Date/Time - Wednesday, December 7, 7 p.m. Central
Arena – Kohl Center (17,230)
Television - ESPN3 (Cory Provus and Dickey Simpkins)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)
Series – Wisconsin leads 16-1 (UW leads 14-0 in Madison)
Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 70-56, on December 13, 2010 in Milwaukee
Wisconsin Probable Starters
5 Ryan Evans (Junior Forward, 9.4 ppg)
11 Jordan Taylor (Senior Guard, 12.1 ppg)
21 Josh Gasser (Sophomore Guard, 8.5 ppg)
31 Mike Bruesewitz (Junior Forward, 6.6 ppg)
40 Jared Berggren (Junior Forward, 12.0 ppg)
Off the Bench
1 Ben Brust (Sophomore Guard, 11.9 ppg)
12 Traevon Jackson (Freshman Guard, 1.0 ppg)
33 Rob Wilson (Senior Guard, 2.8 ppg)
44 Frank Kaminsky (Freshman Forward, 3.4 ppg)
Green Bay Probable Starters
4 Steve Baker (Senior Guard, 8.5 ppg)
11 Jarvis Williams (Senior Forward, 5.1 ppg)
21 Alec Brown (Sophomore Center, 13.8 ppg)
22 Daniel Turner (Sophomore Forward, 3.6 ppg)
24 Keifer Sykes (Freshman Guard, 5.9 ppg)
Off the Bench
2 Terry Johnson (Sophomore Guard, 7.5 ppg)
3 Aaron Armstead (Freshman Guard, 3.5 ppg)
13 Kam Cerroni (Sophomore Guard, 3.9 ppg)
44 Brennan Cougill (Junior Forward, 7.4 ppg)
Last Time Out
Jordan Taylor scored 13 and tried to lead a late comeback charge for the Badgers (6-2). But it fell short, and the Badgers now have lost two straight.
Marquette announced shortly before the game that Cadougan would not be in uniform and would miss only Saturday's game for the unspecified violation. Williams did not give a specific reason for Cadougan's suspension, saying only that it did not involve a legal issue.
Without Cadougan, Marquette beat Wisconsin primarily with defense and inside play. The Golden Eagles outrebounded the Badgers 44-32, outscored them by 16 in the paint and had 17 second-chance points to Wisconsin's five.
"That's where they got us, on second-chance opportunities," Badgers coach Bo Ryan said.
Marquette held Wisconsin to 32 percent shooting and 5 for 19 from 3-point range. After Wednesday's loss at North Carolina, the Badgers have lost two straight and suddenly look a little more like a work in progress than a team that's ready to challenge for the Big Ten title. Wisconsin didn't shoot well from outside in either loss.
"We know our weaknesses, we know our flaws," Ryan said. "We know where they are. And we've always said we've got to hit shots, especially from the perimeter, in order to free up some stuff coming to the basket."
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.
"And Jared [Berggren] is a better three-point shooter then all of them," 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. After collecting a career high eight rebounds at Marquette, Brueser has put together his best two games of the season back-to-back.
"He has got energy," Ryan said. "Sometimes it gets away from him with his decisions, but I would rather have to tone somebody down then get them excited about what they are doing. And that is why Mike can always play for me. Guys like that have always been able to play for me. It is intelligent aggression. Active. Without his play, we would not be the team we are right now."
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.
Wisconsin and Green Bay have played every year since 1999 and Wednesday's contest will mark the 18th meeting all-time. The Badgers own a 16-1 record against Green Bay and have never lost to the Phoenix in Madison, sporting a mark of 14-0.
Ryan is 9-1 against Green Bay as the head coach of the Badgers and 12-3 overall (including a 3-3 mark while serving as the head coach at Milwaukee). Ryan's teams are 8-0 against the Phoenix at the Kohl Center, winning by an average of 16.0 points per game.
Under Ryan, the Badgers have a 25-5 (.833) record in the in-state round-robin with Marquette, Milwaukee and Green Bay.
UW is 80-24 all-time vs. teams in the Horizon League. UW will also play at Milwaukee on Dec. 13.
Despite shooting 27.7 percent from deep over the last two games, Wisconsin is still shooting 42.4 percent (81-for-191) from 3-point range on the season, which ranks 2nd in the Big Ten and 24th in the NCAA. UW's 10.1 treys per game is also tied for 4th in NCAA.
The Badgers have won 41 of their last 43 games at the Kohl Center.
Taylor also currently ranks 4th on UW's career ledger with 358 assists. He needs 14 more to move ahead of Michael Finley (371) for 3rd place.
Last season, Wisconsin set a new NCAA single-season record by turning the ball over just 7.59 times per game (258 turnovers in 34 games). That figure broke the previous NCAA record of 7.72 (247 turnovers in 32 games) set by Temple in 2006. This year, UW again leads the nation with only 8.6 turnovers per game.
Green Bay Notes:
Including Wisconsin and Marquette, Green Bay's first six road opponents are a combined 46-10 in 2011-12. The four road contests in November took place in four different states, with Green Bay accumulating over 5,100 miles traveled in a 13-day span. The two contests this week have the Phoenix playing two top-15 squads.
Brown was expected to lead the Phoenix offensively in 2011-12, but the 7-foot-1 center has also used his bigger frame to significantly increase his rebounding early this season. Brown has two double doubles and is averaging a team-high 13.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Among Horizon League leaders in points per game (6th), rebounds (3rd), blocks (3rd), offensive rebounds (2nd) and free throw percentage (8th).
Turning its entire starting frontline, the Phoenix gets 59.2 percent of its rebounding back from 2010-11.
After turning the ball over four times in the first seven minutes on Thursday night against UIC, Green Bay had just three miscues the rest of the night. The seven turnovers were a season low for the Phoenix.
So what do we have with the University of Wisconsin? We had a team that could be considered overrated at the beginning of the year with its ranking – considering the amount of talent UW needed to replace. We then had a team that lived up to that ranking with an impressive road performance at No.5 North Carolina and showed it should be favored in every game the rest of the season with the exceptional of the Ohio State matchups.
Now, we have a team that shot incredibly poorly, was out muscled on the boards and has fallen to 0-2 against ranked teams. So, who is Wisconsin?
If I had to take a crack at it, I'd say the Badgers are another 25-win Bo Ryan team that is going to play great defense all season. After all, UW leads the nation with 44.5 points per game and a .74 points per possession on the defensive end, a number that will likely plague Green Bay's Brown.
The problem is UW is a streaky shooting team once again and likely will beat themselves a couple times this season at inopportune times if they don't change. Remember the Butler game? The Badgers failed to get their inside game going, putting undue pressure on the perimeter game and resulting in missing a not-so-sweet 16 straight shots. They had more turnovers than assists and missed six free throws.
Wisconsin is averaging 1.14 points per possession but killed themselves twice last week by shooting less than 35 percent. If Wisconsin wants to win the Big Ten and be successful in March, it has to develop a consistent post game. There's no other way around it.
That starts tonight against the lanky Brown and Green Bay, which is allowing an average of 61 points per game. In this last four games, Taylor is averaging 16.0 ppg but has still protected his 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio (41 assists with only 12 turnovers overall). Get the ball into the post, develop some consistency in the paint and win by 15 points. You'll thank me later.
Worgull's Record: 7-1
Points off Prediction: 91 (11.4 per game)