<b>Northwestern</b> heads into Madison tonight for a try at getting their first Big 10 win in a place that hasn't been very friendly to the Wildcats.
<p>Wisconsin has a lot going and figure this one to be tough, but winnable if the Cats do everything right...
Facing a Badger team riding a 3 game winning streak, a 10 game Big 10 home game streak, and averaging 73+ points a game, NU could have some tough sledding up in Madison tonight.
Gone is the old deliberate offense in Madison - the Wisconsin Badgers now run Bo Ryan's 3 guard, up-tempo offense that stresses driving to the basket and making free throws.
Ryan] stresses that we get to the basket," Alando Tucker, who is
shooting 68.1 percent from the charity stripe, said [in the Badger Herald] "In order to beat
teams, you have to get to the basket and force fouls. You can't just
shoot all jumpers and think you're going to win a game. You can't just
settle for missing once you get [to the line]."
Leading the charge is Wisconsin's Point Guard, Sophomore Devin Harris [UW Photo-right], and along with Freshman Boo Wade,
is holding down the turnovers. Harris averages 1.6 turnovers a game,
Wade is even better - he averages 1.4. All told, Wisconsin averages
just 11.3 turnovers a game - the best in the Big 10.
Combine that with the 79.2% free throw shooting at home and you quickly figure out the Badger's system:
just an opportunity where, especially down the stretch in a game, you
can put points on the board without a guy in your face. It means we're
getting the ball inside. We're not just settling for outside jumpers. - [Kirk Penney - Badger Herald]
Every Big 10 team seems to have a star freshman this year, and for the Badgers it's 6-5 Freshman Alando Tucker.
Alando Tucker is fun to coach because he is a decent
player now, he is going to get even better, but he has improved at
every phase of the game, more than anybody I have seen."
A great shooter, a great rebounder, a great this,
a great that, which is good because the more a guy comes green out of
high school and is eager to learn and has some ability, boy, are those
fun guys to coach.
And while the Badgers start short, with 2 Forwards and 3 Guards,
they can run in a 6-9 forward and a 6-11 Center to give them some
height inside if they see the need.
Coach Ryan, What do you know about Northwestern?
Well, (Aaron) Jennings can shoot the three and he has the nice little
hook. He has a really nice hook and not just the jump hook. He has a
little sky hook working. So he can score inside and outside. I think
any time you have someone who can do that, they always cause more
Bo Ryan is in his 2nd year as the Coach of the Badgers, and his coaching mantra seems to be preparation. [Badger Plus Photo by Joe Koshollek]
prepare for every team like they are going to play their best game
against you. I think that is the best way to do it. [Bo Ryan - UWBadgers.com]
And the NU Motion Offense?
You have to prepare. You have to get your players ready for certain
things. We had to get them ready for certain things against Illinois,
Ohio State and their (system) is a little different. We improved last
year from the first time we played them to the second time, but that
was last year
His first year in the Big 10 was quite a turn around for the Badgers,
but not for this former head man at UW-Milwaukee and
UW-Platteville. He started this season with a career
402-116 [.776] record as a head coach.
He does have quite an act to follow since his 2001-02 Badger finished with 19 wins and a share of the Big 10 title.
had the same starting lineup through all 5 games of their Big 10
season, and 4 of 5 have started all 17 games for the Badgers so far.
Forwards: 6-5 Freshman Alando Tucker [#42 - 30.6 mins/12.9 ppg/5.4 rebounds], and 6-8 Sophomore Mike Wilkinson[#54 - 29.8/8.5/6.4]