Frank Kaminsky had a career night on Tuesday. According to the Associated Press via ESPN, the 7'0" junior from Lisle, Ill., scored 43 points in a 103-85 victory over North Dakota. Kaminsky did so in only 28 minutes of action, shooting 16-of-19 from the field, 6-of-6 from three-point range and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
In Wisconsin's first three games of the 2013-14 season, Kaminsky combined to score 26 points, or 8.6 points per game. This included a two-point effort in the season-opener against St. John's, eight points against Florida and a crucial 16-point game against Green Bay on Saturday night.
Just as surprising as Kaminsky's offensive outburst is the fact that Bo Ryan's Badgers eclipsed the 100-point mark. Wisconsin is known for its swing offense, a slow-paced tempo where most of the team's shots come late in the shot clock.
With Tuesday night's career record-setting performance, Kaminsky has now scored 69 points, good for a 17.3-point average, thus doubling his scoring average before this contest.
Prior to Tuesday's matchup, Kaminsky was the fifth-leading scorer on Ryan's squad. Sam Dekker (15.0), Ben Brust (11.3), Traevon Jackson (11.7) and Josh Gasser (10.0) all came ahead of Kaminsky. Those four mentioned players, plus Kaminsky, round out Wisconsin's starting five.
Brust, Jackson and Gasser form a three-man backcourt, while Dekker is a versatile forward who fills the stretch power forward role. Kaminsky plays center, but as shown by his perfect three-point shooting effort, he is able to step out and hit the outside shot, a prerequisite for Bo Ryan-coached big men.
Kaminsky, Dekker and Gasser all came into this game averaging a team-high 5.3 rebounds, though Kaminsky only pulled in three on Tuesday evening. Still, a 43-point stat line will certainly catch the eyes of opponents and fans alike.
Kaminsky's role has increased each year since arriving in Madison. As a true freshman, he played 7.7 minutes per game. Last season, that number increased to 10.3 minutes as the backup center. Kaminsky played behind a trio of senior bigs in Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans as a sophomore.
Now as an upperclassman, Kaminsky is the starting center for a team that frankly lacks many inside options. For whatever reason, Bo Ryan is able to get his big men ready to play, however long it takes. Berggren sat for three seasons before being arguably the team's best player in his final two.
Greg Stiemsma had unimpressive stats while playing in Madison but has found a home in the NBA, playing the rugged backup center role. Brian Butch and Keaton Nankivil are other names Badgers fans will remember, not to mention Jon Leuer, current member of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Last season, Andre Hollins shocked the college basketball world when he scored 41 points over his hometown Memphis Tigers. I'd be lying if I said Kaminsky's performance on Tuesday didn't shock me even more. Hats off to Kaminsky, a former St. Joan of Arc Charger and Benet Redwing, and good luck for the remainder of the season to he and the Badgers.
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