Opening Thoughts: After rebounding well against the Gold of Marquette, Wisconsin faces the Missed Extra Points of Cal Poly. Cal Poly is 2-5 on the season, with their only victories at home. Wisconsin may overlook this game with finals starting the next day, but luckily Cal Poly will be coming of off a game the night before in South Dakota, so they’ll be a bit tired and may not have prepared as much for the game as they’d like. All in all, it should be an easy victory for the Badgers.
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What the Expert Nerds Say:
Jeff Sagarin ranks Wisconsin #27 and Cal Poly #236. He makes Wisconsin a 21-point favorite.
Ken Pomeroy ranks Wisconsin #36 and Cal Poly #226. He predicts a 78-57 Badger victory in 62 possessions and gives the Badgers a 97% chance of winning.
Cal Poly Probable Rotation:
*G – 6’0” FR Kyle Odister (8.6 PPG, 1.9 APG, 1.4 SPG, 52.2% 3PT)
*G – 6’2” SR Lorenze Keeler (12.3 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.4 APG)
*G – 6’4” JR Shawn Lewis (9.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 BPG)
*F – 6’5” SO Jordan Lewis (8.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 59% 2PT)
*C – 6’8” SO Will Donahue (11.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, 66.7% 2PT)
F – 6’5” SO David Hanson (6.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, 56.5% 2PT)
G – 5’11” SO Justin Brown (6.1 PPG, 1.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 50% 3PT)
G – 6’6” SR Charles Anderson (3.3 PPG, 1.9 RPG)
F – 6’6” JR Will Taylor (5.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 9.8 fouls per 40 min)
This season they have played at a pace of 69 possessions per game, similar to Marquette. They play man-to-man defense, not forcing many turnovers ,or blocking many shots, but get a lot of steals. They are returning 59.8% of their minutes, 51.2% of their rebounding, and 52.9% of their scoring from last season’s 7-21 team.
Shawn Lewis – Shawn Lewis is the most likely person to end a possession that plays more than 13 minutes per game. This is great for Wisconsin, as he has a terrible offensive rating of 83.9, due to his poor shooting ability. He has shot 6.7% from 3 (1 of 15), 41.3% inside the arc, and an average 69.7% from the line. He makes up for this inadequacy by getting to the charity stripe very often, attempting about 7 free throws to every 13 field goal attempts.
He’s a decent defensive rebounder, grabbing 14.4% of all opportunities when he’s on the court (similar to Nankivil). He also is about average at turning the ball over, coughing it up 20.0% of possessions that he ends.
Lorenzo Keeler – Keeler is a scorer who can’t shoot well. He’s hitting a poor 40.6% inside the arc and 25% outside of it, but a great 83.7% from the line. Unfortunately, he takes advantage of his strength. Taking nearly 2 free throws for every 3 shot attempts. He also is pretty good at taking care of the ball, turning it over only 18.1% of his possessions. All this adds up to a slightly below average offensive rating of 97.5. He is a very poor rebounding, especially on offense.
Will Donahue – This is a rather odd player to me. He’s a center, yet he plays the most minutes on the team. He’s an extremely efficient scorer, yet he is the least aggressive starter on offense. He’s an outstanding defensive rebounder, yet he’s terrible on the offensive end, especially by comparison. His offensive rating is a ridiculous 123.5. Luckily, he is very passive on offense, only taking up 16.6% of his team’s possessions while on the court. He shoots a great 66.7% from 2 and gets about 9 free throws every 13 field goal attempts (shoots only 54.5% though). He also doesn’t turn the ball over, only coughing it up once every 9 personal possessions. Lastly, he rebounds 26.2% of all defensive rebounding opportunities, a rate better than Butch and Krabbenhoft at their best.
What Cal Poly is really good at:
1. Not turning the ball over. The Mustangs are 36th in the nation at taking care of the ball, turning it over only 17.6% of the time. Wisconsin is at 17.1%.
2. Pump faking. Their opponents’ block only 1 of out 16 of the Mustang’s 2-pointers, good for 42nd in the nation. Wisconsin gets 1 out of 13 of their 2-pointers blocked.
3. Getting to the free throw line. Cal Poly gets to the free throw line once every two shots attempted, good for 23rd in the nation. Wisconsin is 67th with 4 for every 9 shots attempted.
4. Stealing the ball. The Mustangs get a steal almost once every 7 defensive possessions, good for 14th in the nation. Oddly enough, they are pretty bad at forcing turnovers overall though, since 73% of the turnovers they force are said steals. Comparatively, Wisconsin’s forced turnovers are 46% steals.
What Cal Poly is really bad at:
1. Blocking shots. The Horses block only 6.9% of their opponents’ 2-pointers, only good for 250th in the nation.
2. Dribbling and passing. Even though they don’t turn it over a lot, they get their pockets picked often. Nearly one of every 9 offensive possessions end in a steal, good for 248th. Those steals make up 62% of their turnovers.
3. Defending inside the arc. The Mustangs are 319th in defending 2-pointers, giving up a miserable 55.1%.
4. Defending outside the arc. The Mustangs are 277th in defending 3’s, giving a bad 37.6%.
5. Keeping their opponent’s off the foul line. Remember how great Cal Poly is at getting to the charity stripe? Their opponents are better. Their opponents get 9 free throw attempts to every 17 field goal attempts, good for 327th from Cal Poly’s perspective.
6. Forcing turnovers. Even though they force a ton of steals, they don’t force a ton overall. They get a little less than one turnover every 5 defensive possessions (19.6%), good for 240th. Wisconsin is 286th by forcing a turnover 18.1% of the time.
7. Shooting 3’s. They shoot 31.5% from 3, good for 232nd.
When Cal Poly has the ball: Cal Poly has scored an average 1.02 PPP in their first 7 games, while UW has given up a good 0.95 in their first 9.
When UW has the ball: Cal Poly gave up a horrible 1.13 in their first 7 games, while UW has scored a great 1.10 in their first 9.
Pace: Cal Poly has played at 69 possessions per game so far in their first 7 games compared to UW’s 64 in their first 9 games.
1. Badgers hold onto the ball, getting the ball stolen only 8% or less. Cal Poly’s pressure has forced many steals, but I think Wisconsin’s veteran guards nullify that strength.
2. Jon Leuer continues to dominate, scoring 20 or more points if he plays long enough. Cal Poly doesn’t have the front line to stop him.
4. Badgers hold the Mustangs to 40% or less shooting inside the arc. They have been shooting about average inside the arc but I like the Badgers to shut them down inside.
5. The Badgers don’t give up a free throw rate above 35. Cal Poly gets to the line a ton, but I think Wisconsin is much more disciplined defensively than their previous opponents.
6. The student section defends the free throw line better, holding them to 66% or less. The student section needs to improve on their 11th worst in the nation and I think a below average free throw shooting Cal Poly team that played South Dakota State less than 24 hours before their date at Wisconsin is ripe for bad free throw shooting.
Score: The Badgers keep rolling, downing the Mustangs 81-54 in 65 possessions.