Preview: Cal Poly vs. Wisconsin

With finals week about to begin for members of the Wisconsin men's basketball team, the Badgers hope to pass Wednesday night's exam against Cal Poly ... hopefully getting a better result that the football did in 2008.

Cal Poly (3-5, 0-0 Big West) vs. Wisconsin (7-2, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date/Time - Wednesday, December 16, at 8 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,220)

Television - Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris)

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

Series – First Meeting

Last Meeting – Never Met

Wisconsin Probable Starters

3 Trevon Hughes (Senior Guard, 17.4 ppg)

12 Jason Bohannon (Senior Guard, 10.0 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Junior Forward, 4.3 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Junior Forward, 16.3 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Junior Forward, 6.8 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Ryan Evans (Freshman Forward, 4.6 ppg)

11 Jordan Taylor (Sophomore Guard, 7.2 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 1.7 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (Sophomore Forward, 2.9 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (Freshman Center, 2.0 ppg)

Cal Poly Probable Starters

5 Jordan Lewis (Sophomore Forward, 7.8 ppg)

12 Lorenzo Keeler (Senior Guard, 13.4 ppg)

23 Shawn Lewis (Junior Guard, 8.6 ppg)

33 Kyle Odister (Freshman Guard, 9.6 ppg)

44 Will Donahue (Sophomore Center, 11.9 ppg)

Off the Bench

4 Justin Brown (Sophomore Guard, 5.4 ppg)

21 Charles Anderson (Senior Guard, 2.9 ppg)

25 Will Taylor (Junior Forward, 4.5 ppg)

34 David Hanson (Sophomore Forward, 6.4 ppg)

Last Time Out:

Junior Jon Leuer scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the first half, grabbed 12 rebounds and had three blocks to help No.20 Wisconsin shake of Wednesday's defeat to lead in-state foe Marquette for all 40 minutes, dispatching the Golden Eagles, 72-63, at the Kohl Center.

"We definitely knew that we wanted to get the ball inside against these guys," Leuer said. "We want to do that every game. We get high percentage shots from there. The guards did a great job of getting the ball down low and it's our job to try and make something happen."

Leuer was effective in all areas in helping UW (7-2) build a 17-point first half lead. He scored six of his points in the paint, got another three points from the foul line after creating contact in the paint and grabbed six rebounds, a steal and a block.

"I told our guys when we brought up number 30, he's a pro," MU coach Buzz Williams said. "He was really good off the bench last year. I told our guys that he's really good. His length, his skill set, his intelligence level is a really hard matchup."

The move forced Williams to switch junior defender Jimmy Butler, who quarantined senior Trevon Hughes for most of the first half, to Leuer. Leuer was semi-quiet after halftime (8 points on three made field goals), but Hughes added nine of his 13 points and reserve guard Jordan Taylor added seven of his 13 in the second half to pick up the slack.

"Our game play was to get into the post," said Hughes. "Marquette's first two losses (was) because they were coming out and taking bad shots. We seen them on the tape (and) Jon was making tough shots and at the same time, getting the bigs in foul trouble. We had a size advantage and that was one of our game plans all week."

Just like the Duke game and the polar opposite of last Wednesday's Green Bay upset, the Badgers came out red hot to dictate the tempo, making 11 of its first 18 shots (61 percent) and had only one turnover in a 13 minute, 2 second span.

"Anytime you can jump on a team the way we did tonight, it helps," Leuer said. "The main thing was we were executing better than we did at Green Bay. We were able to force them into some tough shots."

Series Notes:

The Badgers own a 6-1 record all-time against teams from the Big West conference: 2-1 vs. Pacific, 1-0 vs. Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC-Santa Barbara and Utah State.

The last time UW played a team from the Big West was 2008, when the Badgers defeated Cal State Fullerton, 71-56, in NCAA Tournament first-round action in Omaha.

This will be the Mustangs second game in the history of Cal Poly men's basketball against a Big Ten school. The only other meeting was in 1976 when the Mustangs traveled to Illinois and lost 67-65.

Wisconsin Notes:

In the Bo Ryan's nine years as head coach, the Badgers have amassed a 125-10 (.926) record at home. That is tied with Gonzaga for as the third-best home winning percentage in the country during that span.

UW is averaging 71.7 points per game, having tipped the 70-point plateau six times, including five straight. That is an increase of 7.9 points per game over last season's 63.8 scoring average.

Wisconsin has turned the ball over 11.1 times per game this season, which ranked 25th in the nation. UW is 6-0 when turning it over fewer times that its opponent this season.

Cal Poly Notes:

After losing their first five games of the season, the Mustangs have won three straight, including overcoming a 16-point deficit to beat Seattle and a 19-point deficit against Pepperdine to win by six.

The Wisconsin game is part of a two-game road swing for Cal Poly. Cal Poly beat South Dakota State, 73-66, on Friday.

Head Coach Joe Callero became the fourth head coach at Cal Poly since the school made the transition to Division I in 1994. He enters his inaugural season in San Luis Obispo attempting to rebuild a program which finished last in the Big West in 2008-09 and did not qualify for the conference tournament. Callero comes to Cal Poly from Seattle University, where he oversaw the beginning of the Redhawks' transition period to the Division I level. He led the Redhawks to a 21-8 record in 2008-09. In eight seasons at Seattle, Callero compiled a 117-105 record.

Worgull's Prediction

This game shouldn't be a problem for Wisconsin. The Badgers clicked on Saturday against Marquette, looked solid on both ends of the court and led from start to finish against a young, but talented, Big East team. Of course, UW looked really good against Grambling State only to overlook Green Bay ... and we all know how that ended up.

I think the Badgers, and senior Trevon Hughes, learned a lesson from that game. Hughes stated publicly that UW overlooked Green Bay and weren't as prepared as they should have been. UW doesn't have to go on the road against until January 3 (Penn State) and should be able to handle the Mustangs at home.

Cal Poly is playing some good basketball, but having played less than 24 hours and taking the lengthy trip to Madison will be too much for the Mustangs to overcome. UW wins by 17.

Worgull's Record: 5-4

Points off Prediction: 86 (9.6 per game)


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