Ann Arbor, MI – Frank Kaminsky, the 7’0″ Wisconsin junior center who earlier this season broke the school scoring record with 43 points, today had 25 points (11-16 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-3 FT) and 11 rebounds as the Badgers led wire to wire to defeat the Big Ten first place Michigan Wolverines at the Crisler Center 75-62.
Coach Bo Ryan’s team surged out to a quick 14-4 lead, expanded the margin to 15 points at the half (34-19) and eventually led by 16 points twice early in the second half. However, soph Caris Levert led the Wolverines on a long, methodical comeback to cut the margin three points at the half.
Kaminsky, who had already been a key factor in the game, then answered Michigan’s surge by scoring ten points in a span of six possessions to take the margin back up to 13 points. Kaminsky first isolated his defender on the right block and backed him down to get an outside seal dropstep bank. His second basket two possessions later was an impressive long left handed drive from the right wing with a left handed layup finish on the far side. On the very next possession, Kaminsky had his man on the left block and spun to middle and finished on the far side with an up and under agile scoop and/one. To complete the game winning sequence, Kaminsky hit a clinching long triple at the end of the shot clock.
Prior to that flurry, Kaminsky had scored 15 points utilizing the Badgers’ swing offense to its fullest in a similarly diverse fashion- most impressively with two face up drives and finishes. While he is neither overly athletic nor overly physically imposing for a 7-footer, it is rare for a player his size to show such a wide array of offensive skills; he faces up and drives equally well right and left and keeps people honest with his shooting ability and range. Just as importantly, Kaminsky makes many good decisions with the ball and sees the floor very well.
Kaminsky is also a quiet but steady rebounder and defender and has a particular knack for hunting down offensive rebounds. While his teammate, soph forward Sam Dekker, is generally considered a better NBA prospect today, it would not be surprising to see Kaminsky progress to be selected in the 2015 NBA Draft.
For the record, Dekker and fellow NBA prospect, Levert, both had outstanding games in their own rights. Dekker had 15 points (6-10 FG, 2-2 3PT, 1-2 FT) and nine rebounds. Levert had a career high 25 points (7-13 FG, 5-6 3PT, 6-6 FT) and six rebounds. Of note, several of his treys were off the bounce both right and left.