MADISON - Whether it's logging an incredible 1.5 points per possession against Northwestern, limiting an opponent (Manhattan) to 28 percent shooting or leading the nation by averaging just 7.8 turnovers per game, the 2010-11 edition of Wisconsin basketball has been downright mesmerizing this season.
Let's take a closer look at some of the more telling statistics the Badgers have compiled so far this year.
-Offensively, as far as the Big Ten is concerned, Wisconsin is near the bottom of the pack. Only Penn State (65.6), Michigan (66.4) and Iowa (69.3) score less points than Wisconsin does. Through 19 contests, the Badgers are averaging 70.4 points per game. Ohio State, the No. 1 ranked team in the country, paces the league with 78.9 points per outing.
-Much of the success UW has comes from its defensive propensity. Wisconsin has the best defense in the conference (allowing 56 points per game) and third best in the country. Only Ohio State (57.2) and Purdue (59.4) keep opponents in the 50's defensively in the Big Ten.
-Though UW is in the bottom third of the league in scoring offense, it still ranks third in the league in scoring margin. So far, UW is outscoring opponents by a 14.4-point margin. Again, only Ohio State (+21.7) and Purdue (+15.6) outscore their opponents by more.
-Wisconsin is the best free throw shooting team in the Big Ten and it's not even close. Making 254-of-310 attempts, UW possesses a 81.9 percent mark from the charity stripe. The next closes team (Penn State) averages just 73.3 percent from the line. Minnesota's 65.2 percent clip is the worst in the Big Ten.
-Minnesota (.393), Illinois (.398) and Wisconsin (.399) are the only teams in the Big Ten that prevent opposing teams from shooting 40 percent or better. UW has played both Minnesota (once) and Illinois (twice) this season. Wisconsin shot better than 40 percent against Minnesota, but failed to do so in either contest against Illinois. Conversely, only Illinois was able to crack UW's suffocating defensive pressure when it hit 56 percent of its shots in a win at Assembly Hall.
-So far this season, only Michigan (489 in 20 games) and Northwestern (435 in 19 games) have shot more 3-point shots than Wisconsin. UW has attempted 422 shots from downtown through 19 games this season and has hit 37.7 percent of those shots, good for seventh in the Big Ten.
-Though it has the nation's leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, UW ranks No. 7 in the Big Ten in assists per game. At 14.42 per outing, UW is nearly two assists per game behind Minnesota for sixth in the league.
-Wisconsin is dead last in league play with 3.84 steals per game.
-Though they only force 10.6 turnovers per game, Wisconsin still ranks fourth in the league with a +2.84 turnover margin per contest. Ohio State leads the league with a +6.35 turnover margin.
-As was previously mentioned, UW paces the Big Ten with a 1.85 assist-to-turnover ratio as a team. Northwestern is second best with 1.69 assist-to-turnover mark.
-Wisconsin boasts two of the leagues top seven scorers in Jon Leuer (third with 19.2 ppg) and Jordan Taylor (seventh with 17.4 ppg). Purdue is the only other school with two scorers within the top ten. JaJuan Johnson is the top scorer with 20.5 points per game and E'Twaun Moore posts 18.1 each time out.
-Both Leuer (6.9 rpg) and Keaton Nankivil (4.9 rpg) are among the Big Ten's top 20 rebounders. Trevor Mbakwe and Jared Sullinger are in a dead heat for the conference lead with 10.3 and 10.2 rebound per game averages respectively.
-Nankivil, who does a lot of his damage from beyond the arc, ranks seventh in the league with a 54.1 shooting percentage.
-Taylor averages 4.58 assists per game, good for fifth in the conference behind Demetri McCamey (7.1), Darius Morris (6.95), Aaron Craft (4.85) and Bryce Cartwright (4.79).
-Only Matt Gatens shoots better from the charity stripe than Taylor. Gatens hits 90.6 percent of his shots from the free throw line while Taylor hits 88 percent of his. Leuer, who ranks fifth in the league, hits 83.1 percent of his shots from the line.
-Both Nankivil (5th)and Leuer (8th) rank in the top 10 in the league with 3-point field goal percentage. There is no other forward/center combination in the Big Ten among the top 15 3-point shooters in the league.
-Taylor's 4.14 assist-to-turnover ratio blows away Blake Hoffarber's second-place tally of 2.68. Through 19 games, Taylor has 87 assists to only 21 turnovers.
-How much does Wisconsin rely on both Taylor and Leuer? Each are in the top 11 of the league in minutes played. Taylor averages 35.26 each game and Leuer logs 32.95 per outing.
Keaton Nankivil numbers:
-In conference play, Nankivil is shooting just shy of 55 percent from downtown and boosted his average from 7.8 points per game in non-conference play to 13 in Big Ten play.
-Dating back to the UW's win over Milwaukee in December (11 games ago), there have been only two occasions when Nankivil didn't finish a game with double-digit scoring. Nankivil scored three points against Coppin State in an easy win and nine against Indiana last week.
-As solid as he's become on the glass, Nankivil has not logged more than nine rebounds in a game this season. He has ripped down seven rebounds in four games this year, including back-to-back home wins against Illinois and Indiana last week. He's averaging approximately five rebounds per game.
-It's pretty remarkable when you split Taylor's numbers between home and away in regards to assist-to-turnover ratio. In home games, the junior guard averages 4.46 assist per every turnover. On the road, he averages 4.5 assists per turnover. In three neutral court games, Taylor averages 2.75 assists per turnover.
-In 19 games, the most turnovers Taylor has committed in any given one is three. Each time Taylor committed three turnovers he made up for it with a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio anyway.
-Considering he plays the most minutes of any Badger his numbers are even more ridiculous. There was a six game stretch where Taylor committed just one turnover in each game. In total, Taylor has recorded games with just one or zero turnovers in 15 of 19 games this season. He's also posted games with five, nine, six, seven and four assists to coincide with those low turnover games.
-Taylor shoots 88 percent from the charity stripe, plays 35.3 minutes per game, hits 45 percent of his shots from the field and simply doesn't turn the ball over. His raw numbers - 87 assists to 21 turnovers in 670 minutes of play - are incredible.
-Jarmusz has played 434 minutes this season and has committed just three turnovers. Let me say that again. Jarmusz has played 434 minutes of Division one basketball, 203 coming during Big Ten play, and he has only committed THREE turnovers. That's one turnover every 145 minutes of game time. And as you all know, 145 minutes of game time encompasses approximately three and a half basketball games. That's one turnover for every three and a half games played. Unbelievable.
-Jarmusz also boasts an 8.0 assist-to-turnover ratio this season. In conference play, Jarmusz has a 12.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
-Like Jarmusz, Gasser has done an incredible job taking care of the basketball. Actually, with UW looking like yet another March Madness caliber team, some of these stats will get Badger fans excited.
In home games, Gasser's assist-to-turnover ratio is 2.2. While that number certainly isn't bad, it doesn't even hold a candle to what the freshman is doing on the road and in neutral sites this season.
Though inflated with a recent 10-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio against Northwestern, Gasser still has ridiculous road numbers. In total, Gasser possesses a 4.75 assist-to-turnover ratio on the road. Take away that 10-assist effort (which I'm not sure why you would) and Gasser still has a 2.25 assist-to-turnover ratio in road conference games as a true freshman.
In neutral sites, Gasser can boast an 8.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. Overall in Big Ten play, Gasser possesses a 7.0 assist-to-turnover tally. That, in and of itself, is incredible. It surpasses Taylor's numbers (5.0 assist-to-turnover in conference play) as the team's most productive passer during league play.
-Of Gasser's 33 rebounds at home, 13 have been offensive. Of Gasser's 27 rebounds on the road, nine have been offensive. Overall, 22 of Gasser's 60 rebounds have been offensive.