Scouting Report: Wisconsin

Coming in as the No. 3 team in the country after this Monday's polls, the Badgers continue as one of just four undefeated teams in the country. The team has 12 straight wins against the Hoosiers and will look to make it 13 tonight against an IU team in need of a big-time win.

Here's a closer look at Saturday's Indiana opponent:

Wisconsin Badgers (16-0, 3-0)

Last time out: W, 95-70 vs. Illinois on Wednesday

The Badgers handed down their latest rout Wednesday in Madison against the Fighting Illini 95-70 in the team's third conference win of the season. Wisconsin shot 53 percent during the first half while head coach Bo Ryan's defense held Illinois to just 27 percent shooting from the field during the first 20 minutes to build a 25-point halftime lead.

Early on, after the Fighting Illini hung tight, keeping within five points in the first six minutes of action, the Badgers ran off a 20-0 run during 6:03 to give them a 33-10 lead before Illinois' Joseph Bertrand hit a jumper to stop the bleeding. At the end of the half, Wisconsin had doubled up Illinois and went into the locker room with a 50-25 lead.

In the second half, both teams shot better, but Illinois couldn't make up any ground, dropping the team's first conference game of the season and the first while the Fighting Illini were in the top 25.

The Badgers had five players in double figures in the win, led by senior guard Ben Brust with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Three Badgers also came in with six rebounds tied for the team lead, including Brust, Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker.

2012-13 season

Record: 23-12 (12-6 in the Big Ten Conference)

Wisconsin struggled a bit through the team's non-conference schedule to start last season. After losing to Florida in Gainesville, Fla. 74-56, the Badgers also fell to Creighton, Virginia and Marquette, though, they stormed into the Big Ten, winning four games in a row for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

The Badgers won their fourth game of the conference schedule in Bloomington, beating the No. 2 Hoosiers 64-59 for IU's first loss in conference play. The team then lost three of four games – including losses to Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State. Ryan's squad finished winning seven of the team's final 10 Big Ten regular season games, earning Wisconsin the No. 4 seed in the conference post-season tournament.

After a bye in the first round, the Badgers downed Michigan 68-59 before taking down IU for the second time of the season 68-56 to move into the finals against Ohio State. Wisconsin would fall, though, 50-43 in a defensive standoff, earning a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

But in a first round upset, the Badgers fell to No. 12 seed Ole Miss 57-46 after scoring just 21 points in the second half.

What they do well:

This season, the Badgers have turned into a much stronger offensive team than in previous years, averaging 76.4 points per game after not breaking a 70-point average since the 2006-07 season. The team is led by Dekker with 14.3 points per game. The 6-foot-7-inch forward also leads the team in rebounds with 6.3 per game. Behind Dekker are three other players, including Kaminsky, Brust and Traevon Jackson.

The Badgers also do a tremendous job taking care of the ball, despite having just one senior leader on the team in Brust. Wisconsin commits just 8.2 turnovers per game while forcing 10.5 in its opponents. While scoring more points per game this season than in years' past, the Badgers are shooting over 47 percent from the field and nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc to prove much more of an offensive threat rather than a team lauded for its shutdown defense.

Star players:

F Sam Dekker, So.

Dekker nearly averaged double-digits in points as a freshman, but this season he's stepped up to take the reigns of a Wisconsin offense that hasn't been this potent in some time. The Sheboygan, Wis.-native is shooting better than 51 percent from the field this season.

He's reached the 20-point mark this season twice, and in both games has also register double-digit rebounds for two of his three double-doubles of the season.

G Ben Brust, Sr.

Wisconsin's lone senior with much playing time this year is averaging 33.6 minutes per game this season to lead the team. During his time on the floor, Brust has become a potent shooter from beyond the 3-point line and at the charity stripe. The senior guard averages 44.2 percent from three and 94.1 percent from the free throw line this season, missing only two free throws in 34 attempts.

Brust is especially careful with the basketball as well, turning it over just 10 times this season while logging 538 minutes on the court.


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