Breakdown: No.5 Wisconsin vs. Iowa

After taking care of business against the Hawkeyes at home, No.5 Wisconsin looks for the season sweep over Iowa when they meet up at Carver-Hawkeye rena for the second time in 11 days. BadgerNation breaks down the matchup.

No.5 Wisconsin (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten) vs. Iowa (13-7, 4-3 Big Ten)

Date/Time -Saturday, January 31, 11 a.m. Central

Arena –Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,400)

Television -ESPN (Bob Wischusen and Dan Dakich)

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

Series – Wisconsin leads 81-79 (Iowa leads 50-27 in Iowa City)

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 82-50, on January 20, 2015 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

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

15 Sam Dekker (6-9 Junior Forward, 12.7 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (6-4 Senior Guard, 7.3 ppg)

24 Bronson Koenig (6-4 Sophomore Guard, 6.0 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (7-0 Senior Forward, 17.2 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 Zak Showalter (6-2 Sophomore Guard, 2.6 ppg)

13 Duje Dukan (6-10 Senior Forward, 6.2 ppg)

30 Vitto Brown (6-8 Sophomore Guard, 2.6 ppg)

Iowa Probable Starters

3 Peter Jok (6-6 Sophomore Guard, 6.2 ppg)

10 Mike Gesell (6-2 Junior Guard, 7.3 ppg)

20 Jarrod Uthoff (6-9 Junior Forward, 11.5 ppg)

30 Aaron White (6-9 Senior Forward, 15.1 ppg)

34 Adam Woodbury (7-1 Junior Center, 6.8 ppg)

Off the Bench

0 Gabe Olaseni (6-10 Senior Center, 8.5 ppg)

2 Josh Oglesby (6-5 Senior Guard, 3.8 ppg)

5 Anthony Clemmons (6-2 Junior Guard, 5.2 ppg)

Last Meeting

MADISON - Facing only its second ranked opponent of the season, Wisconsin put on a 40-minute clinic, putting four players in double figures, committing only one turnover in 52 possessions and holding Iowa to 28 percent shooting in the first half in a dominant 82-50 victory.

In a series where the last five meetings were decided by five points or less, the 32-point margin of victory was the Badgers biggest in a series that dates back to 1909.

“Josh said something to us … that we haven’t put together a complete 40 minutes yet this season, and he wanted us to continue that in the second half,” said junior Sam Dekker, who led all scorers with 17 points. “I think we were as close to a complete 40 minutes as we’ve been all year, and I think we’re pretty happy with how we played defensively in the second half.”

As a result there were a lot of positives for Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan to take away. UW survived Iowa’s pressure defense and half-court press by tying the school record for fewest turnovers, had 16 assists on 29 made buckets and used the 3-point shot early in the first half to start building a lead that eventually swelled to 34 points.

If he had to pick one thing, however, Ryan always reverts back to team defense.

“I thought we did a lot of good things helping one another defensively,” he said. “You don’t hold a team like that for that long without having guys really buying in and doing their job. I mean Iowa’s good on both ends of the floor. It was nice to see our guys listen to the instruction and make the opposition score in different ways.”

Concerned with the Hawkeyes’ length on the interior, it turned to be smoke and mirrors with the Badgers’ redwood lineup. Dekker, Nigel Hayes (16 points) and Frank Kaminsky (13) combined to score 26 of UW’s 32 points in the paint.

Kaminsky also secured 11 rebounds for his Big Ten-leading eighth double-double of the season, as UW won the rebounding battle 37-24 and secured 15 offensive rebounds.

Making its first appearance in the AP Top 25 this season, Iowa (13-6, 4-2 Big Ten) was a perfect 3-0 in true road games this season, including wins over a pair of ranked teams in No.12 North Carolina and No.18 Ohio State, but the Hawkeyes were rattled and dazed by a fundamentally sound Wisconsin squad.

Iowa scored four points on its first two possessions and 13 on its final 24 possessions, resulting in an ugly 28 percent from the floor, 2-for-4 from the free throw line and 1-for-7 (14.3 percent) from the 3-point line.

That 3-pointer was a shot just past half court by Jarrod Uthoff as the buzzer sounded, about the only thing that went right for the Hawkeyes in the first 20 minutes.

Iowa shot 61.9 percent in the second half but trailed by as many as 34 points and only had one player – Uthoff (12 points) – score in double figures as the Wisconsin machine kept operating at full capacity.

- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com

Last Time Out

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - No.6 Wisconsin had a sense of déjà vu. Thirteen days earlier Wisconsin blew a double-digit halftime lead in a loss at Rutgers. Saturday Wisconsin had an 11-point lead in the second half and a 54-50 lead with 32 seconds left, yet made mistakes down the stretch that forced them to play five more minutes.

Unlike its loss at Rutgers, however, Wisconsin had its full complement of players and more than enough confidence to finish a game on the road.

“It is definitely a little disappointing; I mean you have a chance to win the game and just like that you have to play another five minutes, but at the same time we were really confident going into the overtime period,” said Gasser, one of the five players with at least nine points in the Badgers’ 69-64 win over the Wolverines.

“We knew it was a five minute game basically, and we happened to make enough players to just come out with it in overtime.”

It helps when the Badgers have more than enough weapons at their disposal. As the extra period started, the Badgers (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten) jumped on the Wolverines (12-8, 5-3) quickly with a converted 3-point play by senior center Frank Kaminsky, who led all scorers with 22 points in the game. After a tough defensive stop, Gasser splashed a 3-pointer on the other end to give Wisconsin a six-point advantage at the 4:01 mark in overtime and never looked back.

“You never want to drop one on the road, especially when your confidence is high,” said Kaminsky, who scored eight of his points in overtime. “It is not something you want to do, and we were able to steal one on Michigan’s court.

“We had that confidence going into overtime. It was big to start fast and we really wanted to take it to them. We wanted to get something going because if we score, go up, then they are trying to fight to come back into it. We were able to get that, then get a stop and hit a three. It kind of broke the game open for us.”

- Brice Marich, BadgerNation.com

Series Notes

UW is 27-50 all-time at Iowa, including a 79-74 win in Iowa City last season. Bo Ryan is 18-7 all-time against the Hawkeyes.

In this season’s first meeting, UW posted an 82-50 win over No. 25 Iowa at the Kohl Center, its most lopsided win over Iowa in series history. UW shot 58.1 percent in the 2nd half and averaged a season-high 1.52 PPP. Sam Dekker led UW with 17 points while Nigel Hayes tallied 16. Frank Kaminsky (11 reb.) and Bronson Koenig each added 13 points. UW tied a school record with just 1 turnover, while dishing 16 assists and committing only nine fouls. The Badgers out-scored Iowa, 36-12, in the paint and out-rebounded the Hawkeyes, 37-24 (15 O-Reb).

Prior to this season’s 32-point win on Jan. 20, each of the previous seven UW vs. Iowa games had been decided by seven points or less with the average margin of victory being just 3.9 points. That includes a pair of overtime contests.

In the most recent trip to Iowa City, a 79-74 win, Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers with 21 points and 7 rebounds while Sam Dekker posted 15 points and 11 rebounds. Bronson Koenig poured in 12 points off the bench as did Josh Gasser.

Wisconsin Notes

At 18-2, UW is off to its third-best start in program history. The only seasons with a better start were a 19-1 mark in 1915-16 and 2006-07

Kaminsky is putting together a national player of the year type season and has elevated his game during conference play, averaging 18.7 ppg and 8.8 rpg while shooting 55.1 percent. Overall, he leads the B1G with eight double-doubles.

According to Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency rankings, the Badgers are the nation’s No. 1 offense, averaging 123.5 points per 100 possessions. During Big Ten play, UW leads the conference in scoring (73.6 ppg), FG percent (.497), 3FG percent (.387) and assist-to-turnover margin (2.0).

Wisconsin is 24-6 (.800) away from home over the last two seasons, owning the most road/neutral wins and 2nd-best win pct. away from home among major conference teams.

UW leads the nation in fewest fouls per game (13.1 avg.), fewest opponent FTAs per game (12.3) and fewest TOs per game (7.8 TOs avg.). The Badgers also rank 7th in NCAA in scoring D (55.1 ppg).

Iowa Notes

Uthoff ranks second in team scoring (11.5 ppg) and steals (1.0), and first in 3-point shooting (32-for-87, .368). He is the only Division 1 player to have 30+ 3-pointers, 25+ blocks and 20+ steals.

Iowa is tied with three schools for third in the country with six games against AP Top 25 teams.

Iowa is 10-1 this season when scoring at least 70 points and 11-0 when shooting a higher percentage than its opponents.

Iowa’s next home victory will be its 1,000th in program history. The Hawkeyes are 999-351 (.740) in home games dating back to 1902.

Prediction

Although only a sophomore, Nigel Hayes is getting a taste of the NBA life – both on the court and off the court.

Hayes and his Wisconsin teammates are playing the Hawkeyes for the second time in 11 days, the shortest span between games in the series since playing twice in nine days in 1979. He and his teammates have also been thrust into the drama off the court in the “coward controversy” between Adam Woodbury, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery and ESPN color analyst Dan Dakich, who ironically is on the call Saturday morning.

Hayes was inadvertently in the middle of the mess in Madison when Woodbury poked him in the eye in the first half, but joked he hasn’t paid attention to the distraction because “he’s a student-athlete and I had homework to do.”

He also said he was going to leave the protective goggles in the locker room.

“I just think it was two accidents in a row,” said Hayes, with a slight smile. “There’s nothing I can do but try to go out there and play. I don’t want to put on goggles. It’ll probably mess with other aspects and not look as cool. I’ll just try to stick with the norm.”

The normal for Wisconsin has been pretty good. To go along with its usual stingy defense and ball security, Wisconsin is averaging 1.20 points per possession – the highest in the Bo Ryan era – and have all five starters rank in the top 12 in the conference in offensive efficiency (Gasser 1, Hayes 3, Koenig 4, Kaminsky 9, Dekker 12).

Already on a two game losing streak, Iowa will have to try to wipe the egg off its face from its 32-point loss 11 days ago without its leading scorer at 100 percent. After suffering what team officials called a stringer last weekend at Purdue, senior forward Aaron White has not returned to practice and remains questionable.

McCaffery said White – who said he intends to play - is having no trouble running but that the other basketball-related activities are problematic for him. White leads Iowa in scoring (15.1 ppg), rebounds (6.6) and steals (1.5).

To further compound the injuries, Olaseni is wearing a walking boot after suffering a left ankle injury against the Boilermakers. He also said he’ll be ready for Saturday, but it’s unclear how good his tandem with Woodbury will be (the duo combine to average a double-double).

Wisconsin limited the duo to seven points and five rebounds last week.

“White is a great slasher,” said Hayes. “Coach always preaches he shoots the more free throws per game in the league. He gets to the rim well, he rebounds extremely well and if he’s not there in there it may hurt them a little, but I still think they are able to play well enough.”

Against Purdue, White only played seven minutes but the Hawkeyes registered 24 offensive rebounds, leading to 18 second-chance points. Against Wisconsin. Iowa only had six offensive rebounds and nine second-chance points.

Expecting to get Iowa’s best and “a little extra” because the Hawkeyes are finally playing a home game after two weeks, Wisconsin knows that its usual supreme focus will be a necessity.

“We’re always looking forward to a challenge,” said Hayes. “This is another opportunity for us to play a game, so we’re excited about it.”

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan still looks at Iowa and sees a better team than the one UW swept last season and beat by 32 points last week. Iowa has depth to rotate in fresh bodies, experience and the ability to push transition opportunity off a make or a miss. Up until last week’s UW game, Iowa was playing extremely solid with the exception of the second half against Michigan State.

The Hawkeyes will certainly play better at home in front of a sold out crowd, but I can’t realistically pick a team the Badgers just pasted last week, especially when they won’t be at full strength. If UW sticks to the same game plan we saw last week, Badgers win this by 10.

Worgull's Record: 18-2

Points off Prediction: 174 (8.7 per game)


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