After a loss, but good showing against Tennessee Friday night, Wisconsin basketball hits the road for the first time this season. They will travel to Providence as a part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. Providence enters this game 2-0 while the Badgers are 1-1. Tip time ifs 5 PM CST on FS1. Here is a preview of tomorrow afternoon’s game.
Can Wisconsin Basketball Win the Rebounding Battle?
After a first look at the Friars, Wisconsin basketball has a pretty clear advantage at the forward and post positions. However, Providence is averaging 43 rebounds a game compared to UW’s 32 a game. It’s a small sample size and Providence has played Milwaukee and Columbia. It’s obvious Wisconsin has played a better schedule so far.
Providence only has one post player who has played more than 11 minutes a game. That would be Josh Oduro, who stands at 6’9 240 pounds, The Badgers will also see Rafael Castro, who stands at 6’11 220 pounds. There’s a height and weight advantage that favors the Badgers. Look for Steven Crowl and Tyler Wahl to get early looks in the post.
Battle of the Guards
UW has had trouble defending guards in their first two games. Dalton Knecht at 6’6 for Tennessee could be considered a forward, but he plays more like a guard. It seems odd as Max Klesmit and Chucky Hepburn are two of the best on ball defenders in the Big Ten, It has to driving Greg Gard nuts early on,
On the other hand, Wisconsin basketball guards have played well so far. Chucky Hepburn and AJ Storr are both averaging 16 points a game. Max Klesmit has been steady in the lineup as well. This is with essentially not having Connor Essegian so far. Hopefully Essegian is able to go tomorrow night.
ESPN give Providence a 66% chance to win this game. That seems a little high for a team that has not played a tough schedule and and has won their first two games by 19 and 10. I have a hard time believing a Greg Gard team plays bad defense for a third straight game.
Tremendous balance from Providence in a win over a good Milwaukee team at the AMP. Friars have seven players score between six and 16 points. Wisconsin next on Tuesday in the 401.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 12, 2023
Providence is a balanced team in scoring and doesn’t necessarily rely on one player. They depend on a ton of players to play and score. These teams can be harder to prepare for as there’s multiple players who can get hot and beat you.
I have a lot of optimism for the Badgers following the loss to Tennessee. Wisconsin basketball put up 70 points against of the best defensive teams in the country last year and left 10 points at the free throw line. I also think Tennessee played as well as they could have.
Anytime you play on the road, you have to shoot well from the free throw line. Friday was disappointing and they can’t leave points at the line tomorrow. I also think this is a game UW needs Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl to dominate. Add in Nolan Winter and there’s a clear advantage in the post that favors UW. Wahl has struggled in the first two games. All three need to stay out of foul trouble, something that has been an issue.
It’s always a tough atmosphere in Providence. Anytime you play a team in the Big East, you know you’re getting a tough team who won’t beat themselves.
I think this game is decided in the last few minutes. I like the Badgers as they have multiple players who can make a shot late. AJ Storr has experience against the Friars and I think he has a good game as well. Give me Wisconsin basketball in a road win that will look good at the end of the year.
Wisconsin 73 Providence 69
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