Preview: Coppin State vs. Wisconsin

After a 10-day layoff because of final exams, Wisconsin looks to close out its non-conference season with a victory over Coppin State and head into the Big Ten season with some needed momentum.

Coppin State (4-4, 0-1 MEAC) at Wisconsin (9-2, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date/Time - Thursday, December 23, at 7 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,230)

Television - Big Ten

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

Series – UW Leads 2-0 (2-0 in Madison)

Last Meeting - Wisconsin won, 57-46, on Dec. 20, 2008 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

11 Jordan Taylor (Junior Guard, 15.1 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (Freshman Guard, 7.0 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Senior Forward, 19.9 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Sophomore Forward, 6.0 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Senior Forward, 8.0 ppg)

Off the Bench

2 Wquinton Smith (Senior Guard, 0.7 ppg)

5 Ryan Evans (Sophomore Forward, 4.2 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Senior Forward, 3.1 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (Junior Guard, 2.1 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (Sophomore Forward, 4.0 ppg)

Coppin State Probable Starters

5 Michael Harper (Junior Guard, 15.8 ppg)

12 Tony Gallo (Junior Guard, 12.5 ppg)

23 Akeem Ellis (Junior Forward, 11.0 ppg)

32 Antonio Williams (Junior Forward, 7.4 ppg)

34 Branden Doughty (Sophomore Forward, 4.6 ppg)

Off the Bench

11 Vince Goldsberry (Senior Guard, 7.8 ppg)

50 Ceslovas Kucinskas (Senior Center, 3.5 ppg)

Last Time Out

Knocking down 10-of-17 three-pointers and 18-of-22 free throws, UW took down Green Bay 70-56 Monday night to restore the dominance Wisconsin once held over the program to the tune of 15 straight wins. The victory gives Wisconsin a sweep over all three in-state Division 1 programs

Of the 10 treys Monday, nine of them came from forwards Bruesewitz, Nankivil and Leuer, proving to be an unstoppable mix of height and skill.

"And Jared [Berggren] is a better three-point shooter then all of them," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "It is an advantage. We shoot them with confidence and you know within the offense you can do that."

The Badgers finished the game with four players in double digit scoring, with Keaton Nankivil and Mike Bruesewitz joining Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor's reserved seats at the table.

Bruesewitz in particular shined, finishing the game with a career high 18 points (6-of-8 shooting), knocking down two three-pointers while overpowering the smaller UWGB team inside the paint, earning three separate trips to the free throw line.

Unlike every other blowout at the Kohl Center this season, Green Bay fought over the entire 40 minutes and never let the score get out of hand. The Badgers led just 22-17 with 4:27 left to play in the first half before going on a run to cement their lead.

A three-pointer and a drop-step layup by Bruesewitz and a jumper and dunk from Leuer gave Wisconsin a 12 point lead heading into the break, allowing Wisconsin to cruise in the second half. Last Meeting

Wisconsin didn't waste a ton of time getting down to business against Coppin State.

The Badgers scored 11 unanswered points, including six in a row from sophomore Jon Leuer, to build an early double-digit lead before the second media timeout. They kept that margin most of the rest of the way to cruise to a 57-46 victory over the Eagles Saturday night at the Kohl Center. Leuer finished with a game-high 16 points and got help from junior guard Jason Bohannon and senior forward Marcus Landry, who each finished with 11.

Sixteen points was Leuer's high since he scored 17 against Virginia Tech, and came against an unsuspecting Coppin State.

"We weren't looking for him to hurt us," Coppin State head coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell said. "He came in off the bench and did a real good job of scoring for them. He's a nice player and that's a luxury to have with someone like him coming off the bench."

Shortly after entering the game, Leuer scored on back-to-back possessions off nice cuts to the hoop and passes from Landry, who finished with four assists against no turnovers.

"Marcus was like Meadowlark Lemon when [the Harlem Globetrotters] used to feed the post and he'd hit guys going backdoor," Ryan said. "I'm not saying that to be comical, that's what it looked like. Marcus did a great job of finding guys."

Leuer also had six rebounds as the Badgers (9-2) dominated the glass. Krabbenhoft grabbed eight boards and Bohannon and Jarmusz pulled down in five a piece. The Eagles, meanwhile, grabbed just six rebounds in the first half, all of them defensive.

For the game, Wisconsin outrebounded Coppin State 36-19, including a 12 to four edge on the offensive boards. That allowed the Badgers to outscore the Eagles 17-0 on second-chance points and limit the Coppin State's opportunities to cut into the deficit.

Series Notes:

UW is 10-0 all-time vs. teams in the Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), including a 4-0 record with Bo Ryan at the helm.

Wisconsin Notes:

The Badgers lead the nation in fewest turnovers with just 9.5 per game and rank fourth in the NCAA with a 1.58 assist-to-turnover ratio as a team.

Wisconsin has started the season 9-2 for the fourth-straight season and seventh time in the Bo Ryan era. The Badgers are looking for their 10th win of the non-conference season. UW has posted double-digit non-conference wins in four of the last five seasons.

The Badgers are 6-0 at the Kohl Center this season with an average margin of victory of 27.5 points per game. At home this year, UW is scoring an average of 79.7 points per game. The Badgers are shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from 3-point range. In six home games, Wisconsin has trailed for a total of 6 minutes and 43 seconds and has not been behind after 10 minutes into any game.

Wisconsin leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the nation allowing just 53.9 points per game. The Badgers are limiting foes to 38.3 percent shooting, which ranks third in the conference and 40th nationally. The Badgers have held eight of 11 opponents under 60 points in a game this season. UW is 145-14 (.912) under Bo Ryan when keeping teams below the 60-point mark. Prediction

Dating back to last season, Wisconsin has won nine straight home games overall and 14 in a row vs. non-conference opponents at the Kohl Center. Even better is that, excluding overtime, Wisconsin hasn't allowed an opponent to score 70 or more points on its home floor in two years, a span of 30 games that is the longest active streak in the nation.

Coppin State is 209th in the country in scoring, averaging only 68 points per game, and has scored over 72 points just twice this season. The Badgers have cracked 85 points three times.

A long layoff is always a little disconcerting to see how the Badgers are going to come out. One would expect a little rust early offensively, but the Badgers' defensive effort has been impressive. Through 11 games, Wisconsin has already forced its opponents into 17 scoreless droughts of 4:00 or longer - an average of 1.5 droughts per game.

I have confidence that the Badgers will win, but Coppin State played No.4 Connecticut tough three days ago, outscoring the Huskies by five in the second half and losing by only 12 on the road. I predict a 13-point grinder, a perfect segue into a physical Big Ten season.

Worgull's Record: 10-1

Points off Prediction: 87 (7.9 per game)

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