Bowling Green-Wisconsin Preview
MADISON, Wis. (AP)
The Wisconsin bio for Frank Kaminsky describes the 7-footer as a ''soft-shooting big man.''
Few Badgers backers expected anything quite like the 43-point outing he had Tuesday. Kaminsky is now the unlikely new owner of the single-game scoring record for the 12th-ranked Badgers (4-0) going into Thursday night's home matchup with Bowling Green.
''I just went out there, started shooting the ball and it started going in,'' Kaminsky said after his outburst in the 103-85 win over North Dakota.
Kaminsky was all smiles, though otherwise relatively subdued for someone who broke the old mark of 42 previously held by Ken Barnes (1965) and Michael Finley (1994).
His teammates were having more fun. Josh Gasser patted him on the head on the bench after the junior was removed from the game, record secure, to a standing ovation. Sam Dekker and Traevon Jackson interrupted a postgame interview with good-natured teasing.
''Frank the Tank! Frank the Tank,'' shouted the student section in unison at one point in the second half, paying homage to Will Ferrell's character in the movie ''Old School.''
Kaminsky was doing a different kind of streaking.
''He just keeps working. It's not going to happen every night, but his consistency of being that post threat and also being a stretch threat makes him valuable on the offensive end,'' coach Bo Ryan said.
Kaminsky was an astounding 16 for 19 from the field and made all six of his 3s. Entering Tuesday, Kaminsky was averaging 8.7 points on the young season, but just 3.2 points in his career.
At the least, Kaminsky's outburst gives opposing defenses something else to think about besides sophomore Dekker - a 6-foot-7 matchup problem at forward - and the steady perimeter trio of Ben Brust, Jackson and Gasser.
Just as notable Tuesday night was the NBA-like score of 103-85. It was the first time that the Badgers had topped the 100-point mark since a 105-70 win over Eastern Illinois on Dec. 28, 1995.
This doesn't exactly jibe with Wisconsin's methodical reputation with the ball under Ryan. But Kaminsky noted the Badgers' efficiency - another trademark for a Ryan-coached team - after the team shot 59 percent from the field (35 of 59).
Asked if the score symbolized a change in playing style this year, Ryan said: ''It depends on how easy of looks you're getting and how fast you're getting down the floor. We got open looks. We got scoring opportunities.
''If those kinds of possessions present themselves, we'll take the shots. We just can't give up as much on the other end.''
The defense allowing 85 points on 55 percent shooting to North Dakota - including 61 percent in the second half - isn't like the Badgers. Defense is a work in progress, especially with the Badgers relying on freshmen Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig for key minutes off the bench.
As word spreads around the Big Ten of Wisconsin's big night, Kaminsky knows what might come to mind first from opposing coaches.
''They're probably going to tell we played bad defense and gave up 85 points,'' he said. ''Which we did. We've got to get better on defense. But we scored a lot of points and we were efficient with how we scored.''
Bowling Green (1-1) wasn't particularly efficient in its only matchup with a Division I program, shooting 35.9 percent in a 75-61 home loss to South Florida on Friday.
Jehvon Clarke had 17 points but was 6 of 24 from the field, and starting backcourt mate Anthony Henderson shot 4 of 15 for eight points. That duo combined for 32 points on 11-of-21 shooting in a 102-49 season-opening win over Division III foe Earlham.
Coach Louis Orr is 0-6 against Big Ten foes since taking over Bowling Green in 2007-08. The Falcons' only ranked opponent over the previous three seasons has been Michigan State, and they lost all three matchups by double figures.
Bowling Green has lost 16 of 17 on the road.
Wisconsin leads the all-time series 2-1. The teams haven't met since the Badgers' overtime victory in the 1991 NIT.