Breakdown: Indiana vs. No.5 Wisconsin

Looking for its fifth straight victory, No.5 Wisconsin returns home for the first time in two weeks to host second-place Indiana tonight. BadgerNation breaks down the matchup.

Indiana (16-6, 6-3 Big Ten) vs. No.5 Wisconsin (19-2, 7-1 Big Ten)

Date/Time -Tuesday, February 3, 6 p.m. Central

Arena –Kohl Center (17,279)

Television -ESPN (Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich and Allison Williams)

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

Series – Indiana leads 94-68 (Indiana leads 40-39 in Madison)

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 69-58, on February 25, 2014 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

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

15 Sam Dekker (6-9 Junior Forward, 12.6 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (6-4 Senior Guard, 7.4 ppg)

24 Bronson Koenig (6-4 Sophomore Guard, 6.1 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (7-0 Senior Forward, 17.6 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 Zak Showalter (6-2 Sophomore Guard, 2.5 ppg)

13 Duje Dukan (6-10 Senior Forward, 5.9 ppg)

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

Indiana Probable Starters

1 James Blackmon Jr. (6-4 Freshman Guard, 16.5 ppg)

2 Nick Ziesloft (6-4 Junior Guard, 5.9 ppg)

5 Troy Williams (6-7 Freshman Forward, 13.0 ppg)

11 Yogi Ferrell (6-0 Junior Guard, 16.1 ppg)

30 Collin Hartman (6-7 Sophomore Forward, 5.0 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 Max Hoetzel (6-8 Freshman Forward, 3.2 ppg)

4 Robert Johnson (6-3 Freshman Guard, 9.1 ppg)

22 Stanford Robinson (6-4 Junior Guard, 3.7 ppg)

Last Meeting

MADISON - How can one team shot 25.9 percent and score 19 points in the first half and following that up with 50 points on 61.9 percent in the final 20 minutes? In a word: confidence.

No.14 Wisconsin had to be a close-knit bunch to put forth the kind of performance it did Tuesday night, flipping a 10-point halftime deficit into a 15-point lead in the final four minutes, a 25-point swing that raised the volume at the Kohl Center to blistering levels in the second half of the Badgers’ 69-58 victory over Indiana.

After having its leading scorer score five points at halftime, Wisconsin put five players in double figures for the eighth time this season and hung 50 on the Hoosiers in the final 20 minutes, averaging 1.72 points per possession.

Ryan chided the bracket talking heads about writing the Badgers into the Milwaukee pod with a sharpie following its impressive victories last week, saying all his team was worried about was Indiana. He wasn’t kidding, as the Hoosiers (15-12, 5-9) jumped out to a 29-19 halftime lead after UW missed 20 of its 27 first half shots, including going 1-for-10 from 3-point range.

It was UW’s largest deficit since Jan.29 in its loss to Northwestern and a stark turnaround after building double-digit leads that acted as cushions in last week’s road victories at Michigan and Iowa.

It took less than six minutes to erase the problem. After trying to drive the ball from the top of the key in the first half, Josh Gasser (11 points) and Traevon Jackson (14) both attacked the lane from the wings, resulting in easy layups on UW’s first two second-half possessions.

The Badgers stayed aggressive, as Dekker converted two free throws after crashing the glass for an offensive rebound and Gasser drove the lane before kicking to Dekker for a wide-open 3-pointer, forcing an Indiana timeout to try and stop a 9-2 run.

After missing 16 of 17 3-pointers over a three- game stretch, Brust hit three in a three-minute stretch that put UW ahead for good.

- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com

Last Time Out

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Senior center Frank Kaminsky continued his march to Big Ten Player of the Year was a scintillating 24 points and nine rebounds and got plenty of help from his fellow starters in No.5 Wisconsin’s 74-63 victory over Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday.

Wisconsin (19-2, 7-1 Big Ten) put four players in double figures and completing the season sweep of Iowa (13-8, 4-4) for the second straight season. Hayes scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting, Sam Dekker scored 9 of his 11 in the first half and Josh Gasser added 11, who improved to 25-6 (.806) away from home the last two seasons.

“We’ve had that mentality the last couple years, the road-dog, road-warrior mentality,” said Gasser. “It’s us against everyone else in the building. That’s really when you show who you are as a team.”

It wasn’t quite as emphatic as Wisconsin’s 32-point blowout at the Kohl Center 11 days earlier, but the Badgers’ willingness to throw their weight around in the second half certainly spoke volumes.

After the Hawkeyes shot 64 percent and scored 22 of their 36 first-half points in the paint, Wisconsin shut down the interior, resulting in Iowa going 1-for-10 from the field over a 12 minute span and only scratching out 10 points in the paint.

Even more efficient was the Badgers allowing just seven second-chance points off seven offensive rebounds, switching screens and playing more aggressive to take Iowa out of its first-half rhythm.

Aaron White led Iowa with 15 points, who for the second straight game in the series shot themselves out of the win column. After shooting 28 percent in the first half in Madison, Iowa –which shot 64 percent in the first half - finished at 30.4 percent in the second half.

It wasn’t just the defense that made the difference either, as the early minutes of the second half began to follow a recent road script: a double-digit lead that started to be whittled away over time. The first instance cost Wisconsin its only conference loss at Rutgers. Last Saturday meant the Badgers had to play five more minutes before surviving against depleted Michigan.

So when Wisconsin’s 47-36 lead in the opening second-half minutes was cut to five, a stretch that saw the Badgers go 1-for-8 from the field with a turnover thrown in, there was a reason to be leery of the outcome. The Badgers weren’t, not in the least.

The Badgers drew fouls to get to the free throw line, grinded out possessions and threw a bit of flair in for good measure. Whether it was Hayes’ one-handed slam off an offensive rebound or Gasser’s killer 3-pointer with two seconds left on the shock clock, Wisconsin regained its 11-point lead and then some.

- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com

Series Notes

Indiana is the only Big Ten team to own a winning record in Madison, but Wisconsin has defeated Indiana 12 straight times at the Kohl Center. The Hoosiers have not won in Madison since 1998, prior to Bo Ryan’s arrival.

Bo Ryan is 19-4 (.826) all-time vs. the Hoosiers. Prior to Ryan, Wisconsin was 49-90 (.353) all-time vs. Indiana. Ryan also boasts a 15-4 all-time record vs. Tom Crean, with seven of those decisions (and three of the four losses) coming while Crean was at Marquette.

Ryan’s .826 winning percentage against Indiana is the second-best mark all-time among Big Ten coaches.

Sam Dekker has scored in double figures in each of his 4 meetings with Indiana, averaging 11.8 ppg vs. the Hoosiers.

Wisconsin Notes

Kaminsky is putting together a national player of the year type season and has elevated his game during conference play, averaging 19.4 ppg and 8.9 rpg while shooting 54.2 percent. Overall, he leads the B1G with 8 double-doubles.

With a start tonight, Josh Gasser will tie Alando Tucker (126) for the most in UW history.

According to Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency rankings, the Badgers are the nation’s No. 1 offense, averaging 124.8 points per 100 possessions. During Big Ten play, UW leads the conference in scoring (73.6 ppg), FG percentage (.490), 3FG percentage (.385) and assist-to-turnover margin (1.9).

Wisconsin is 205-22 (.903) at the Kohl Center under Bo Ryan, owning the nation’s fourth-highest home win percentage in that span (since 2001-02). Ryan’s teams are 101-14 (.878) all-time vs. the Big Ten at home.

On the season, Koenig has 44 assists to just 10 turnovers. His 4.40 assist-to-turnover ratio is 2nd in the nation among the NCAA Div. 1 players with at least 30 assists

Indiana Notes

As far as taking care of the basketball, Indiana is the most improved team in the country from a year ago, at -3.4 per game. Last year, Indiana turned the ball over 15.1 times per game compared to this year at 11.7.

In the last 5 minutes against Rutgers, IU held the Scarlet Knights to 30 percent (3 of 10) from the field and did not allow a three-point field goal (0- 6). The Hoosiers also made 10-of-10 free throws with five different players going to the charity stripe.

Blackmon, Jr., notched his 8th 20-point plus effort against Rutgers and is 3rd among all freshmen nationally with 363 points scored and 5th in three-point field goals made with 51. He also is 4th in total field goals made for freshmen with 123 and 8th in free throw percentage at 84.6.

Indiana is 6-1 since beating Butler 82-73 on December 20 in games decided by single digits. Last year during the same time frame, IU was 2-5 in games decided by single digits.

IU has five wins when not favored including Butler, Nebraska, Ohio State, Illinois and Maryland. UW is favored by 15.5 points.

Prediction

Short and sweet tonight on national signing day eve

Wisconsin is on a role, Bo Ryan has had tremendous successful against the Hoosiers and Indiana hasn’t played well on the road in Big Ten play (see Michigan State, Purdue and the second half at Ohio State.

If Gasser can contain Ferrell and Wisconsin simply continues pounding the ball to its three big post presences against Indiana’s small lineup, the Badgers should win this game by 14.

Worgull's Record: 19-2

Points off Prediction: 175 (8.3 per game)


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