Breakdown: No.2 Wisconsin vs. Marquette

Walking away frustrated from Wednesday's loss to No.4 Duke, sophomore forward Nigel Hayes and No.2 Wisconsin look to rebound against its fiercest in-state foe Saturday, taking on Marquette in Milwaukee. BadgerNation breaks down the matchup.

No.2 Wisconsin (7-1, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Marquette (4-3, 0-0 Big East)

Date/Time -Saturday, December 6, 11:30 a.m. Central

Arena –BMO Harris Bradley Center (18,600)

Television -CBS (Marv Albert and Gregg Anthony)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Phil Dawson and Andy North)

Series – Wisconsin tied 65-55 (Marquette leads 39-27 in Milwaukee)

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 70-64, on December 7, 2013 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

10 Nigel Hayes (6-8 Sophomore Forward, 12.4 ppg)

12 Traevon Jackson (6-3 Senior Guard, 10.5 ppg)

15 Sam Dekker (6-9 Junior Forward, 11.8 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (6-4 Senior Guard, 6.0 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (7-0 Senior Forward, 16.6 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 Zak Showalter (6-2 Sophomore Guard, 2.7 ppg)

13 Duje Dukan (6-10 Senior Forward, 7.8 ppg)

24 Bronson Koenig (6-4 Sophomore Guard, 4.3 ppg)

30 Vitto Brown (6-8 Sophomore Guard, 3.3 ppg)

Marquette Probable Starters

1 Duane Wilson (6-2 Freshman Guard 14.0 ppg)

10 Juan Anderson (6-6 Senior Forward, 12.9 ppg)

13 Matt Carlino (6-2 Senior Guard, 13.1 ppg)

23 Jajuan Johnson (6-5 Sophomore Guard, 6.6 ppg)

25 Steve Taylor (6-7 Junior Forward, 7.6 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Sandy Cohen (6-6 Freshman Forward, 4.0 ppg)

12 Derrick Wilson (6-1 Senior Guard, 6.4 ppg)

30 Deonte Burton (6-4 Sophomore Guard, 6.9 ppg)

Last Time Out

MADISON - The shots just kept falling; drives to the lane, pull-up jumpers, post moves and 3-pointers. The University of Wisconsin had to think Duke would cool off eventually, but the offense averaging over 90 points per game with the ability to create confounded a veteran group of defenders.

Too much athleticism and too many makes ended Wisconsin’s undefeated season, and its number-two ranking for the time being, after fourth-ranked Duke registered an 80-70 victory in front of a deafening 17,279 in the Kohl Center, most of whom walked away muted.

The Big Ten had already won/retained the Commissioner’s Cup for the sixth consecutive season with an 8-6 decision, but that was of little consolation for the home team after letting the visiting Blue Devils (8-0) shoot 65.2 percent from the floor and 58.3 percent from 3-point range.

“They hit some tough shots, but they have good enough players that can do that at times,” said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, whose team had been limiting opponents to 28.8 percent from the perimeter and 37.1 percent overall. “To have as many do it on the same night, that’s just not fair. I don’t care what anybody says. They were lights out.”

The Frank Kaminsky vs. Jahlil Okafor billing was good but didn’t live up the hype. Okafor battled foul trouble and finished with 13 points while Kaminsky finished with 17, hot early before eventually grinding along after the Blue Devils starting switching their defense on him.

With the marquee empty, freshman Tyus Jones felt it was a good time to make his statement that the Blue Devils have more than one super freshman. Jones scored 14 of his 22 in the second half and went 4-for-6 on his second-half shots, helping the Blue Devils shoot 72.2 percent after the break.

Duke’s shooting percentage was the highest for a UW opponent since Ohio State shot 68.1 percent in Columbus on March 6, 2011.

“Our offensive efficiency was like incredible,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Our kids were ready, they never backed down and they showed great composure. I’m really proud of my team because I think we beat one of the two or three best teams in the country.”

Senior Traevon Jackson did his best to keep up for Wisconsin (7-1), finishing with a career-high 25 points and hitting some 3-pointers late for the Badgers to have a pulse. Only problem was that Kaminsky and Jackson didn’t get much assistance from the peanut gallery.

Junior Sam Dekker scored five points on 2-for-5 shooting, attempting no shots in the final 16 minutes. After missing practice time this week and struggling, Ryan said others earned more playing time.

Nigel Hayes – thrown out of rhythm by foul trouble – finished with a season-low four points on 1-for-5 shooting. Wisconsin’s bench only chipped in with 12 points, too, and the Badgers could only turn 10 offensive rebounds into 12 points.

Duke only had three offensive rebounds mainly because the Blue Devils only missed 16 shots, including just six in the second half.

That’s not to say Wisconsin didn’t have ample opportunities to try and build a lead at points in the second half. Trailing 42-40 in the early minutes of the first half, the Badgers missed four straight layups at one point before Hayes registered his only bucket of the game – an old-fashioned 3-point play to put UW up 43-42.

That’s when Duke started countering. A 3-point shot by Rasheed Sulaimon (14 points) keyed a 6-0 run to push the lead to 48-43. After Wisconsin chipped the lead back down to two, Justise Winslow’s 3-pointer started a 7-0 run for the Blue Devils, getting them their largest lead to that point at 58-49. Over the next nine minutes couldn’t chip the lead any closer than three, as Jackson and Kaminsky combined for 18 of UW’s final 21 points from that point on.

-Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com

Last Meeting

An assertive and aggressive Dekker scored a game-high 20 points to lead No.8 Wisconsin to a 70-64 win over in-state rival Marquette Saturday at the Kohl Center.

Dekker also secured 10 rebounds for his second career double-double in the last three games and was the leader of the five players who scored in double figures for Wisconsin (10-0), which moved within one game of tying the best start in school history and broke a two-game losing streak to its I-94 rivals.

Dekker was one of many players frustrated with last year’s performance against the Golden Eagles, a 60-50 loss in Milwaukee. Dekker was making his first career start in place of injured senior Mike Bruesewitz, and finished a frustrating 2-for-10 with three turnovers in 36 minutes.

Dekker appeared to be on pace for another quiet scoring game with two points in the first 10:19 of the game, but scored 18 points (6-for-9) in the final 29:40 of game.

“He can stretch defenses and attack the rim,” said UW coach Bo Ryan of Dekker. “He’s a big who can do multiple tasks and defensively he’s trying to get better.”

The disappointment wasn’t limited to Dekker. In his last two meetings against Marquette, senior Ben Brust was 6-for-24 overall and 3-for-13 from 3-point range, including 2-for-9 last year.

Brust finished with 13, doing most of his damage on a 16-6 run in the second half. His 3-pointer forced a Marquette timeout after the lead was pushed to seven and his 5-0 run at the end of the run put Wisconsin up 44-33, the largest of the game.

Even when it didn’t go as planned it worked out. Following a steal and on a 2-on-1, Brust’s dunk attempt was rejected by the front iron, but Jackson secured the offensive rebound, got the ball to Dekker, who lobbed into the Frank Kaminsky for a dunk and a foul.

It was an example of how Wisconsin was about to out hustle Marquette for 50-50 loose balls and grab 13 offensive rebounds, two things that were missing in 2012 in the rivalry.

Wisconsin’s other three starters entered double figures and contributed plenty to the cause. Jackson, who also put a lot of heat on himself following last year’s loss, finished with 12 points, five rebounds, 6-for-7 from the line and a 7-to-0 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Kaminsky added 11 points, all in the second half, and hit a big 3-pointer from the top of the key after Marquette had trimmed the lead to three with 1:33 remaining. The Golden Eagles never got closer than four the rest of the way.

-Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com

Series Notes

UW and MU have played every year but one since the 1958-59 season (did not play in 1984-85), making Marquette the Badgers’ most played non-conference rival.

Bo Ryan owns a 7-6 record against Marquette. The Badgers have won two of their last four trips to Milwaukee.

Under Bo Ryan, the Badgers have a 31-6 (.838) record in the in-state round-robin with Marquette, Milwaukee and Green Bay, including an 84-60 win over Green Bay on Nov. 19.Ryan’s teams have never finished worse than 2-1 in the state series.

Including this season, at least one of the two teams has been ranked in 12 of the last 15 meetings.

The Badgers are 5-5 at the Bradley Center under Bo Ryan, going 2-4 vs. Marquette and 3-1 in NCAA tournament games (went 1-1 in 2004 NCAA tournament and 2-0 last year).

Wisconsin Notes

Wisconsin has now opened the season 7-1 or better for the 5th time under Bo Ryan. The Badgers are out-scoring foes by an average of 19.8 ppg.

UW is shooting 49.3 percent on the year while ranking 5th in the nation with just 9.1 turnovers per game. Overall, the Badgers rank 22nd in the nation at 1.17 points per possession.

Wisconsin is 19-5 (.792) away from home since the beginning of last season, going 11-2 at neutral sites and 8-3 in road venues. UW’s mark of .792 is the Big Ten’s best win percentage away from home.

With an all-time record of 1,499-1,156 (.565), Wisconsin needs one more win to record the program’s 1,500th win all time. The Badgers will become the 7th program in Big Ten history to reach 1,500 wins.

The Badgers have held six of their first eight opponents to 60 points or less this season, something they did 13 times in 2013-14.

Marquette Notes

The Golden Eagles are 112-174 all-time against programs ranked in the Associated Press Top-25 at the time of the respective matchup, including a pair of setbacks to Big Ten opponents Ohio State (Nov. 18) and Michigan State (Nov. 28) this season. The program is 2-11 all-time in outings against the No. 2 team in the country. MU downed No. 2 Kentucky in the 1955 NCAA tournament and defeated second-ranked UConn on Jan. 3, 2006 at home in the program’s first-ever BIG EAST Conference game.

Senior guard Matt Carlino and freshman guard Duane Wilson each collected 30-point efforts over a three-game span at the Orlando Classic. Carlino netted a tournament record 38 points in the win over Georgia Tech (Nov. 27) and Wilson chipped in 30 points in the Nov. 30 victory against Tennessee. Marquette finished third in the tournament.

The Golden Eagles are without each of their top four scorers from a season ago and three of the squad’s top four contributors on the boards. The roster changeover results in the loss of 71.9 percent of the team’s scoring and 58.6 percent of its rebounding.

For his career (107 appearances), Wilson owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.83, which translates into just one miscue every 23.3 minutes on the court.

Anderson is currently third on the roster in scoring (12.9 ppg.) after contributing just 3.2 points per game as a junior. He has also nearly doubled his rebounding contribution and is shooting better from the field overall and from behind the 3-point line.

Prediction

It was the biggest home game in years, a game that had been hyped since it was announced in the spring: No.2 Wisconsin vs. No.4 Duke. Throngs of national media were in the building, the student section was lined up outside for hours waiting to get in and the atmosphere in the building was athletic.

It was an environment where one wondered if players would get too hyped. Hayes was the exact opposite, trying to stay calm and block out the environment, and he admitted the next day that it hurt him.

“You can go through any game I’ve ever played in my life, the games I don’t come out and be aggressive I look like crap,” said Hayes. “That’s what this game was. I was out there not trying to let Duke’s pressure get to me and trying to slow down and work things. I wasn’t playing tentative, but I wasn’t playing aggressive. Being in that middle ground doesn’t do me any good. That’s where I picked up the fouls, not really being into it.”

Hayes has shown to be one of the most improved players in the Big Ten, scoring in double figures in five of eight games this season, including a career-high 25 points vs. Green Bay (Nov. 14) and two double-doubles.

He’s been more aggressive in the post and more productive from 3-point range, which was why it was odd to see Hayes passive, tentative and appearing to be out of his element in Wisconsin’s 80-70 loss to Duke.

He finished with a season-low four points on only five shots. He only grabbed two rebounds and racked up four fouls, being limited 23 minutes because of it.

“In foul trouble, you’ve got to play hesitant on defense and fear the charge going to the rim on offense,” said Hayes. “Nothing good comes from that. I came out and was almost trying to be too cool for school. I have to learn from what I did and change that Saturday.”

Less than 24 hours later, Hayes admitted Wisconsin was hesitant on offense in the first half, playing right into the hands of what Duke was trying to do with switches and different pressures.

“Once we realized all we had to do is back cut, take our time and get it down low in the second half,” said Hayes. “When we started to do that, Trae started driving and Frank got inside. Good things were happening for us. We were getting layups. We were able to get back in the game.”

Problem was Hayes never did get back in the game, putting onus on his shoulders that he couldn’t help Wisconsin defensively after some bad transition plays led to easy buckets or uncontested 3-pointers.

“That’s why we play the game, so we can learn from it and try to get better,” said Hayes.

It wasn’t all gloom and doom coming out of Thursday morning’s film session, at least not for Hayes. The way he looked at it, the Badgers lost by 10 points to a top-5 team that shot over 65 percent with only two UW starters carrying the weight of the offense.

“Sam and I virtually didn’t show up to play, and we know that and hold ourselves accountable,” said Hayes. “To know we were in the game like that without us being there is actually a sign that if Sam and I show up the game could be in our favor.”

From one of the biggest games of the year, Wisconsin transitions into one of the most important games of the year for fans. Marquette is under new leadership and has a young roster, but Steve Wojciechowski – a former Duke assistant – has the group playing tough.

The Golden Eagles might even throw a little zone into the mix, which Marquette did during its tournament in Orlando. The results were opponents shooting just 32.8 percent from behind the 3-point line and Marquette forcing an average of 15.7 turnovers per contest.

It’s a perfect opponent for UW to key in on and regroup against, especially since there will be carry over from the Duke game on some scale.

“We’re a very veteran group and for us not to respond would be very disappointing,” said Hayes. “Being one of the better teams in the country, we feel we shouldn’t have too bad games in a row like that. We shouldn’t have one to begin with, but that’s over with now. We don’t want that one to carry over into our next game.”

When one team is clearly better than the other, I pick them every single time. Wisconsin is clearly the better team. While playing in a true road game should challenge the Badgers in new ways, the Badgers rebound with a seven-point win in a tough environment.

Worgull's Record: 7-1

Points off Prediction: 62 (7.8 per game)


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