Although expected to be favored in each game, that will start a key stretch for Wisconsin in which it plays three of its next four games away from the Kohl Center.

* Information from Synergy Sports video analysis was used in the post.

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About Ernest Tolden Ernest Tolden is a Studio Researcher for Big Ten Network and a blogger who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. Ernest is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Follow our BTN stats team on Twitter via @BTNStatsGuys.

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