Preview: South Dakota vs. Wisconsin

In three home games, Wisconsin has put up numbers that would make the football team envious, scoring over 85 points each game and shooting 53.4 percent from the floor. The Badgers will need a similar effort Saturday against a South Dakota squad that plays tough on the road.

South Dakota (3-4, 0-0 Great West) vs. Wisconsin (5-2, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date/Time - Tuesday, December 4, at 1 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,230)

Television - ESPN3 (Dave Rieff & Dickey Simpkins)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series – UW Leads 5-1

Last Meeting - Wisconsin won, 96-56, on Dec. 6, 1984 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

11 Jordan Taylor (Junior Guard, 14.4 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (Freshman Guard, 8.3 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Senior Forward, 18.7 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 5.4 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Senior Forward, 7.1 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Ryan Evans (Sophomore Forward, 5.9 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Senior Forward, 3.6 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (Junior Guard, 2.0 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (Sophomore Forward, 4.7 ppg)

South Dakota Probable Starters

1 Charlie Westbrook (Junior Guard, 15.9 ppg)

4 Louis Krogman (Junior Guard, 12.9 ppg)

5 Kendall Cutler (Senior Guard, 5.7 ppg)

32 Ricardo Andreotti (Junior Forward, 5.0 ppg)

50 Trevor Gruis (Freshman Center, 5.7 ppg)

Off the Bench

0 Mitchell Bouie (Senior Guard, 4.6 ppg)

2 Steve Tecker (Freshman Guard, 4.6 ppg)

14 Jordan Boots (Sophomore Guard, 6.0 ppg)

22 Jake Thomas (Sophomore Guard, 10.6 ppg)

Last Time Out

It is amazing what can happen when the Wisconsin basketball team plays two competent halves of offense.

Shooting 50 percent from the field in the game's first twenty minutes — their highest mark yet this season in the first half — UW rode a constant stream of buckets and the usual stifling defense Wednesday night to a 87-48 shellacking of North Carolina State at the Kohl Center. The Badgers shot 50 percent for the game, knocked down 55 percent of their three-pointers and made 20 free throws against only 13 attempts from the Wolfpack, a Bo Ryan specialty.

It was the first time Wisconsin played a complete 40 minutes since the four-game road-trip the Badgers struggled to 2-2 on. For the season, UW was shooting 36.9 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from beyond the arc entering Wednesday night. The snail-slow starts put UW in too deep of a hole to climb out against UNLV and Notre Dame previously — a fact not lost on the players for importance of starting as strong as you finish.

"It is hard to come back against us," Jon Leuer, who finished with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting said. "Tonight we got off to a pretty good start … we were being unselfish and getting good shots."

With N.C. State possessing sufficient size on the inside but not nearly enough quickness with the bigs, UW forwards were able to exploit their counterparts on the perimeter. Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz both went three-for-three from beyond the arc, while Keaton Nankivil and Jon Leuer were able to find open space for jumpers at the midrange level.

Wisconsin assisted on 17 of the 28 made field goals, turned the ball over just six times and virtually had the game won by halftime, leading the Wolfpack 44-21.

Series Notes:

Saturday's game marks the seventh game between Wisconsin and South Dakota, but the first meeting with both teams owning Division I status. The Coyotes claimed an overtime 58-56 win in the first game of the 1956-57 season to start the series.

UW is 11-1 all-time vs. members of the Great West Conference, including an 85-53 win over North Dakota on Nov. 16.

The Badgers and Coyotes have one common non-conference foe this season. South Dakota lost at Marquette, 82-69, on Nov. 20. UW will travel to the Bradley Center to play Marquette on Dec. 11.

South Dakota Notes:

South Dakota features three players from the state of Wisconsin, including Jake Thomas who prepped at St. Catherine's in Racine, the same school as UW video coordinator Sharif Chambliss. Coyotes freshman Jared Bartling attended the same high school as former Badger Joe Krabbenhoft, Roosevelt in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Westbrook has turned into South Dakota's leading man this season. At least as far as points are concerned. The junior guard has paced the Coyotes in five of their seven contests by scoring in double figures six times. He's also topped the 20-point mark twice with 24 points against Nebraska and UL-Monroe.

South Dakota kept it pretty close on the stat sheet for most categories with the Marquette Golden Eagles. MU held a 29-27 advantage in field goals and 22-21 in assists, while USD led in steals 11-7 and three-point baskets 9-1. The largest disparity came at free throws, as the Coyotes attempted to keep pace with Marquette's physical play inside. MU shot 23-of-34 from the charity stripe to just 6-of- 14 for USD, including a 14-of-21 to 0-of-2 advantage in the first half.

The South Dakota men's basketball team has been picked to finish third in the Great West Conference in the coaches' preseason poll, the league announced on Nov. 2. The Coyotes earned the most first-place votes with three.

Wisconsin Notes:

Wisconsin's defense is allowing opponents an average of just 53.1 points per game and 37.6 percent shooting. The Badgers have ranked among the nation's top 10 in scoring defense in six of the last eight seasons.

The Badgers rank second in the nation with a 1.74 assist-to-turnover ratio. Wisconsin is averaging 15.1 assists and just 8.7 turnovers per game. Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in fewest turnovers per game with just 8.7 times per game. The next closest mark in the Big Ten is Northwestern (11.0 per game).

The Badgers' turnover mark also ranks second in the nation, only Boston College (8.3) has a better average. Since turning the ball over 15 times at UNLV, UW has a total of 21 turnovers in its past four games (5.3 per game), including a season-low 3 turnovers vs. Boston College.

Wisconsin's 39-point win over NC State ranks as the third-most lopsided game in Big Ten-ACC Challenge history and the largest by a Big Ten school. The 39-point win was also NC State's worst loss since the 1998-99 season.

Prediction

To say Wisconsin is night and day away from the Kohl Center. While the Badgers are 2-2 away from the KC, scoring just 57.8 points per game, the Badgers are 3-0 at home this season with an average margin of victory of 38.3 points per game.

At home this year, UW is scoring an average of 90.3 points per game. The Badgers are shooting 53.4 percent from the field and 46.8 percent from 3-point range. In three home games, Wisconsin has trailed for a total of four minutes and 32 seconds and has not been behind in a game after the 16:00 mark of the first half, three of which came in that debacle of a basketball game we saw Wednesday.

Badgers are rolling at home and I see no reason that should stop Saturday afternoon. Badgers by 26 over the Coyotes.

Worgull's Record: 7-0

Points off Prediction: 56 (7.0 per game)


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