Badger Bits: Keys to avoiding embarrassment at Assembly Hall

Andy Lyons

Despite riding a 10-game winning streak against the Hooisers, it's going to take a near-perfect performance for the Badgers to even keep this one close.

The Badgers are coming off their largest win of the season over 12th-ranked Illinois, but don't expect the team to stay undefeated in conference play for long.

Wisconsin travels to Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday night in what may likely be the team's toughest test of the season. In the last two seasons, the Hoosiers own an a 28-1 record at Assembly Hall, which is rocking louder than ever again with the basketball program's return to elite status.

As loaded as their starting five may be, the Hoosiers depth and versatility pose problems for Wisconsin.

The key matchup will again come down to Jared Berggren and Cody Zeller on the low block. In last season's UW win at the Kohl Center, it was Berggren who locked up Zeller. He held Zeller to seven points on 2-7 shooting, but Indiana's big man was in foul trouble for much of the second half.

Maybe just as important as his defense in tonight's contest will be Berggren's offensive output. It's imperative the Badgers find a way to get him the rock consistently, because of his underrated low post moves and so we don't see the Badgers try to win by shooting 30 three-pointers.

Last year, UW could focus on locking up Zeller and still have success, but it'll be more difficult with the Hooisers' much improved lineup this time around. From Victor Oladipo's offensive development to Will Sheehey's impact coming off the bench, it's going to take a valiant effort to keep pace with the Hoosiers.

To have a chance, the Badgers will need to play classic fundamental basketball. Indiana kills teams on the fast break, especially off turnovers, so UW needs to limit its mistakes and play stellar transition defense. If they can do this, play stingy defense throughout and get good looks offensively, they stand a chance. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Tuesday's Links:

Freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell has been an instrumental part of Indiana's offense this season.

Jared Berggren and the Badgers are excited for the hostile environment they'll face at Assembly Hall.

While new UW defensive coordinator Dave Aranda looks to make some defensive changes, don't expect him to overhaul the entire defensive philosophy.

The news I know many of you have been waiting for: Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said the conference will reconsider changing the Leaders and Legends division names.

Will another Wilson play at UW? According to a tweet from Russell Wilson Monday night, his younger sister Anna received a full scholarship offer to play basketball at Wisconsin.

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