Though it trailed at halftime last time out, the Wisconsin men's basketball team was able to correct any miscues and rally for a win against Indiana. Now, heading into Northwestern, the Badgers hope to build off Thursday's success and use it to get their first win on the road.
Before today's tip-off, BadgerBlitz.com analyzes the potential matchups between Wisconsin and Northwestern to provide a closer look at UW's early season rivalry matchup.
-The next Wisconsin road win in the Big Ten will be its first. UW is currently 0-2 on the road in conference play with losses at Illinois and Michigan State.
-UW's defense is ranked tops in the BIg Ten and fourth nationally with its 56.6 points allowed.
-UW's is averaging six turnovers per game in league play. That's tops in the Big Ten. It's 8.1 turnovers per game average is tops in the nation.
UW assistant coach Greg Gard gave Thompson much praise earlier in the week. The veteran coach said 'Juice' does a little bit of everything for the Wildcats and is essentially the heart and soul of that team. As the Big Ten's leader in minutes play, it's obvious that Thompson productivity isn't hampered by mental miscues or fouls. He'll give Taylor everything he can handle. Taylor is just a bit more poised.
Gasser's offensive production has tailed off incrementally as the season has progresses, but his defensive play remains high. Today he'll go against a fellow freshman. Any offense from either of these two would be huge bonuses to their respective teams.
Crawford is one of the more underrated players in the Big Ten. He fits well in the Princeton style offense, plays strong and is one of the more athletic players Northwestern has had. Jarmusz, who's defense and intensity is always strong, needs to step up once again. But that easier said than done.
Shurna and Leuer roomed together in Vegas over the summer as part of the USA Basketball practice squad. So, it's easy to understand that they know a little about each other. Though he may not look like a typical basketball player, Shurna is one of the better players in the entire league. He'll give Leuer fits throughout today's game. Hopefully for UW fans Leuer will be able to do the same.
It's interesting to that that a nine-point, seven rebound effort from Nankivil was one of his weaker performances since Big Ten play started. The senior been playing that well. Against Northwestern's defense, one that switches from zone to man quite frequently, UW will need to shoot well from the perimeter. Nankivil has what it takes to help out in that regard.
Guys like Bruesewitz, Evans, Wilson and Berggren are huge in a game like this. They not only give the starters a blow from chasing Northwestern guards on back cuts and fades, but they will also have an opportunity to score, particularly guards and forwards. Taking shots and hitting shots are two different things, so any scoring off the bench would go a long way in determining the outcome of the game.
Carmody has had some success against Wisconsin inside Welsh-Ryan Arena. This year, he's got probably his deepest team that he's ever had. The Wildcats have five scorers averaging double figures in Big Ten play, so there are more than one go-to option. Ryan's team will bring physical and disciplined defense, it just comes down to who makes the shots.
Sunday, Jan. 23, at 11::30 a.m. CT
Welsh Ryan Arena (8,117)
Big Ten Network (Brian Anderson and Shon Morris)
Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)
UW leads 107-61
Wisconsin won, 70-63, in Madison, on Feb. 21, 2010