Wisconisn Badgers: Frank Kaminsky the X-Factor

Frank Kamisky is feeling it.

Through the past six games the big man has averaged over 17 points per game. His newfound confidence has led the Badgers to their longest conference winning streak since 1940.

Kaminsky didn’t miss a beat on Wednesday, loading the Badger’s stat sheet left to right. His game high 22 points off 8-of-11 shooting provided enough lift for the Badgers to surpass Purdue.

All dimensions of Kaminsky’s game have sharpened since 2013. Not one statistic has dropped off from last year’s campaign. The transition from coming off the bench to becoming a starter has been smooth.

Frank has been UW’s workhorse of 2014. The junior leads the team in multiple categories. In the table below, those bolded represent team highs.

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As a  seven-footer, his range of abilities are phenomenal. One minute he’s a shot erasing force, the next he’s a lethal sharp shooter.

His versatility makes for a matchup nightmare. Just ask North Dakota, who fell victim to Frank’s 43 point breakout performance on November 19. The school-record 43 was a warning for the Big-Ten along with the NCAA; Be ready for Kaminsky.

As the regular season dwindles down, we can look back to calculate the damage Frank has done to the Big Ten. Offensively, his efficiency ranks him as one of the best centers in the conference. His shooting percentages in field goals, triples, and free-throws all rank in the conference’s top-ten.

The contributions don’t end there. Kaminsky’s 1.83 blocks per game place him sixth in conference. His 6.3 rebounds per put him ninth.

Stuffing the stat sheet has become a nightly routine for Frank. The big man has proven to be Bo Ryan’s most valuable asset. In a conference loaded with talent Kaminsky has shown he is among the elite. At very least, Frank’s statistics should earn himself a third team all-conference award.

Kaminsky’s next step is to lead the Badgers as they head into tournament play. Wisconsin will need to improve their defensive shooting percentage. The problem is they give up too many easy buckets. UW ranks second-to-last in defensive field goal percentage. Poor post defense translates to interior scoring. Frank is already a premiere shot-blocker; if he can further increase his defensive dominance inside this Badger team will go far.

The Big Ten tournament will be an excellent measuring stick for Kaminsky. To prove that he is the best big in the conference he will have to size up against the likes of Adrien Payne and Jon Horford.

When the big man plays well the team plays well. The Wisconsin Badgers will go as far as Frank Kaminsky takes them. March is his for the taking.  If Frank manages to play at his best, there’s no telling how far Wisconsin will go.