Prairie View A&M (2-4, 0-0 SWAC) No.16 Wisconsin (4-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
Date/Time – Sunday, November 27, 1 p.m. central
Arena – Kohl Center (17,287)
Television – ESPN3 (Dan Gutowsky and Rich Zvosac)
Radio –Badgers Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)
Series – Wisconsin leads 3-0 (Wisconsin leads 3-0 in Madison)
Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 85-67, on November 25, 2015, in Madison
WISCONSIN PROBABLE STARTERS
3 Zak Showalter (6-3 Senior Guard, 6.0 ppg)
10 Nigel Hayes (6-8 Senior Forward, 10.7 ppg)
22 Ethan Happ (6-10 Sophomore Forward, 11.8 ppg)
24 Bronson Koenig (6-2 Senior Guard, 15.0 ppg)
30 Vitto Brown (6-8 Senior Forward, 7.8 ppg)
OFF THE BENCH
0 D’Mitrik Trice (6-0 Freshman Guard, 4.8 ppg)
11 Jordan Hill (6-4 Junior Guard, 1.5 ppg)
15 Charles Thomas (6-8 Sophomore Forward, 3.0 ppg)
21 Khalil Iverson (6-5 Sophomore Forward, 4.5 ppg)
25 Alex Illikainen (6-9 Sophomore Forward, 2.7 ppg)
PLAYER TO WATCH
Happ had an impressive 3-game run at the Maui Invitational, leading UW with 16.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 bpg and 2.7 spg to earn All-Tournament honors.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M PROBABLE STARTERS
11 Ja’Donta Blakley (6-2 Senior Guard, 6.2 ppg)
14 Zachary Hamilton (6-4 Junior Forward, 13.8 ppg)
23 Admassau Williams (6-8 Senior Forward, 6.8 ppg)
25 Daquan Cook (6-0 Senior Guard, 12.8 ppg)
30 L.J. Westbrook (6-3 Senior Guard, 11.3 ppg)
OFF THE BENCH
5 Tevin Bellinger (6-0 Senior Guard, 5.0 ppg)
15 Nolan Wilson (6-6 Junior Forward, 1.3 ppg)
21 Shay'rone Jett (6-8 Junior Forward, 5.3 ppg)
PLAYER TO WATCH
Starting the season as a bench player before starting the last three games, Hamilton scored a season-high 29 points in Friday's game against Lamar, including a career-high seven three-pointers.
LAST TIME OUT
LAHAINA, Hawaii – While the Badgers’ defense kept things close early on, No.16 Wisconsin’s putrid offensive performance was its undoing in a 71-56 blowout at the hands of No.4 North Carolina in the finals of the Maui Invitational Wednesday.
Joel Berry scored a game-high 22 points and Kennedy Meeks delivered 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the Tar Heels (7-0), who put two other players in double figures to win the Maui Invitational for the fourth time.
Wisconsin (4-2) was making its first appearance in the finals in three trips and delivered a meager showing, shooting 38.2 percent from the field and were out hustled and out executed by another team picked as a Final Four contender.
As good as the Badgers looked in the second half of their semifinals win over Georgetown, they were equally as bad throughout against North Carolina.
Vitto Brown led the way with 15 points, Ethan Happ added 13 and D’Mitrik Trice tied his career high with eight, but the real story was the struggles of Nigel Hayes (3-for-11, 1-for-7 from 3) and Bronson Koenig (1-for-13, 0-for-5 from 3). The seniors combined for five of UW’s 11 turnovers, as the Badger shave committed double-digit turnovers in every game this season.
Wisconsin couldn’t have asked for a worst start or a better one. The Badgers came away with zero points on their first 12 possessions (11 misses and one turnover) and didn’t come close to grabbing an offense rebound.
But when Trice hit a 3-pointer at 12:40 for UW’s first points, the Badgers were only down 8-3.
Wisconsin also got little production from its big three, as Happ, Hayes and Koenig combined to score seven points on 3-for-12 shooting, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range and Happ going 1-for-3 from the free throw line.
Even with all the issues, and the fact that Meeks had 10 points and 11 rebounds in the first 18:46, North Carolina only led 29-20 at the break. The Tar Heels shot 38 percent (11-for-29), scored no fast break points and managed only two second-chance points.
Wisconsin appeared to find its offense to start to half, making buckets on consecutive possessions, but the Tar Heels took over with a 16-3 run that was punctuated by a three-point play by Meeks. Starting in that run UW went 6:35 without a field goal in the second half, making them powerless to turn the game’s momentum.
The Badgers have won each of the first three meetings on their home court by an average of 33.0 ppg, all of which have come since 2010.
Wisconsin is a perfect 11-0 against teams from the SWAC.
MADISON – The only home game in an 18-day span wasn’t as easy as anticipated for the University of Wisconsin.
Facing a 29.5-point underdog in Prairie View A&M, a team the Badgers had beaten by 44 points in 2010 and 37 in 2013, Wisconsin was in the familiar position of getting pushed by a mid-major program at the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin managed to scrap together enough plays late to earn an 85-67 victory over the Panthers, but the performance was anything but reassuring for a team about to hit the road again with a pair of games in hostile environments.
The Panthers (0-5) came in as one of the worst offensive teams in the country, averaging 58.2 points per game, but were exploding off the bench once Tevin Bellinger delivered a layup to cut the lead to 44-42. Bronson Koenig (team-high 16 points) hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession but there was an uneasiness in the building during a media timeout.
Prairie View shot 60.9 percent from the field in the first half and made three of its first five shots in the second half.
On the first possession following the timeout, Happ (12 points) drove to the line, converted at the rim through contact and made the free throw. Over the next nine possessions Wisconsin scored 13 points to cap a 19-6 run, given them all the breathing room they would need.
Wisconsin put six players in double figures, led by Koenig’s 16 points.
Since 2003-04, Wisconsin is 96-5 (.950) vs. unranked non-con opponents, with three such setbacks last season.
The Badgers have won eight in a row at home. UW's .870 all-time win percentage (261-39) at the Kohl Center ranks 5th among all active arenas in the N.C.A.A.
UW is averaging 18.3 ppg from its bench, with 4 reserves averaging double-digit minutes.
Wisconsin is 65-for-92 (.707) from the free throw line through 6 games, an average of 15.3 FTAs per game.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M NOTES
After serving as Interim Head Coach over the final 12 games of the 2015-16 season, Byron Smith was officially named head coach on April 12, 2016. He led the Panthers to a 6-6 record to end the season.
The Panthers were picked to finish 6th in the 10-team Southwestern Athletic Conference standings, in voting done by the league's head coaches and sports information contacts.
UNLV transfer Daquan Cook is averaging 12.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals. The senior tied a season-high with 17 points vs. Jarvis Christian Tuesday night, to go along with season highs in rebounds (seven) and assists (six). Junior L.J. Westbrook (Casper College) has joined Cook in double-figure scoring in five of six games this season.
Wallace is averaging 4.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocked shots per game, and has recorded at least two blocked shots in five straight games
It can be debated that Wisconsin’s offense has been a disappointment to this point in the early season. Even though the Badgers rank 17th in adjusted offensive efficiency by KenPom, scoring 112.5 points per 100 possessions, Wisconsin is shooting just 31.3 percent from the 3-point line and averaging 13.7 turnovers per game.
The success on defense, however, cannot be understated.
Wisconsin ranks 10th in Ken Pomeroy's Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, averaging 91.9 points per 100 possessions, and has held all six of its opponents to season-low point totals, including holding North Carolina 25 points below its season average on Wednesday. The Badgers are allowing just 61.2 ppg on the year.
Part of that success comes from Wisconsin closing out defensive possessions with the best in the country. UW leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth in the NCAA in defensive rebounding percentage, grabbing 81.0 percent of opponent missed shots. The Badgers are allowing an average of 4.8 second-chance points per game
The Badgers have out-rebounded five of their six opponents this season and own a per game average of +14.0 boards per game. UW owns a 78 to 39 edge on the offensive glass, out-scoring opponents 67 to 29 in second-chance points.
UW needs to get its offense going later this week when it hosts No.18 Syracuse Tuesday and 4-1 Oklahoma Saturday, but the Badgers’ defense should be enough this afternoon.
Wisconsin by 29.
Worgull's Record: 4-2
Points off Prediction: 69 (13.4 per game)