What: UW Green Bay Phoenix (2-3) at UW Badgers (4-1)
When: Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 7:00 p.m.
Site: Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.
Broadcasts: ESPN Plus, WISC-TV in Madison
Series Notes: UW leads all-time series 9-0
The next three weeks for No. 19 Wisconsin is a treat unlike any other for UW fans and Wisconsin residents. Beginning tonight, the next three contests for coach Bo Ryan's squad are home games versus in-state rivals. The first to get a crack at the two-time defending Big Ten champs are the Phoenix.
"Nobody has more respect or been around that environment more than me as far as around here," Ryan said, who coached at UW-Milwaukee, UW's second opponent in the stretch of three. "So, it's a game and I don't look at it any differently than playing Detroit, playing Penn, Maryland. It's the next game, Green Bay happens to be."
As coach Ryan stated, Green Bay it happens to be, and the Phoenix should not be overlooked. UW-Green Bay is coming off a 70-65 win over Chicago State last Thursday. In an all-around team effort, junior guard Matt Rohde contributed 14 points, including nine from behind the arc, and junior guard Brandon Morris added 18.
On the year, Phoenix head coach Tod Kowalczyk's bunch has averaged 62.6 points per game while shooting a bit over 40 percent from the field.
UWGB unfortunately has the task of facing a Wisconsin team coming off an impressive victory versus Detroit last Saturday in which the team, for the first time this season, shot better than 40 percent from the field.
Leading the Badger scoring were senior guard Freddie Owens and junior guard Devin Harris with 13 points each. However, the biggest performance came from sophomore center Andreas Helmigk who tallied 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in his first start of the year, replacing senior center Dave Mader.
"Three intense games, three good games against guys who know one another pretty much from top to bottom, guys that have played against one another," Ryan said. "Now I think that's good for basketball, especially in the state of Wisconsin. I think we're going to play well-coached teams with scrappy and tough players that will make every possession tough and starting with Green Bay."
Three Keys for Wisconsin
1. Passing the Rock – It is no surprise Wisconsin broke out of its shooting slump considering how well the team shared the basketball, tallying a season-high 17 assists in the game.
2. Tenacious D – The Badgers this season are 4-0 when they hold their opponent to less than 45 percent from the field. Clamping down on the defensive side of the court and limiting second chance opportunities is a necessity for UW.
3. Playing smart – Badgers cannot shoot themselves in the foot. When they commit fewer than 12 turnovers in a game, their record is 3-0 this season. Play smart and clean and a victory will be likely.
Three Keys for UW-GB
1. Balanced lineup – Green Bay has just two players who average in double figures; eight players average at least 17 minutes per game. Much has been said about Wisconsin's depth, especially with the pending return of Alando Tucker and Jason Chappell. Green Bay's depth should help it keep fresh versus the Badgers and match Wisconsin's energy.
2. Pour it on – The Phoenix are 2-0 this season when scoring over 70, a very daunting, but doable task versus the Badgers.
3. Rebounding – Green Bay is not a strong rebounding team (-6.2 margin) and that will need to improve if the Phoenix hope to have a chance against Wisconsin.