In-State Showdown

The Golden Eagles will play their first true road game of the season Saturday when they make the trek down I-94 to take on Wisconsin at the Kohl Center. MarquetteHoops.com previews the match-up against the badgers.

 

Wisconsin Badgers

(6-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

Madison, Wisconsin

Head Coach Bo Ryan (6th Season)

 

 

Probable Starters:

Marcus Landry, Jr. F (6-7, 222)

Brian Butch, Sr. F/C (6-11, 235)

Greg Steimsma, Sr C (6-11, 280)

Trevon Hughes, So. G (6-0, 193)

Joe Krabbenhoft, Jr. G/F (6-7, 220)

 

Key Substitutions:

Michael Flowers, Sr. G (6-2, 183)

Jason Bohannon, So. G (6-2, 198)

 

 

Marquette will play its first true road game of the season Saturday when the team makes the trek down I-94 to take on Wisconsin at the Kohl Center.

 

In their last contest, the Badgers defeated the Wofford Terriers 70-43 behind double-digit efforts from Jason Bohannon (14 points), Joe Krabbenhoft (12 points, six rebounds) and Marcus Landry (11 points, nine rebounds).  Wisconsin wore replica throwback jerseys from their 1941 National Championship season.

 

The Badgers are a big team who start four players taller than 6-6, including 6-7 Marcus Landry at small forward and the 6-7 Krabbenhoft at shooting guard.  The Badgers have been using their size to effectively blow teams out so far this season.  Including an 82-58 loss to Duke last week, Wisconsin has outscored its opponents by an average of 24.4 points per game and outrebounded its opponents by 13.3 boards per game through the first seven games.  Wisconsin has also forced teams into an average of 17.9 turnovers per game

 

"Certainly their inside play is really good," said Marquette Head Coach Tom Crean.  "They have an extremely big lineup, perhaps one of the biggest in college basketball, and we know they're probably going to high-low us to death. That's what they look to do, and they do an excellent job of that."

 

Despite their size, the Badgers' best player so far this season has been a guard.  Sophomore Trevon Hughes leads the team in minutes and points, averaging 16.7 points in 30.1 minutes per game.  Hughes has also shot close to 40 percent from three-point range (15-38) and shares the team lead with 21 assists on the season (3.0 per game).  However, he also leads the team with 18 turnovers.

 

"He's very confident with the ball," said Crean.  "He can go either way [off the dribble]. He's shooting threes.  He's got a great runner.  He gets to the rim.  He feeds the post well.  He drops it off. He's playing with a ton of confidence and we'll have our hands full."

 

Hughes has been a strong and consistent penetrator this season, as evidenced by his team-leading 37 trips to the free-throw line.

 

Honorable Mention All Big 10 selection Brian Butch is averaging 13.4 points through seven games, but has yet to connect from beyond the arc in 16 attemps.  He is also the team's leading rebounder, pulling in 9.1 boards per game.

 

Six-foot-eleven center Greg Steimsma has collected 13 blocks so far on the season, yet has only committed nine personal fouls.  In fact, no player on the Badgers' roster over 6-7 has more than nine fouls whistled against them.

 

"They do an incredible job of playing defense with their lower body," said Crean. "They're going to chest you some, but they're going to really get up into you with their legs.  They don't have a lot of fouls that they're called for."

 

Krabbenhoft, whose size would make him seem out of place at the two-guard position, has arguably been Wisconsin's most efficient ball handler so far this season.  He has 21 assists and only six turnovers, a 3.5:1 ratio.  Without his numbers, the rest of Badgers team posts only a 1.19:1 ratio (95 assists, 80 turnovers).  Krabbenhoft also has yet to connect from outside the arc this season, but does lead the team in free throw percentage (15-17, 88.2 percent).

 

Where Wisconsin brings size, Marquette will counter with speed.  Marquette's transition game will play a big part in their transition game, especially if they can get senior center Ousmane Barro involved, said point guard Dominic James.  Barro has come off the bench for the Golden Eagles this season and averages 4.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

 

"I feel like Ouse is going to have a breakout game really soon," said James.  "His ability to run is going to be a definite challenge to their big men.  He's going to have to get out there and get the easy baskets, especially in our transition game."

 

The Badgers' key contributor off the bench has been Michael Flowers.  The senior from Madison, Wis. started every game last season and averages 8.7 points in almost 28 minutes per game this season.  Flowers would probably have a higher scoring average if he shot better than the 39.3 percent he is currently averaging from the field.

 

Wisconsin leads the all-time series 62-51, including a 70-66 win in Milwaukee last season.  Marquette last won at the Kohl Center on November 14, 1997.  Wisconsin is currently on a 28-game home win streak.

 

"We're going to do everything in our power to prepare to go out and play in what is a passionate and very challenging place to play," said Crean.  "We're going to have to be on our ‘A' game."

 

Marquette and Wisconsin tip off at 5:00 p.m. CST.

** Jeff Wolf is a sophomore majoring in Advertising with a Studio Art Minor. Jeff is the Head Student Writer for MarquetteHoops.com and is also the Assistant Sports Director for Marquette Radio.

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