Opening Thoughts: The Badgers next opponent, after their thorough destruction of Grambling, is fellow UW System school UW-Green Bay. The Phoenix return a veteran backcourt like the Badgers, but their frontcourt is new and not as talented as last season’s. But that’s not to say this game will be a cakewalk. Their 3 starting guards average 45 of the team’s 74 points and the game is at home for the Phoenix.
What the Expert Nerds Say:
Jeff Sagarin has UW ranked #8 and UW-Green Bay #91. He has Wisconsin as a 5-point favorite.
Ken Pomeroy has Wisconsin ranked #38 and UW-Green Bay #103. He predicts a 69-65 victory for the Badgers in 62 or 63 possessions. He gives Wisconsin an 67% chance of winning.
UW-Green Bay Probable Rotation:
*G – 5’10” JR Rahmon Fletcher (17.2 PPG, 3.4 APG, 2.2 RPG, 52% 2PT, 37% 3PT)
*G – 6’1” SR Troy Cotton (14.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 47% 3PT)
*G – 6’3” JR Bryquis Perine (12.8 PPG, 5.1 APG, 2.9 RPG, 55% 3PT)
*F – 6’7” FR Matt Smith (3.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG)
*F – 6’9” SR Randy Berry 7.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 65% 2PT)
F – 6’5” SR Cordero Barkley (6.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.1 APG)
G – 6’0” FR Seth Evans (6.4 PPG, 1.8 APG, 57% 3PT)
F – 6’9” SR Pat Nelson (2.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG)
G – 6’3” FR Rian Pearson (5.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0/1 3PT)
F – 6’8” JR Greg LeSage (1.1 PPG, 1.8 RPG)
This season they have played at a pace of 66 possessions per game, similar to last season’s Michigan State team. Their defensive footprint on Ken Pom is inconclusive from their low amount of turnovers caused, high frequency of 3 point shooting by their opponent, and low frequency to send players to the line.
They are returning 56% of their minutes, 55% of their rebounding, and 47% of their scoring from last season and 2 starters. They start a true freshman, and have two come off the bench.
Rahmon Fletcher – When Fletcher is on the court, there’s a 1 in 3 chance that the possession will end with him. He is only of the most aggressive players in the country (24th in possessions, 17th in shots) but luckily for Green Bay, he’s pretty efficient with an offensive rating of 109.3. He does it but shooting 37% from 3, 52% from inside the arc, and taking okay care of the ball (17.5% turnover rate). He’s also a decent passer, with an assist percentage of 29.2%.
Troy Cotton – Nine games into the season, Troy Cotton is the 45th most efficient player in the nation offensively with a rating of 133.3. He accomplishes this by shooting a hot 47% from 3 and taking many of them and not turning the ball over much (13%). He also rebounds really well defensively for a guard his size, grabbing 10.3% of the opportunities when he’s on the court.
Randy Berry – Berry isn’t a very aggressive offensive player, as he takes less than his fair share of shots and possessions (11.2% and 14.8% respectively), but he’s efficient when he does with a rating of 129.6. He shoots 68% from inside the arc and takes good care of the ball (only 15.2% turning over). He is a very gifted rebounder, getting 16.4% of all opportunities on offense and 17.2% of opportunities on defense.
What UW-Green Bay is really good at:
1. Shooting 3s. The Phoenix are 5th in the nation at 3-point shooting, knocking down 45% of their triples.
2. Shooting free throws. They shoot 73.2% from the line, good for 66th.
3. Not sending opponents to the line. Their opponents’ attempt 6 free throws for every 19 shot attempts. It’s similar to last season’s Iowa team.
4. Rebounding offensively. The Phoenix grab 34.7% of their misses, which is similar to last season’s Marquette team.
5. Defending the 3. GB’s opponents’ shoot 31.1% from beyond the arc for 101st in the nation. Wisconsin currently gives up 28.3%.
What UW-Green Bay is really bad at:
1. Getting to the free throw line. They take about 3 free throws for every 11 field attempts, good for 326th in the nation. Comparatively, Wisconsin takes 4 every 11, which is slightly below above.
2. Rebounding defensively. They grab 65.6% of their opponents’ misses, similar to last season’s OSU team and 210th in the nation.
3. Blocking shots. Green Bay blocks one out of every 17 two-point field goals their opponents’ attempt. This is similar to last season’s Indiana team.
When UW-Green Bay has the ball: UW-Green Bay has scored a good 1.08 PPP in their first 9 games, while UW has given up 0.91 in their first 8.
When UW has the ball: The Phoenix gave up an above average 0.97 in their first 9 games, while UW has scored a good 1.09 in their first 8.
Pace: Green Bay has played at 66 possessions per game so far in their first 9 games compared to UW’s 64 in their first 8 games.
1. Badgers hold the Phoenix to 38% or less from behind the arc. With Wisconsin's great perimeter defense, they hold down GB's great outside shooting.
2. Badgers shut down their offensive rebounding, holding them to grabbing 28% or less of their opportunities. The Phoenix grab quite a offensive rebounding but the Badgers put an end to that in this game.
3. Pop and Jordan hold Fletcher to less than 14 points. Pop and Jordan are great defenders and have a size advantage, adding up to shutting Fletcher down.
4. Badgers shoot better than 52% inside the arc. Green Bay has been hot shooting inside the arc this season but I like the Badgers to cool them off.
My Prediction: Badgers keeping rolling, defeating the Phoenix 72-60 in a 64-possession game.