What to Expect: Wisconsin

Following a solid 73-54 win over Penn State on Sunday at Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers will travel to the Kohl Center on Thursday night for a meeting with No. 25 Wisconsin. Indiana last won in Madison on January 25, 1998.

The game will be shown on the ESPN2 (Dave O’Brien and Stephen Bardo) and broadcast on the IU radio network:

If Indiana hopes to reverse a two-game road skid in Big Ten play, the Hoosiers must do so against the Big Ten’s hottest team over the past two weeks. After many questioned Wisconsin’s ability to finish in the upper tier of the conference, Bo Ryan’s club responded with a four-game winning streak and a return to the top 25.

So what’s led to the turnaround in Madison? A return to form by point guard Jordan Taylor, last week’s Big Ten player of the week, paired with one of the country’s elite defenses. No team in the conference imposes its style of play on the opposition more effectively than the Badgers. Wisconsin is playing the slowest tempo (average of 58.8 possessions per game) and is also giving up second fewest points per possession — 0.96 — in league play.

By comparison, the Hoosiers play the third fastest pace in the conference at 66.5 possessions per game. Tom Crean talked about the importance of his team valuing each possession on his radio show Monday night and this game, perhaps more than any other, will bring that storyline to the forefront.

MEET THE BADGERS

Taylor, who entered the season as one of the favorites for Big Ten Player of the Year, has experienced a regression statistically through 21 games. His 3-point percentage has dropped almost 10 percent. And while his assist and turnover numbers are off from a season ago, they’re still among the best in the Big Ten. Given his improved play over the last few weeks coupled with the Badgers’ winning streak, he’s still right in the mix as one of the league’s top players. As Indiana fans witnessed last March in Assembly Hall, Taylor is a player capable of taking a game over and winning it on his own.

Josh Gasser joins Taylor as a starter in the backcourt and Ben Brust is the Badgers’ sixth man who is playing minutes comparable to a starter. Gasser doesn’t look to shoot or score much, but he’s hit 26 of his 50 attempts from 3. Brust is much more assertive in hunting looks (41-of-105 from 3), but shoots a much lower percentage.

The Badgers only play eight players with any regularity and their frontcourt minutes are dominated by juniors Ryan Evans, Mike Bruesewitz and Jared Berggren. The 6-foot-10 Berggren is the team’s second leading scorer and rebounder. Nearly 40 percent of his field goal attempts have come behind the 3-point line, where he’s shooting 37 percent. The 6-foot-6 Evans is one of five best defensive rebounders in the conference, but shoots just 46.3 percent on his 2-point attempts. And Bruesewitz, a 6-foot-6 wing, is even more limited offensively, but sports a solid offensive rebounding percentage (9.9).

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

The key for the Hoosiers to beat Wisconsin is getting stops at a much more frequent rate than we’ve seen in recent weeks. Taylor, if he gets on a roll, can become impossible to stop in isolation and ball screen situations. In the Badgers’ three straight Big Ten losses to Iowa, Michigan State and Michigan, they failed to shoot an effective field goal percentage higher than 38.2 percent. The Hoosiers have held one Big Ten opponent — Penn State this past Sunday — to 38 percent or less.

Pomeroy likes the Badgers by a final score of 66-58 and gives the Hoosiers just a 22 percent chance of leaving the Kohl Center with a win.

CREAN ON WISCONSIN FROM MONDAY’S BIG TEN CALL

“Their experience, they know how to play.”

“They have numerous guys that can play at a really high level.”

“I think when they’ve been at their best they’ve had really good balance.”

“Jared Berggren is really playing at a high level right now.”

“Their system is very strong and solid. They’re hard to score against. They pack the lane. But at the same time, they’ve got a lot of balance in their scoring and people that really space the court which puts a lot of pressure on not only your on-the-ball defense, but your help defense.”

QUICK FACTS ON WISCONSIN

All-time series: Indiana leads 94-63
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Student Enrollment: 42,099
Established: 1848

  • MillaRed

    Red hat, white IU letters. Long sleeve grey shirt, red IU letters. That’s the best I can do PhD. Maybe if we have a lead and I’m cheering I’ll get some TV time.

  • MillaRed

    Thx I’ll do my best.

  • MillaRed

    Thx I’ll do my best.

  • MillaRed

    Good question. Is he welcome at The Kohl Center???

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    He might have to go incognito.

  • Ecodustin

    Are these the same coaches quotes that we’ve read all season? “They have lots of guys playing at a high level” “! ” this guy plays at a high level” “”!;; we need great on ball and team D”….. anything else coach? ….. how about, we need to shoot lights out, play with high intensity, secure the basketball on the boards, and share the ball…. this is what it will take to leave Madison with a W!!

    HOO HOO HOO ……HOOSIERS !!

  • TooEasy

    Why does everyone say it’s the worst refereed game all year? Maybe Wisconsin actually knows how to play defense.

  • Guest

    Why does everyone say it’s the worst refereed game all year? Maybe Wisconsin actually knows how to play defense.

  • Mister Slippery

    Call me crazy, but I expect IU to win handily. We need to hit reset after a string of games with bad D.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Yep…very true.  Berggren will go outside and shoot from three and they will take Evans and Taylor into the post occasionally.  They absolutely love to invert their offense and they do it superbly.  Problem is, there is no one we can put Cody on where he is going to be able to stay inside.  Wisconsin will take him out of the paint and they will go at him to get him in foul trouble.  Knowing how things typically go in Madison, Cody will probably be in foul trouble for a chunk of this one.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Yep…very true.  Berggren will go outside and shoot from three and they will take Evans and Taylor into the post occasionally.  They absolutely love to invert their offense and they do it superbly.  Problem is, there is no one we can put Cody on where he is going to be able to stay inside.  Wisconsin will take him out of the paint and they will go at him to get him in foul trouble.  Knowing how things typically go in Madison, Cody will probably be in foul trouble for a chunk of this one.

  • Anonymous

    You’re crazy.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately I think you’re probably right.  

  • CreamandCrimson

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion and we all hope you are right.  Just one question….Why do you expect IU to win handily? 

    Just expecting it because we “need to hit reset after a string of games with bad D” (not true by the way, we played well defensively against PSU) doesn’t make much sense. Not criticizing, I would just like to know why you expect a dominant IU victory when we haven’t won there since 1998.

  • Plane1972

    I don’t think Remy will see the floor this game. I think Vic and Will get the the Jordan Taylor assignment exclusively. Unless Vic fails to be aggressive on the offensive side of the ball, as well. We have to win the hustle battles (defense, rebounding and 50/50s). Wisconsin is always a game of inches and if you win those battles, you are in good shape.

  • Plane1972

    That was not a new statement by Knight. It was part of the response letter he wrote to Fred Glass declining the invitation back for the HOF induction. There was an article in the WSJ yesterday with that same quote. Interesting piece with some provocative quotes from a prominent alumnus and donor, Barton Kaufman, who indicated ‘all the major officials involved are gone and the ones in power have been nothing but solicitous.’ Pardon the pun, but the ball is in RMK’s court to decide if this relationship ever gets mended.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Make a giant poster that reads, “Steven Bardo makes my ears bleed.”  I’m sure that will get you a camera pan. :)

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Or maybe, “I bought tickets to the game just to avoid listening to Bardo.”

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    A really tall white kid in the Kohl Center?  The fans will ask him why he’s not suited up on the bench.

Latest

Powered by WordPress. Designed and developed by Ryan. Read our Privacy Policy. // Back to Top