It was another difficult night for the Hoosiers on Friday as they fell to Iowa in a game where IU simply could not catch a break. That was Indiana’s 5th loss in a row and their 12th defeat in the last 13 games. Next, the Hoosiers welcome a scrappy Wisconsin team to Bloomington on Tuesday night.

Wisconsin is currently ranked #11 in the KenPom rankings and is top 50 in the nation in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Still, as is always the case with the Badgers, defense is still the team’s focal point. Wisconsin is currently #6 in defensive efficiency and hold their opponents to 61.2 points per game.

As with almost every other Wisconsin squad in recent memory, the Badgers play a grind-it-out game at a slow pace, hoping to maximize their own possessions and limit their opponents’ time with the ball. Wisconsin’s average possession length is 19.7 seconds, which is 345th in the nation, and the team is also 341st in average adjusted tempo. One can always expect a deliberate and poised Wisconsin team. It’s all about the fundamentals, physicality, and out-working opponents.

Other Wisconsin statistics of note:

  • Average points per game: 69.9
  • Field-goal percentage: 46.5% (76th)
  • Opponent’s field-goal percentage: 39.5% (18th)
  • Adjusted strength of schedule: 5th
  • Turnover percentage: 14.3% (6th)

Meet the Badgers

Departing Players

  • TJ Schlundt – 6’5” / 197 lbs / Guard – Oconomowoc, WI.
  • Alex Illikainen – 6’9” / 231 lbs / Forward – Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Aaron Moesch – 6’8a” / 220 lbs / Forward – Green Bay, WI.
  • Andy Van Vliet – 7’0” / 235 lbs / Forward – Antwerp, Belgium. Transferred to William & Mary.

Projected Starters

  • Ethan Happ – 6’10” / 237 lbs / Forward / RS Senior – Milan, IL. – One of the best players in the country. Happ is averaging 17.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.
  • D’Mitrik Trice – 6’1” / 170 lbs / Guard / Junior – Huber Heights, OH. – Trice is averaging 12.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 43.4% from three.
  • Khalil Iverson – 6’5” / 217 lbs / Guard / Senior – Delaware, OH. – Iverson adds 5.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
  • Brad Davison – 6’3” / 206 lbs / Guard / Sophomore – Maple Grove, MN. – Davidson is the emotional leader of the team, known for his physical play and defensive intensity. He averages 11.3 points and 3.2 rebounds a game. He shoots 41.3% from three.
  • Nate Reuvers – 6’11” / 240 lbs / Forward / Sophomore – Lakeville, MN. – Averages 8.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. He also shoots the ball very well for his size, knocking down 40% of his threes.

The Rotation

  • Kobe King – 6’4” / 203 lbs / Guard / RS Freshman – La Crosse, WI. – Contributes 4.2 points per game and averages about 19.6 minutes.
  • Charles Thomas – 6’8” / 250 lbs / Forward / Senior – Highland, MD.
  • Aleem Ford – 6’8” / 220 lbs / Forward / RS Sophomore – Lawrenceville, GA.
  • Brevin Pritzl – 6’3” / 198 lbs / Guard / RS Junior – De Pere, WI.
  • Trevor Anderson – 6’2” / 201 lbs / Guard / RS Sophomore – Stevens Point, WI.
  • Tai Strickland – 6’2” / 172 lbs / Guard / Freshman – Tampa, FL.
  • Walt McGrory – 6’3” / 200 lbs / Guard / Freshman – Minneapolis, MN.
  • Michael Ballard – 6’4” / 196 lbs / Guard / RS Sophomore – Oak Park, IL.

Injury Watch

Jerome Hunter has declared his intention to sit out the rest of the year as a redshirt. Hunter suffered a leg injury which required surgery and has not seen the floor this season.

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Each team has no major injuries to report at the current time.

Want to Watch for:

  1. Turnovers – Wisconsin is one of the best teams in the nation in taking care of the ball and are top 5 in fewest turnovers. The Badgers only average 9.3 turnovers a game, whereas the Hoosiers average 13.1. Thus, because of Wisconsin’s disciplined play, it will be crucial for Indiana to limit their turnovers and be as efficient as possible.
  2. Style of Play – Another key to the game will be which team is able to enforce their style of play. IU does not typically play at a fast-paced tempo but athleticism and team speed will certainly be on their side. The Hoosiers will want to play in the open court and try to initiate fast-breaks. For Indiana, the more possessions, the better. On the other hand, Wisconsin plays at one of the slowest paces in the country and wants to limit the number of possessions each team has during a game. Which style of play will prevail? Will Wisconsin be able to muddy the game or will IU be able to speed up Wisconsin’s tempo?
  3. Wisconsin’s 3s – Wisconsin is 17th in field-goal percentage at 38.7%. They have 4 players who average 20+ minutes per game who shoot 40% or better from three. Because Wisconsin players at such a slow pace, it affords them the opportunity to be extremely patient and always look for the right shot. As a result, they are extremely precise from deep because they are taking quality (and often open) shots. If they are able to continue this trend against Indiana, the Hoosiers will need to be extremely accurate themselves; otherwise, it could be a long night.
  4. Buzzcut Brad and the Wisconsin Way – Much like Virginia, Wisconsin is more than just a team: it’s a brand. Everyone knows Wisconsin basketball has a patented style of physicality, precision, old-school craftiness, and defense. This season is no different. In particular, Brad Davidson, known in college basketball circles as Buzzcut Brad (fyi: he no longer has the buzzcut), is the epitome of Wisconsin basketball. Davidson is known for taking charges and famously played last season with an injured (and often dislocated) shoulder. He is the heartbeat of the team and the very definition of what it means to be a Badger. Because of Davidson and the Wisconsin style of play, IU will be met with friction at every turn. How will the Hoosiers respond?
  5. The Ethan Happ Experience – Happ is one of the best players in the nation. He is often overlooked because he is not going to be a lottery pick, in fact he may not be drafted at all, and you won’t find him on highlight reels. But, Happ is a superb college player. He is an automatic double-double, a terrific leader, and one of the smartest players in the game. He can’t shoot and everyone knows it, which makes his numbers and his play even more impressive. Throughout his entire college basketball career, he has only attempted 16 three-pointers and only made one. Similarly, his best ever free-throw percentage was 64.3% during his freshman year. Despite his complete lack of shooting quality, he still has compiled some of the best numbers in Big Ten history. So, sit back, relax, and admire the incredibly unique success of Ethan Happ.

How to Watch

DateTuesday, February 26th
Time9:00 PM EST
RadioHoosiersTV Audio

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