The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team will be back on the hardwood this Thursday as they take on the Savannah State Tigers at the Kohl Center. This will be the last game before getting a week and a half off for final exams.
Wisconsin (8-2 overall, 2-0 Big Ten) is currently ranked No. 16 in the nation after dropping four spots from No.12 in this week’s AP poll. The Badgers are coming off a tough, five-point, overtime loss in a true road game against the Marquette Golden Eagles this past weekend. The Golden Eagles leaped into the AP top 25 after the win and are currently sitting at No. 21 in the polls.
Wisconsin’s two lone losses this season have come against the Virginia Cavaliers who are currently No. 6 in the AP poll, and on the road against the Golden Eagles. The Badgers have already tallied three top-50 wins.
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Savannah State is currently 3-7 on the season, including an 0-6 road record. The Tigers defense has struggled tremendously this year as teams are averaging 96.1 points per game when playing Savannah State.
Savannah State features four scorers averaging double figures: Jaquan Dotson with 11.9, Zach Sellers with 10.9, Collins Joseph with 10.7 and Zaquavian Smith with 10.5 points per game. Despite the distributed scoring numbers, the Tigers are still immensely distant from a top 50 ranking.
Control of game pace should prove integral Thursday — the Tigers will be looking to push the pace while Wisconsin will be trying slow things down and run their traditional offense. But with a lack of defense from Savannah State, the Badgers may push the pace in pursuit of an early lead.
Coming off his 34-point performance on Saturday, center Ethan Happ is now averaging 19.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. His partner in crime, point guard D’Mitrik Trice, is shooting 55.4 percent from the three-point line this season on 56 attempts.
Forward Aleem Ford will look to continue his steady contributions off the bench. In the past four games, Ford is averaging 6.8 points per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Tip-off for Savannah State at No. 16 Wisconsin is set for 7 p.m. at the Kohl Center Thursday. You can catch the game on the Big Ten Network or listen live with the Badger Sports Network, 100.9 FM.