Wisconsin tips off Big Ten play with Indiana

Hoosiers are reeling as they try to upset the Badgers this evening

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What:  Indiana (6-5) at Wisconsin (9-2)

When:  Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004, 6:00 p.m.

Site:  Kohl Center (17,142) Madison, Wis.

Broadcasts:  ESPN, Wisconsin Radio Network

Series Notes: Indiana leads the all-time series 91-51

 

The two-time defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers kick off conference play tonight as they host the Indiana.

 

In front of a national television audience, the Badgers will put their 20-game home winning streak on the line in search of their fourth straight home victory over IU.

 

UW dominated their non-conference finale Saturday with a 75-49 win over the College of Charleston. Junior guard Devin Harris finished the game with 19 points while junior forwards Zach Morley and Mike Wilkinson pitched in 18 and 15 respectively. 

 

For head coach Mike Davis and the Hoosiers, it has been a tough start to the season already. Hovering right around .500, the Hoosiers have struggled to establish consistency and their identity.

 

Behind the play of sophomore guard Bracey Wright, the Hoosiers have been a one-man show, and an unsuccessful one for that matter. Wright, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, is averaging 22.2 points per game, second in the Big Ten, and trying everything in his power to keep the Hoosiers among the contenders.

 

Wright's 39-point outburst earlier this season versus North Texas demonstrated his outstanding potential and abilities, but it is evident that IU's reliance on him has become too much as of recently.

 

In all, the entire team continues to suffer offensively. The Hoosier's .384 field goal percentage is on pace for the lowest shooting percentage in team history and on top of that, IU has scored less than 20 points in a half three times this season.

 

In a day and age when no team in the Big Ten can be overlooked, the Hoosiers enter the Big Ten play as huge underdogs and only a mere resemblance from the 2002 NCAA finals team.

 

IU at UW:  By the numbers

 

8.8 – The number of points per game UW is outscoring its opponents from the free throw line.

 

55.7 – The number of points the Badgers allow per game; UW arguably carries the Big Ten's best defense.

 

0 – The number of losses this season when UW is up at the half.

 

3.5 –Indiana's average blocks per contest.

 

70 – IU is 56-6 under Davis when they tally at least 70 points in a game.

 

.746 – IU carries the second-best free throw shooting percentage in the Big Ten, even higher than UW.

 

3 – Few have seen him play, but #3 is IU freshman forward Patrick Ewing Jr. Like father like son?


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