Opening Thoughts: Well losing to UNLV was a disappointing, albeit not unexpected, loss for Wisconsin first foray away from the Kohl. But life goes on, and so Wisconsin will take on a 2-1 Manhattan team in the first round of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. Manhattan is coming off a 91-80 loss to Long Island and have victories over Penn and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (yes, that exists and has a D1 basketball team). The Jaspers are coming off of a 11-20 season and return one player from their regular rotation on that team. Their new rotation consists of that one returnee, two pine riders from last season, and four freshman/jucos. They were also supposed to receive the services of an Alabama transfer that graduated from ‘Bama in three years, but he isn’t eligible. There are jokes o’ plenty in that ineligibility, but according to Manhattan fans, it’s because the athletic department messed up on his forms. Nonetheless, they are considered the patsy of the tournament, much like Chaminade in Maui.
Forum to Visit: Draddy Gym
What the expert nerds say: Ken Pomeroy predicts a 76-53 Badger victory in 62 possessions, with a 2% chance of upset.
Jeff Sagarin has Wisconsin as a 21-point favorite.
Manhattan Likely Rotation (Last Season’s Statistics or First 3 Games Statistics¡)
*G – 6’2” FR Michael Alvarado (16.3 PPG, 4.3 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 110.3 OR, 26% Poss, 21% Shot, 22% TO, 7.7 FTR, 23% of FGAs are 3PT)¡
*G – 6’1” JR Kidani Brutus (13.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 140.4 OR, 14% Poss, 18% Shot, 12% TO, 2.6 FTR, 70% of FGAs are 3PT)¡
*G/F – 6’4” SO George Beamon (16.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 109.5 OR, 24% Poss, 26% Shot, 13% TO, 4.8 FTR, 15% of FGAs are 3PT)¡
*F – 6’6” SR Andrew Gabriel (11.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 80.8 OR, 24% Poss, 25% Shot, 29% TO, 2.9 FTR, 0% of FGAs are 3PT)¡
*C – 6’9” JR Djibril Coulibaly (1.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 68.4 OR, 12% Poss, 13% Shot, 18% TO, 2.3 FTR, 0% of FGAs are 3PT) = only 8 minutes per game
F – 6’6” FR Rhamel Brown (8.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.7 BPG, 135.7 OR, 16% Poss, 15% Shot, 16% TO, 4.3 FTR, 0% of FGAs are 3PT)¡
F – 6’8” JR Robert Martina (5.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 115.4 OR, 16% Poss, 14% Shot, 14% TO, 8.0 FTR, 20% of FGAs are 3PT)¡
PLAYER TRAITS (with revisions from suggestions)
Jeff Jordan (<28%)
George Beamon = 17%
Robert Martina = 0%
Trevon Hughes (35-38%)
Clayton Hanson (+38%)
Kidani Brutus = 47%
Michael Alvarado = 43%
Kevin Gullikson (<43%)
Michael Alvarado = 42%
Andrew Gabriel = 42%
Djibril Coulibaly = 25%
Marcus Landry (50-54%)
Kidani Brutus = 50%
George Beamon = 50%
Robert Martina = 50%
Mike Wilkinson (+54%)
Rhamel Brown = 71%
FREE THROW SHOOTING
Alando Tucker (<65%)
Andrew Gabriel = 45%
Djibril Coulibaly = 27%
Kam Taylor (75-82%)
Jason Bohannon (+82%)
Robert Martina = 88%
Kidani Brutus = 86%
Michael Alvarado = 83%
Mike Wilkinson (17-20%)
Rhamel Brown = 17%
Brian Butch/Joe Krabbenhoft (+20%)
Brian Butch (9-12%)
Robert Martina = 12%
George Beamon = 13%
Mike Bruesewitz (+12%)
Rhamel Brown = 21%
Trevon Hughes (3-4.4%)
Mike Kelley (+4.4%)
Brian Butch (3-7%)
Robert Martina = 5%
Greg Stiemsma (+7%)
Rhamel Brown = 9%
Devin Harris (20-25%)
Michael Alvarado = 25%
Jordan Taylor (25-30%)
Demetri McCamey (+30%)
Jason Chappell (<15%)
Kidani Brutus = 14%
Djibril Coulibaly = 13%
Brian Butch (24-28%)
Michael Alvarado = 26%
Andrew Gabriel = 24%
George Beamon = 24%
Alando Tucker (+28%)
This still isn’t set in stone… if you think I should use different players (Badgers or other Big Ten), feel free to suggest them so I don’t have Butch, Kelley, Tucker, and Hughes multiple times. For those questioning, all of the players had numbers in their range for either their entire career or their upperclassmen seasons. For example, Mike Kelley averaged a 4.5% steal rate with a high of 5.9 his junior year and Trevon Hughes shot 36% from three for his career with a high of almost 40% his senior year.
What Manhattan is really good at:
1. Taking care of the ball. This season, they have averaged nearly 1 turnover per 5 possessions, which is good for 102nd in the nation.
2. Shooting threes. They have shot 37.1% from deep so far this season, good for 94th in the country.
3. Offensive Rebounding. They have grabbed 37.2% of all rebounding opportunities on the offensive end, good for 69th. Wisconsin is 1st.
4. Getting to the charity stripe and making them. They must not be a jump-shooting team like Illinois because they take 6 FTAs per 13 FGAs. Wisconsin has averaged 4 per 10.
What Manhattan is really bad at:
1. Defensive Rebounding. They have grabbed only 62% of all the rebounding opportunities on the defensive end, good for 289th in the nation. Wisconsin is a hair below 78%, or 9th in the nation.
2. Forcing turnovers. They have forced only 2 turnovers per 12 possessions, which is 307th in the nation.
3. Defending the paint. They have surrendered a poor 50% inside the arc to 3 bad teams, good for 217th in the nation.
When Manhattan has the ball: They have scored a terrible 0.93 PPP this season, while UW has given up a stingy 0.92 this season.
When UW has the ball: They have given up a terrible 1.06 this season, while UW scored a sizzling 1.16 this season.
Pace: Manhattan has played at 67 possessions per game to UW’s 64.
1. Badgers re-establish a dominant post game with more than 40 points in the paint. The Jaspers are small and unimposing at the big spots.
2. Bruiser and Evans combine for less than 4 turnovers. I look for a deliberate effort from these two to take better care of the ball this game.
3. Badgers grab more than 40% of the rebounding opportunities on the offensive end. This is becoming more than an early season anomaly. It’s a change in strategy.
4. The Badgers make more free throws than the Jaspers attempt. This lovely stat has made a comeback this season and I think it continues.
Posters at Manhattan’s message board are betting on the over/under of their collective beat down in the three games to be somewhere between 20 and 40 points per game. The Badgers don’t disappoint with 80-49 victory.