The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (1-1), will host McNeese State (1-2) Wednesday night at the Kohl Center at 6 p.m.
The Badgers will look to build on a career game from junior Nate Reuvers, who gets another chance to face an undersized team. It will also be interesting to see how Kobe King’s role is expanded upon after putting up a career-high 18 points last time out.
The Cowboys are filled with guys who transferred in from other schools and carried by a backcourt tandem of juniors Dru Kuxhausen and A.J. Lawson. They’re both electric guards who can put up points in an instant and do so primarily from deep.
Kuxhausen is a Junior College product from Scottsbluff, Nebraska. He’s averaging a team-high 17 points per game through their first three matchups almost exclusively from three point range. He made seven deep balls in just 17 minutes against Southern New Orleans Monday night, and finished with 23 after not recording a field goal inside the arc.
To this point in the year, 81% (26-32) of his field goal attempts have come from outside, and he’s shooting them at a 46% clip.
Lawson is in his first year at McNeese after transferring from North Texas and sitting out a year. At North Texas, he was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team and started in a total of 49 games in two years.
So far with McNeese State, the Texas native is averaging 15.7 points per contest, but that number is a little deflated because he only logged 15 minutes in the Cowboys’ 104–33 obliteration of Southern New Orleans.
On the interior, McNeese State boasts Sha’markus Kennedy, who stands at just 6 foot 8. He’s averaging 13 points and 10.3 rebounds, but the height disadvantage will make things extremely tough on the Cowboys Wednesday night.
Don’t be surprised if Nate Reuvers posts another monster stat line after handling Eastern Illinois last Friday.
He was a beast and came up just one block shy of breaking the single-game blocks record for Wisconsin, instead settling for a tie with himself (2018) and Brad Sellers (1982).
With one more block Friday, Reuvers also would have finished with an extremely rare points-rebounds-blocks triple double. With a stat line of 14-14-9, Reuvers showed just why so many people see him as the future of the Badgers’ program.
Because McNeese State is so perimeter-oriented, you can expect Brad Davison, D’Mitrik Trice and Kobe King to be applying constant pressure to the ball handlers. It will force Kuxhausen and Lawson to get down low, where Reuvers’ never-ending wingspan will be waiting.
One thing to keep an eye out for is how Head Coach Greg Gard utilizes King from here on out. In his masterful performance against the Panthers, King showed glimpses of why he was such a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school.
He hit tough jumpers, contested layups and even threw down a nasty one-handed poster en route to a career-high 18 points. 2019 just may be his breakout season.
You can catch the game live on the Big Ten Network, or listen in on 1310 AM at 6 p.m. Wednesday night.