After a successful week in the Fort Myers Tip Off, Wisconsin basketball returns to the Kohl Center for the first time in 10 days. They will play host to Western Illinois. The Leathernecks are currently 2-4 on the season and come out of the Ohio Valley Conference. Can the Badgers avoid a let-down tomorrow? Tip time is 6 PM on BTN. Here is a preview of tomorrow’s game.
How Does Wisconsin Basketball Deal With More Height?
For the first time since the Tennessee game, the Badgers will have to deal with a team taller than them. The Leathernecks will have Drew Cisse (6″11) and Joe Petrakis (6’11) potentially start together. Cisse is likely the one to start, but the Leathernecks have started both players at the same time.
On the other hand, the Badgers post players have responded well over the last week. They haven’t been challenged much in the post. Tomorrow could present a different challenge, How players like Steven Crowl, Tyler Wahl, and Nolan Winter respond will be key.
Wisconsin Basketball Needs to Avoid a Hangover
If you look at the Wisconsin basketball schedule, you will see a three game gauntlet after tomorrow. The Badgers host #4 Marquette Saturday, then travel to Michigan State next Tuesday, then travel to #3 Arizona next weekend. It’s one of the tougher three game stretches in the country.
The Badgers have improved a lot since the Providence game. They have made too many strides to give up a buy in game like this. If they stick to the fundamentals, they will be fine.
ESPN gives the Badgers a 97% chance to win tomorrow. I think this is a game where the guards need to step up. It’s been a lot of Steven Crowl and Tyler Wahl, but the Leathernecks average seven blocks a game. They also average 46 rebounds a game.
I don’t see a ton of offense coming from Western Illinois either. They only average 28% from three and and 39% shooting as a whole. Both are not good numbers for this early in the season.
There is a common opponent between the two teams. Western Illinois fell to SMU 90-53 earlier this year and recently fell to Illinois by 32 Friday night. Add in an average of 16 turnovers a game, I expect to see a sloppy offense from the Leathernecks.
It’s hard not to look past a team like this, but the Badgers have to be sharp and crisp tomorrow. I expect a slow start but UW to pull away in the first half. Expect no upset bid here..
Wisconsin 82 Western Illinois 59
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