MU-UW, the 116th Edition

Marquette and Wisconsin renew their rivalry Saturday at the Kohl Center. Nick Chmurski breaks down the matchup.

Marquette Golden Eagles (7-2) vs. #20/23 Wisconsin Badgers (6-2)

Kohl Center – Madison, WI

Time: Saturday afternoon, 4 pm CST

Coverage: ESPN2

After rebounding to defeat cross-town rival UW-Milwaukee, the Golden Eagles will try to remain unbeaten against intrastate opponents when they travel west on I-94 to play bitter rival Wisconsin in Madison Saturday.

The Badgers come into Saturday's contest following a surprising road loss to UW-Green Bay Wednesday night. Prior to their most recent setback, Wisconsin had beaten the likes of Maryland, Grambling and, most notably, Duke in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The Duke game remains UW's most impressive decision of the season, as the Badgers dictated the tempo of the game and were in the driver's seat from the opening tip.

Wisconsin is led by senior do-it-all guard Trevon Hughes. Not only is Hughes the Badger's leading scorer, but he is probably their best player as well. Possessing good court vision, quickness off the dribble, and great range, Hughes figures to play a huge role in any game.

Rounding out the backcourt is fellow-senior Jason Bohannon who has struggled of late to find his game. Known for his three-point shooting, Bohannon has the ability to stretch a defense and is capable of big scoring streaks when his shot is dropping.

Up front is where the Badgers would seem to cause most of the problems for Marquette. The UW frontcourt is principally paced by juniors Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil.

The most intriguing of the two is Leuer who, at 6'10", not only has the size to challenge for rebounds and alter shots down in the post, but also possesses the ability to step outside and knock down the three-ball. Like Leuer, Nankivil also has some touch from range, but he primarily tends to do most of his damage around the basket utilizing his large frame to create interior position.

Other than these previously mentioned players, Wisconsin has several others capable of making an impact on the game. Of those, Jordan Taylor is the most distinguished. The sophomore guard's best performance was a 19-point effort in a loss to Gonzaga in the Maui Invitationa,l and since then he's seen increased playing time. Look for him to be the first Badger off the bench.

Another Badger who cannot be overlooked is Tim Jarmusz. The junior from Oshkosh has worked his way into the starting line-up several times this year, and while he might not dazzle, he's another prime example of a player that Bo Ryan gets the most out of. Although Jarmusz flies under the radar, he is definitely worth keeping an eye on because he fits the mold of the prototypical Badger that's given MU fits over the years.

Once again, this game will feature a great deal of homegrown talent. Three of UW's five expected starters played their high school ball in Wisconsin – Hughes (St. John's NW Military Academy), Nankivil (James Madison Memorial HS), and Jarmusz (Oshkosh West) – while Marquette has Dwight Buycks (Milwaukee Bay View HS) and Jeronne Maymon (Madison Memorial), who will be returning to his home town to play in Kohl Center for the first time since winning a state title there one year ago. On top of all the talent on the court, one might also expect recent MU-signee and a current Madison Memorial standout Vander Blue to be in attendance.

Heading into this game, Marquette should be seen as a sizable underdog. The Golden Eagles are a very young bunch entering an incredibly hostile environment for the first time this season, and they have shown a recent inability to finish games. Wisconsin will likely try to make Saturday's matchup a half-court affair in which they can grind down a much smaller MU team. Expect Bo Ryan to learn from last year's mistakes and feed the ball into the low post early and often, not only in an attempt to take advantage of their height but also to get Lazar Hayward into foul trouble.

Marquette's lone chance of winning it three straight against the Badgers would seem to be taking advantage of their speed and quickness. To do this they will need to force turnovers, create an up-tempo game, and receive solid contributions from their entire rotation. The Golden Eagles did all of the above last time they were in the Kohl Center and emerged from that contest victorious.

Marquette trails Wisconsin 62-53 in the all-time series.

Probable Badger Starters:

G – Trevon Hughes (6'0" 193 lbs, Senior) --- (16.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg)

G – Jason Bohannon (6'2" 198 lbs, Senior) --- (11.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

F – Tim Jarmusz (6'6" 210 lbs, Junior) --- (3.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg)

F – Keaton Nankivil (6'8" 240 lbs, Junior) --- (8.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg)

C – Jon Leuer (6'10" 225 lbs, Junior) --- (13.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg)

Key Reserves:

G – Jordan Taylor (6'1" 190 lbs, Sophomore) --- (7.0 ppg, 3.3 apg)

G- Rob Wilson (6'4" 175 lbs, Sophomore) --- (3.2 ppg, 0.7 rpg)

F – Ryan Evans (6'6" 195 lbs, Freshman) --- (3.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

C – Jared Berggren (6'10" 235 lbs, Freshman) --- (2.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg)


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