Wisconsin briefly returns home to host Prairie View before hitting the road for tough road trip

Coming off an important win in New York Sunday, Wisconsin makes a quick return home to host winless Prairie View A&M at the Kohl Center tonight to wrap up its four games associated with the 2K Classic. BadgerNation takes a closer look at the matchup.

Prairie View A&M (0-4, 0-0 SWAC) vs. Wisconsin (3-2, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date/Time – Wednesday, November 25, 7 p.m. central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,287)

Television – Big Ten Network (Jeff Levering and John Crispin)

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

Series – Wisconsin leads 2-0 (Wisconsin leads 2-0 in Madison)

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 80-43, on December 28, 2013, in Madison

WISCONSIN PROBABLE STARTERS

3 Zak Showalter (6-2 Junior Guard, 8.6 ppg)

10 Nigel Hayes (6-8 Junior Forward, 14.8 ppg)

22 Ethan Happ (6-9 Freshman Forward, 10.6 ppg)

24 Bronson Koenig (6-4 Junior Guard, 17.6 ppg)

30 Vitto Brown (6-8 Junior Forward, 10.8 ppg)

OFF THE BENCH

15 Charlie Thomas (6-8 Freshman Forward, 2.8 ppg)

21 Khalil Iverson (6-5 Freshman Forward, 4.4 ppg)

24 Alex Illikainen (6-9 Freshman Forward, 4.2 ppg)

PLAYER TO WATCH

With back-to-back double-doubles in the 2K Classic over the weekend, Happ became the first UW freshman to post consecutive double-doubles since Mike Wilkinson in the 2001-02 season.

PRAIRIE VIEW PROBABLE STARTERS

1 Jayrn Johnson (6-3 Junior Guard, 10.3 ppg)

2 Avery Lomax (5-9 Senior Guard, 3.5 ppg)

5 Tevin Bellinger (6-0 Junior Guard, 12.3 ppg)

23 Admassau Williams (6-8 Junior Forward, 13.8 ppg)

30 Karim York (6-9 Senior Forward, 8.8 ppg)

OFF THE BENCH

3 Jordan Giddings (6-0 Junior Guard, 1.5 ppg)

14 Zachary Hamilton (6-4 Sophomore Guard, 7.0 ppg)

PLAYER TO WATCH

Williams, a junior college transfer leads the team in points and rebounding (8.3 ppg).

LAST TIME OUT

NEW YORK – Bronson Koenig prevented the Big Apple from being a big dud for the University of Wisconsin.

Shaking off one of the worst performances of his young career last time out, Koenig scored a game-high 22 points, including the game-winning layup with 5.9 seconds left, to propel Wisconsin to a much-needed 74-73 victory over VCU in the 2K Classic third-place game at Madison Square Garden.

“Everyone has those games,” said Koenig, referring to his 9 points on 2-for-12 shooting in the 10-point loss to Georgetown. “I thought I was rushing myself a lot, (and) allowed them (Georgetown) to rush the offense. I just slowed down this game, looked at the film, what I was doing off the ball screen was coming really wide off of them and not making contact with my man. I did a better job with that.”

Ethan Happ finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double while Nigel Hayes and Zak Showalter each chipped in with 10 points for Wisconsin (3-2), which rebounded from Friday night for what they hope is the first or many signature wins on the season.

VCU (2-2) got 21 points from senior guard Melvin Johnson, who appeared to deliver the winner one possession early when his free-throw line jumper went through the net with just over 30 seconds remaining.

Wisconsin called its final timeout to set up Koenig and Hayes on the left wing and everybody else cleared out. Hayes was the first option inside but Koenig had options for either a step-back jumper or a drive.

He chose the latter, delivered in one-on-one coverage against guard Doug Brooks with a spin move in the lane to gain separation and then when up-and-under 6-7, 250-pound forward Mo Alie-Cox with a left-handed shot off the glass.

“He overplayed me,” added Koenig.

The Rams pushed the ball up court instead of using its final timeout and Johnson’s deep 3-pointer missed everything as the buzzer sounded.

The Badgers made an uncharacteristic 17 turnovers for the game, a season-high, but saved itself by shooting 53.1 percent (26-for-49) compared to 42.6 percent (26-for-61) for the Rams. UW also won the rebounding battle, 37-30, for the fifth time this season.

LAST MEETING

MADISON - After a two weeks break, the University of Wisconsin showed no signs of rust with its Big Ten conference opener looming on the horizon.

Sam Dekker scored a game-high 16 points and hauled in a game-best 11 rebounds as fourth-ranked Badgers cruised over struggling Prairie View A&M, 80-43, Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center.

Ben Brust (11), Nigel Hayes (10) and Frank Kaminsky (10) also reached double figures for Wisconsin (13-0), which goes into the conference opener undefeated for the first time since 1993 after getting back into the swing of things in a game that was never close after the opening minutes.

After winning seven games by 10 points of less through the first two months of the season, Wisconsin jumped out to a 7-0 lead and continued cruising. Seven different players scored in the first seven minutes as the Badgers lead by as many as 17 points in the first half and were rarely threatened.

While the Badgers eventually saw their shooting percentage taper off to 43.1 percent, Wisconsin finished with two turnovers in 57 possessions, including none in 32 possessions in the second half.

In a nonconference schedule that featured 12 teams that posted a 92-37 record in all other games, the Panthers (2-10) were the only sub.500 team UW faced, and it showed with a lack of size on the interior.

When Prairie View A&M went zone to try to slow UW down, Wisconsin took advantage with perimeter shooter or driving to the bucket, which is what Dekker did with a perimeter spin move and a one-handed flush.

That would have been the highlight of the afternoon, had Dekker not slammed home another one-handed dunk in transition off an alley-oop pass from Hayes in the second half.

SERIES NOTES

Wisconsin is 10-0 against the SWAC conference, winning nine of the 10 games by at least 20 points.

UW’s two wins over Prairie View A&M have come by an average of 40.5 points. The Badgers posted a 99-55 win on Nov. 14, 2010 before recording an 80-43 victory on Dec. 28, 2013.

Vitto Brown (2 pts in 6 min.), Nigel Hayes (10 pts, 4 reb, 3 blk in 16 min), Jordan Hill (4 min), Bronson Koenig (7 pts in 21 min.) all saw action against Prairie View in the 2013 match-up.

WISCONSIN NOTES

UW is averaging 16.4 3-point field goal attempts per game, a figure that is down 3.4 attempts per game from last season’s average of 19.8 attempts per game.

In his 32nd season as a head coach, Bo Ryan is 28th on the NCAA’s all-time wins list with a record of 743-230 (.764). Ryan is just four wins shy of passing the legendary Phog Allen (Kansas) for 26th in NCAA annals. Among active Div. I coaches, Ryan’s 743 wins rank fifth.

Hayes has scored in double figures in all 5 games this season, including a season-high 22 points against Georgetown. The junior has 46 career games in double digits.

UW is averaging 24.2 free throw attempts per game and shooting 72.7 percent from the foul line, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten. Four of the Badgers’ five starters are shooting over 83 percent.

PRAIRIE VIEW NOTES

The Panthers will play nine road and neutral site games before their home opener December 16.

Head coach Byron Rimm is a Green Bay native and is 114-178 in his 10th season at the school.

Prairie View is averaging 58.3 points per game, tied for 333rd in the country. American is last (346th) with an average of 48.0.

Despite having no players on the SWAC first or second team, the Panthers were projected to finish in a tie for fifth in the preseason poll for the 10-team conference.

PREDICTION

There aren’t too many games on the schedule that will be slam dunk wins for Wisconsin but this will be one of them. The Badgers – even with their deficiencies – are too big, strong and talented to be threatened by a winless team in the SWAC. This will be a feel-good performance for the Badgers with a tough two-game road swing on the horizon with Oklahoma Sunday and Syracuse a week from tonight.

Expect a productive night for the starters, a lot of minutes from the bench and a 32-point victory for UW.

Worgull's Record: 3-2

Points off Prediction: 73 (14.6 per game) 


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