Preview: IPFW vs. Wisconsin

Practice time is over, it's time for the Wisconsin men's basketball team to get to work. Returning three starters and the starting backcourt from last season's NCAA tournament team, the Badgers' marathon season starts Sunday against IPFW.

IPFW (Indiana University Purdue University Fort-Wayne) (13-17, 8-10 Summit in 08-09) vs. Wisconsin (20-13, 10-8 Big Ten in 08-09)

Date/Time - Sunday, November 15, at 5 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,120)

Television - Big Ten Network (Jay Wilson and Shon Morris)

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

Series – Wisconsin Leads 1-0

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 83-55, on November 11, 2007 in Madison, the season opener for both teams

Wisconsin Probable Starters

3 Trevon Hughes (Senior Guard, 12.1 ppg)

12 Jason Bohannon (Senior Guard, 10.3 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Junior Forward, 3.4 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Junior Forward, 8.8 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Junior Forward, 4.5 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Ryan Evans (Freshman Forward - Redshirt)

11 Jordan Taylor (Sophomore Guard, 1.6 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward)

33 Rob Wilson (Sophomore Forward, 1.5 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (Freshman Center, Redshirt)

IPFW Probable Starters

2 Antwone Snead (Junior Forward, Transfer)

3 Nick Daniels (Senior Guard, 8.4 ppg)

10 Zach Plackemeier (Junior Guard, 7.7 ppg)

12 Ben Botts (Junior Guard, 11.3 ppg)

44 Trey McCorkle (Sophomore Forward, 3.2 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Aaron Richie (Senior Forward, 2.3 ppg)

11 John Peckinpaugh (Sophomore Forward, 1.8 ppg)

22 Jeremy Mixon (Sophomore Guard, 3.8 ppg)

Last Time Out:

Consistently knocking down outside shots and taking the ball hoop where he had the height advantage, junior Keaton Nankivil finished with a game-high 16 points on 7-11 shooting from the field, helping the Badgers have their way with UW-Superior to post a 80-47 exhibition victory Wednesday.

"I think that the way our team played the last two games is a big difference with how we played exhibition last year, as far as confidence playing as a team," Nankivil said. "You can see that we are a little more ready to attack the season than we were last year."

The game itself was in the Badgers hands from the start and Wisconsin was simply bigger, stronger and faster than the Yellowjackets. Senior Trevon Hughes led the defensive charge with a game high-10 steals and seemed to lock up any player who happened to touch the ball on the perimeter.

On offense, Hughes easily beat his man off the dribble and was able to attack the middle of the lane, resulting in a game-high nine assists and zero turnovers. Throw in his nine points and Hughes nearly flirted with a triple-double.

"We've got more depth, so I am not worried about going out there and getting tired," Hughes said. "I'm going to give it my all, and I know Jordan (Taylor) will pick up the slack when he comes in. There's nothing for me to worry about, just lay my body on the line for the team."

Overall, the Badgers struggled from the perimeter (3-of-19 for 15.8 percent), but compensated by Jon Leuer and Nankivil in the post scoring at will from the inside. Leuer finished the game with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting and was able to score on a variety of spins and turn-around jumpers in the low post.

First Meeting:

After University of Wisconsin sophomore point guard Trevon Hughes zipped in for a lay-up off of a steal to close out the first half, he couldn't help but let out an emphatic roar.

Hughes was letting out all the frustration built up during the beginning of the season opener versus IPFW, as Wisconsin was down by as many as 11 points.

"My shot wasn't falling and my team was looking a little shaky at the start of the game," Hughes said. "We needed some momentum and I think by me showing my leadership by example helped my team come out with this victory."

It did.

Hughes' lay-up before the half capped off a 6-0 Badgers' run to close out the first half and head into the locker room with a 38-32 lead and cruise in the second half to an 83-55 win over the Mastodons.

Hughes finished with a career-high 25 points and added six steals, five assists and five rebounds.

Series Notes:

For the second time in three years, the Badgers will open the season vs. IPFW. Wisconsin won the only other meeting with the Mastodons by a score of 83-55 in the 2007-08 season opener on Nov. 11, 2007.

Trevon Hughes, Jason Bohannon, J.P. Gavinski, Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil all saw game action in the last meeting, while IPFW's current roster has two players who appeared in the 2007-08 opener against Wisconsin. Ben Botts, who scored a team-high 14 points and Zach Plackemeier.

The Badgers own a 2-2 record vs. teams from the Summit League. In addition to the win over IPFW, UW is 1-0 vs. Western Illinois, but has a 0-2 mark vs. Oral Roberts.

IPFW head coach Dane Fife played collegiately at Indiana (1999-2002), boasting a 4-3 record vs. Wisconsin. However, Fife's Hoosiers teams were 0-1 vs. Bo Ryan coached UW squads.

Wisconsin Notes:

The Badgers are starting their 112th season of men's basketball. UW is 84-27 all-time in season openers, including 69-14 in season-openers at home. The Badgers are 7-1 under Bo Ryan in season openers and have won six consecutive season debuts. Ryan's teams defeated Long Beach State last year, IPFW (2007), Mercer (2006), Norfolk State in the Paradise Jam (2005), Penn (2003 on the road and 2004 at home) and Eastern Washington (2002) but fell at UNLV in 2001 in his first game as head coach.

UW has won all eight home openers under head coach Bo Ryan and the Badgers have won 11 consecutive home openers overall. Wisconsin has never lost a home opener in the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin is 90-31 (.744) in non-conference games under Bo Ryan, including 58-5 (.921) at the Kohl Center. Bo Ryan has never lost a home game during the month of November, a streak of 22 consecutive games. The last Badger home loss in November was a 65-60 decision to Marquette in the 1997-98 season opener.

UW is one of just seven schools with an active NCAA tournament streak of at least 11 years, including: Arizona (25 years), Kansas (20), Duke (14), Michigan State, (12), Gonzaga (11) and Texas (11).

The Badgers won 20 games in 2008-09, their sixth time reaching that milestone in Ryan's eight seasons. Illinois (seven) is the only Big Ten team with more 20-win seasons since 2001-02.

The Badgers return three starters from a year ago – Bohannon, Hughes and Leuer. UW brings back .641 pct. of their scoring, .607 pct. of their rebounding and .626 pct. of their assists from last season.

Wisconsin has six players on its roster (Bohannon, Hughes, Leuer, Jarmusz, Nankivil and Taylor) that have scored at least 10 points in a game during their UW career, and four that have posted 20+-point games.

IPFW Notes:

IPFW head men's basketball coach Dane Fife has suspended senior forward Deilvez Yearby for one-game suspension for the violation team rules.

The Mastodons, who have finished fifth in each of their first two regular seasons in The Summit League, were picked to finish sixth.

At 30, Fife is the youngest current NCAA Division- I men's basketball head coach. Worgull's Prediction

Hughes made his first career start in 2007 against IPFW, scoring a game-high 25 points while adding five rebounds and five assists. That was a young Pop, not the veteran leader we have seen this exhibition season.

It's going to be hard to bet against UW in these first couple games against Summit conference opponents, although UW's next opponent (Oakland) is predicted to win the conference title. That should be a good test before heading to Maui. This one? Even if IPFW had Yearby at its disposal, it would be an up-hill battle.

I think Hughes, especially without a big presence in the middle of the paint, is going to have a big day driving to the hoop to score and dish assists. I say UW wins its opener by 26.

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