Preview: Green Bay at Wisconsin

After stubbing its toe in the first of three games against in-state foes, Wisconsin looks to rebound before a 10-day break when the Badgers take on Green Bay tonight at the Kohl Center.

Green Bay (3-5, 0-0 Horizon) at Wisconsin (6-4, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date/Time -Wednesday, December 12, 8 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,249)

Television - Big Ten Network (Kevin Kugler and Mike Kelley)

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

Series – Wisconsin Leads 17-1 (Wisconsin leads 15-0 in Madison)

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 70-42, on December 7, 2011 in Madison.

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Ben Brust (6-1 Junior Guard, 13.1 ppg)

5 Ryan Evans (6-6 Senior Forward, 10.3 ppg)

12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Sophomore Guard, 4.4 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6 Senior Forward, 6.2 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (6-10 Senior Forward, 14.3 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 George Marshall (5-11 Freshman Guard, 5.6 ppg)

15 Sam Dekker (6-7 Freshman Forward, 10.0 ppg)

32 Zak Showalter (6-2 Freshman Guard, 2.9 ppg)

34 Zach Bohannon (6-8 Junior Forward, 1.3 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (6-11 Sophomore Forward, 4.4 ppg)

Green Bay Probable Starters

1 Sultan Muhammad (6-1 Junior Guard, 5.9 ppg)

4 Jordan Fouse (6-7 Freshman Forward, 5.0 ppg)

21 Alec Brown (7-1 Junior Forward, 11.3 ppg)

24 Keifer Sykes (5-11 Sophomore Guard, 16.0 ppg)

44 Brennan Cougill (6-9 Senior Center, 12.8 ppg)

Off the Bench

12 Carrington Love (6-1 Freshman Guard, 3.4 ppg)

13 Kam Cerroni (6-2 Junior Guard, 7.1 ppg)

15 Greg Mays (6-9 Sophomore Forward, 4.8 ppg)

Last Time Out

MILWAUKEE ( - Marquette guards Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue pummeled their UW counterparts, scoring a combined 35 points as Marquette held off a late charge to make it two straight over its rivals to the west, a wire-to-wire 60-50 victory, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Also playing without senior forward Mike Bruesewitz (concussion), Wisconsin (6-4) fell to 1-4 against 2012 tournament teams, and have lost its most game prior to conference play since UW coach Bo Ryan's first year in 2001.

"Definitely discouraged," said Berggren, who finished tied a team-high with 9 points. "Basically every big test we've had, we've come up short."

For two players in Wisconsin's starting lineup and two of the first three players off the bench, it was the first time on the court in the longest nonconference rivalry for Wisconsin basketball. It showed in an ugly first 20 minutes.

Wisconsin's youth at guard was exposed by Marquette's speed, transition offense and by Blue, who switched his commitment in October 2009 to Marquette from Wisconsin so he could play a more up-tempo style.

Debuting the pace of play he coveted and one that the Badgers failed to keep it, Blue was active driving to the basket, swift on his pull-up jumpers and deadly on his perimeter shooting, especially swishing his two three-point heaves just before the shot clock expired.

Marquette scored 13 fast-break points off 10 Wisconsin turnovers in the first half. The fast-break points got so bad that Wisconsin allowed junior Davante Gardner – all 290 pound of him – to grab the defensive rebound and rumble 50 feet down the floor for a layup on the other end, forcing Ryan to burn a timeout to cease momentum on an 11-2 run that led to a 34-20 halftime lead.

The one-time Wisconsin commit scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half, and kept his defensive intensity high throughout the game while not committing a turnover.

On the flip side, guards Ben Brust (3-for-13, two turnovers), Traevon Jackson (1-for-6, four turnovers) and Zak Showalter (two turnovers) struggled to slow the tempo to Wisconsin's liking and prevent outlet opportunities.

In the first half, Marquette outscored Wisconsin 22-8 in the paint, 10-7 off turnovers, 5-0 off second-chance points and 12-4 off bench points, but the killer was the fast-break points that were caused by the turnovers and long rebounds off eight missed three-point attempts.

"That was about as bad as we can play really," said Berggren.

When Blue slowed down offensively, Cadougan heated up. Scoring 14 of his points in the second half, the senior delivered a knockout blow when he converted a three-point play as the shot clock expired. After Wisconsin spent the majority of the second half whittling down the lead, Cadougan's basket put Marquette up 53-44 with 2:34 remaining.

Last Meeting

After shooting less than 40 percent for five straight halves, including the first half against Green Bay, No.14 Wisconsin turned up the offense with a 57.7 shooting performance after halftime and kept the screws locked down defensively to get back on the winning track with a 70-42 over the Phoenix in front of 17,076 at the Kohl Center, a number that ended a streak of 143 straight home sellouts.

Wisconsin (7-2) shot 36.4 percent in the first half and shot 3-for-17 (17.6 percent) from 3-point range the entire game, but built a 12-point edge by getting 14 points from a bench that barely got a chance to sit down. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan made four substitutions in the first 4:26, including hooking Ryan Evans just 37 seconds into the game.

The unit certainly picked up some slack by holding Green Bay (4-5) to 29.6 percent shooting, including eight straight misses during a 19-6 run to open a 31-17 lead.

When Evans started the second half, consider him a man determined. Along with Berggren, the duo went on an 8-0 run to open a 41-21 lead than the Phoenix chipped fewer than 20 only twice the rest of the game.

Although getting outrebounded for the third straight game (Green Bay held a 37-36 edge on the glass), Evans and Berggren filled the stat sheet. Evans scores 14 points – going 5-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the free throw line – and had six rebounds while Berggren scored 13 points, had a career-high four steals and tied a career high with three blocks.

He was also part of the committee that held Phoenix leading scorer Alec Brown to 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, one year after he scored 18 in the Kohl Center.

Taylor led all scorers with 15 points and finished with a career-high 10 assists, his second-career double-double, and no turnovers, increasing his season assist-to-turnover ratio to 51-to-12.

Series Notes:

Wisconsin and Green Bay have played every year since 1999 and tonight's contest will mark the 19th meeting all-time.

UW head coach Bo Ryan is 10-1 against Green Bay as the head coach of the Badgers and 13-3 overall (including a 3-2 mark while serving as the head coach at Milwaukee). Ryan's teams are 9-0 against the Phoenix at the Kohl Center, winning by an average of 17.3 points per game.

In the Ryan era, Green Bay has never scored more than 62 points at the Kohl Center. In nine games in Madison, the Phoenix are averaging 55.6 points per game, while Wisconsin has averaged 72.3.

Under Ryan, the Badgers have a 27-6 (.818) record in the in-state round-robin with Marquette, Milwaukee and Green Bay.

UW is 64-9 all-time vs. teams in the Horizon League. UW will also play at Milwaukee on Dec. 22.

Wisconsin Notes

In the Bo Ryan era (since 2001-02), Wisconsin owns the 4th-highest home winning percentage in the nation. UW owns a record of 171- 16 (.914) at the Kohl Center, including a mark of 87-7 against non-con foes.

This season UW is allowing 57.4 points per game which ranks 3rd in the Big Ten and 25th nationally. UW has led the Big Ten in scoring defense in 7 of the past 10 seasons and finished among the nation's top 10 in scoring D in 8 of the past 10 years.

Wisconsin ranks 3rd in the Big Ten averaging 14.3 offensive rebounds per game and has recorded double-digit offensive boards in 9 of its 10 games.

Wisconsin is forcing opponents into 14.7 turnovers per game this season, the highest average of the Bo Ryan era. The Badgers' 2006-07 team is only other squad to average over 14 opponent turnovers per game.

UW ranks second in the Big Ten and 7th in the nation, turning the ball over 10.0 times per game. Only Ohio State (9.3) is coughing it up less frequently in the Big Ten.

Green Bay Notes:

Wednesday night's game is the last non-conference road game until a Brack¬etBuster contest in February and ends a stretch of seven of nine games away from home to start the season. The Phoenix has played road games in five different states and traveled over 4,000 miles during a 35-day stretch with just one home game.

The charity stripe has been kind to the Phoenix this season as Green Bay ranks second in the Horizon League and 29th nationally in free throw percentage (.759). The Phoenix has connected on 34 more made free throws than its opponents and has three of the top six free-throw shooters in the Horizon League.

Green Bay has hit the offensive glass extremely hard this season, grab¬bing 23 more offensive rebounds than its opponents. Led by Fouse's 20, Green Bay has four different players with 10 or more offensive rebounds.


To say this nonconference season has been a disappointment would be a vast underscore. The Badgers have badly stubbed their foot against nearly elite opponent on their schedule: getting out hustled, out toughed and out played for long stretches. As a result, like the first halves against Florida and Marquette and second half against Creighton, the hole is too big to dig out of.

One of the most surprising things in the first half Saturday was the lack of presence by Berggren. An honorable mention All-Big Ten selection a year ago, Berggren, who leads the Badgers with 14.3 points per game and is also 9th in the conference with 6.7 rebounds per game, attempted only one shot in the first half against the Golden Eagles.

Berggren is shooting 57.1 percent on the year and has been excellent at the free throw line, connecting on 28 of 34 attempts (.824). Against Marquette, Berggren finished 3-for-7 from the floor and only 1-for-2 from the line. Going forward, Berggren has to be a better impact player, especially when it comes to driving in the post and drawing fouls.

Berggren will need to assert his dominance tonight against Brown, the lone 7-footer on the Phoenix. Brown was one of only two players to average at least 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks per game last season. The other? Kentucky's Anthony Davis, who was selected first overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. Brown is a Preseason All-Horizon League First-Team selection heading into 2012-13.

Wisconsin has held four opponents below the 50-point threshold this season. Last season Wisconsin held 13 teams under 50 points. Under Bo Ryan, the Badgers are 77-2 all-time when holding teams below 50 points. UW is 179-18 (.909) under Ryan when holding teams below 60 points.

The Badgers should have no problem over these final three games before conference play. If they do, you have full right to hit the panic button. Wisconsin by 29 tonight.

Worgull's Record: 6-4

Points off Prediction: 126 (12.6 per game)

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