After a decisive win over S.t Francis (0-1), the University of Wisconsin Badgers look to improve to two and zero against in-state competitor UW-Green Bay. The game will hold a special place in the season without a doubt as everyone in the Kohl Center will pay homage to legendary Coach Bo Ryan.

In Ryans’ 15 seasons as head coach, he notched 364 wins and 14 NCAA tournament apprentices. Aside from the fact Ryan stands among the very best coaches in NCAA history, the game also holds importance in the fact Ryan’s son Will is the coach for the Phoenix.

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Getting to know the opponent

Green Bay enters Friday’s game 0-1 after taking a four-point loss to the Sycamores of Indiana State. In addition, this is one of the only teams in the Power Five they will face all season with the exception of Minnesota and Kansas State, which they are slated to play in early December.

Even with a tough start and fairly light schedule, the Phoenix are not without scoring threats. Green Bay sports some impressive shooters with Emmanuel Ansong scorching a 75% from three in their previous game. Additionally, many of the Pheonix hail from the state of Wisconsin, having transferred back home from larger conference schools such as Toledo and Belmont.

Even with this talent, Green Bay is going to need to have strong guard play if they are going to be able to outscore the talented bids for Wisconsin.

The Home Team

The Badgers come into tonight’s contest with not only a 22-game win streak against non-conference opponents but also an 85% win percentage while playing in the Kohl Center. Aside from their statistical advantage, the Badgers are coming off of a highly productive first-half against St Francis.

Also, with an average starting lineup age hovering around 19 years old, the Badgers are one of the youngest teams in the Big Ten. Looking at this game, the Badgers will most likely look to limit turnovers while pushing it in the paint.

Their patent swing offense will no doubt be on display.

“Our offensive is tailor made to get guys good shots and put guys in a position to use their strengths,” Lorne Bowman II said.

With higher scorers Johnny Davis and Steven Crowl, this inside-out game will add a strong offensive showing from the young squad. 

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Storylines to watch:

Brad Davison

Davison passed Sam Dekker in the last game for nineteenth on the all-time scoring list for the Badgers against St Francis. Going into Friday’s competition, Davison needs just six points to past John Lauer for the number 18 spot mark that his averages say he can reach.

In an offense that often showcases multiple players, Davison has the potential to look for others’ shots as well as his own. While that achievement is on the horizon, Davison’s brand is one of team play. If it comes down to him getting his six or players like Vogt or Bowman getting easy touches, he will most likely go with the latter. With this being said, as the shot clock winds down, don’t be surprised to see Step-Back-Brad pulling off some patented magic.

Chucky Hepburn

Hepburn was the first true freshman to start a season opener since 2001 and he lived up to the hype. Hepburn’s continued success will be a fixture of tonight’s game. Don’t be surprised to see him matching up full-court against guards using his defensive intensity to fuel his offense.

One point to focus on in Hepburn’s game is his passing ability as he takes advantage of his vision to get others easy touches. This will be a key aspect of the run-and-gun swing these new Badgers are beginning to craft.