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Wisconsin men’s basketball: non-conference preview

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A breakdown of all six non-conference games for the Badgers truncated schedule this year.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The college basketball starts on Wednesday night and your No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers men’s hoops team tips-off against the Eastern Illinois Panthers at 9 p.m. CST (woof) at the Kohl Center. To get you ready for the shortened non-conference schedule we have brief breakdowns of all six of Wisconsin’s opponents for you!

Later this week we’ll have the same thing but for all of the Big Ten teams, as well as a couple of roundtables offering up Wisconsin-centric predictions and B1G predictions too.


Eastern Illinois Panthers

  • Wednesday, Nov. 25th, 9 p.m CST, BTN, Madison
  • 17-15 (9-9 OVC) last season
  • Ranked No. 166 overall by KenPom
  • Leading returning scorer is SG Josiah Wallace (15.6 ppg) who was first-team all-OVC last year.
NCAA Basketball: Eastern Illinois at Texas Tech
Josiah Wallace
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Leading returning rebounder is SF George Dixon (8.8 rpg).
  • An intriguing newcomer is 6-foot-9 Siena transfer PF Sammy Friday IV who should start immediately for a size-challenged Panthers squad.

Arkansas Pine-Bluff Golden Lions

  • Friday, Nov. 27th, 8 p.m. CST, BTN, Madison
  • 4-26 (3-15 SWAC) last season
  • Ranked No. 353 by KenPom
  • Leading returning scorer is SF Shaun Doss (12.3 ppg)
  • Leading returning rebounder is PF Markedric Bell (4.8 rpg), who is projected to be second-team all-SWAC this year.
NCAA Basketball: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Gonzaga
Markedric Bell
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
  • As far as I can tell, UAPB did not bring in any new players for this year, so, uhhhhh, yeah!

Green Bay Phoenix

  • Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 4 p.m. CST, BTN, Madison
  • 17-16 (11-7 Horizon) last season
  • Ranked No. 266 by KenPom
  • Leading returning scorer is G Amari Davis (15.9 ppg)
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 23 Green Bay at Cleveland State
  • Leading returning rebounder is also Davis (4.0 rpg)
  • The Phoenix graduated four starters and also have a new head coach, Will Ryan (son of Bo), despite their last coach being relatively successful.
  • An interesting newcomer is in-state big man Terrance Thompson (6-foot-8, 240 pounds, La Crosse).

Marquette Golden Eagles

  • Friday, Dec. 4th, 6 p.m. CST, FS1, Milwaukee
  • 18-12 (8-10 Big East) last season
  • Ranked No. 36 by KenPom
  • Leading returning scorer is PG Koby McEwen (9.5 ppg).
NCAA Basketball: Butler at Marquette
Koby McEwen
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
  • Leading returning rebounder is PF Theo John (5.2 rpg)
  • Marquette has a number of intriguing newcomers including Ohio State transfer PG D.J. Carton and stud freshman big man Dawson Garcia (Prior Lake, Minn., 6-foot-11, 230 pounds).

Louisville Cardinals

  • Wednesday, Dec. 9th, 7:15 p.m. CST, ESPN, Madison
  • 24-7 (15-5 ACC) last season
  • Ranked No. 28 by KenPom
  • Leading returning scorer is C Malik Williams (8.5 ppg)
  • Leading returning rebounder is also Williams (6.1 rpg)
NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Clemson Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
  • Much like Marquette, Louisville has a number of intriguing newcomers including guards Carlik Jones (grad transfer from Radford, Big South Player of the Year, 20 ppg, 5.5 apg last year) and Charles Mineland (grad transfer from San Francisco, 14.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg last year).

Northern Iowa Panthers

  • Wednesday, Dec. 16th, TBA, TBA, Madison
  • 25-6 (14-4 MVC) last season
  • Ranked No. 76 by KenPom
  • Leading returning scorer is PG AJ Green (19.7 ppg, reigning MVC Player of the Year).
NCAA Basketball: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Drake vs UNI
AJ Green
Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports
  • Leading returning rebounder is PF Austin Phyfe (8.2 rpg, first team all-MVC last year).
  • An intriguing newcomer to watch is true freshman guard Bowen Born who was named Iowa’s Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 37.4 ppg and leading his high school to the Class 3A state title.