Opening Thoughts: The Badgers will shake off the rust of a week off and final exams with a match-up with the Panthers of UW-Milwaukee. After a thorough destruction of Cal Poly, I expect the Badgers to be a bit tight but win comfortably.
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What the Expert Nerds Say:
Jeff Sagarin ranks Wisconsin #15 and Milwaukee #168. He makes Wisconsin an 18-point favorite.
Ken Pomeroy ranks Wisconsin #14 and Milwaukee #186. He predicts a 77-56 Badger victory in 63 possessions and gives the Badgers a 98% chance of winning.
UW-M Probable Rotation:
*G – 6’1” SR Ricky Franklin (14.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.3 SPG, 64.9% 2PT)
*G – 6’2” JR Jerard Ajami (2.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.3 APG)
*G – 6’3” JR Deonte Roberts (7.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 48.4% 2PT)
*F – 6’7” SR James Eayrs (13.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 47.6% 2PT)
*F – 6’8” SO Tony Meier (6.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 69% of FGAs are 3PT)
G – 6’3” FR Lonnie Boga (6.9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 50% 2PT, 50% 3PT)
F – 6’6” SR Jason Averkamp (3.6 PP, 3.2 RPG)
G – 6’0” FR Patrick Souter (3.9 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 46.9% 2PT)
G – 6’0” FR Ja’Rob McCallum (6.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 50% 3PT)
F – 6’7” JR Anthony Hill (5.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.0 APG)
This season they have played at a pace of 68 possessions per game, similar to Marquette. They play man-to-man defense, not forcing many turnovers or blocking many shots.
Ricky Franklin – Franklin is the second most aggressive offensive player for UW-M, taking shots about as often as Hughes did last season. He also has an offensive rating comparable to Hughes, as he sits at 108.7, about 2 below Pop. He shoots a below average 31% from 3, a great 65% from 2, and 75% from the stripe (and getting there often, about 3 times per 7 FGAs). He takes about an equal balance of 2s and 3s and is a decent defensive rebounder for a guard.
James Eayrs – Eayrs is the most aggressive offensive player on the team, shooting about as often as Hughes and Leuer. Unfortunately for UW-M, his offensive rating is only 102.3, or comparable to Lazar Hayward. He is an inside-outside threat, as he has shot 57 threes (28.1%) to go with 82 twos (47.6%). He’s a decent free throw shooter at 77% and gets there somewhat often, taking nearly 1 free throw per 3 field goal attempts. He takes great care of the ball (15% TO rate) and is a decent rebounder on both ends.
What UW-M is really good at:
1. Free throw shooting. The Panthers are 100th in the nation at shooting freebies, knocking down 70.9%.
2. Pump faking. Their opponents’ block only 1 of out 13 of the Panthers' 2-pointers, good for 81st in the nation.
3. Defensive rebounding. Milwaukee grabs 74.7% of all misses on the defensive end, good for 4th in the nation.
What UW-M is really bad at:
1. Blocking shots. Rob Jeter’s bunch block only 5.1% of their opponents’ 2-pointers, good for 308th in the nation.
2. Free throw defense. Both of the UW’s need to recruit better distracters and taunters for free throws. UW-M gives up 72.4%, not nearly as bad as UW, but still 288th.
3. Defending inside the arc. The Panthers are 244th in defending 2-pointers, giving up a bad 50.1%.
When UW-M has the ball: UW-M has scored an average 1.02 PPP in their first 7 games, while UW has given up a good 0.92 in their first 10.
When UW has the ball: UW-M gave up an okay 0.99 in their first 7 games, while UW has scored a great 1.13 in their first 10.
Pace: UW-M has played at 68 possessions per game so far in their first 7 games compared to UW’s 65 in their first 10 games.
1. Badgers assert their inside game, shooting more than 40 2-pointers at a clip above 54%. The Badgers have much stronger inside play, and will force the issue in this part of the game.
2. Bohannon continues his hot shooting, knocking down more 45% of his threes and scores at least 13. With a week of rest and the confidence of coming off a 4/6 from triple performance, J-Bo keeps rolling.
3. Badgers hold the Panthers to 43% or less shooting inside the arc. They have been shooting below average inside the arc and I like the Badgers to continue that.
My Score: The Badgers dominate from start to finish, handing the Panthers an 83-59 loss in 67 possessions.