The No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (10-3 overall, 4-2 Big Ten) continue their road trip against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-4 overall, 3-4 Big Ten) on Friday night at the RAC. The Badgers are coming off a humiliating loss to No. 7 Michigan earlier in the week while the Scarlet Knights have lost three in a row and four of their last five, so something has to give in this game of two teams desperate for a win.
The Scarlet Knights started out the season hot, winning their first six games including Ws over Syracuse, Maryland and Illinois, but have been bit by the injury bug and have now lost four of their past five. Much like the Badgers, RU has a veteran starting lineup comprised of all juniors and seniors so one would think that this downturn is only temporary and they’ll pull themselves out of it soon.
On offense, Rutgers is a pretty good three point shooting team, however they don’t shoot a lot of them. Kinda weird tbqh and despite shooting the deep ball well, they are an awful free throw shooting team. They also rarely turn the ball over. On defense, they are pretty average across the board although they do force steals and block shots at an above average rate which is something Wisconsin struggled with against Michigan.
If I were to guess how this game will go it would probably be something like playing a Michigan Lite. The Scarlet Knights try and do a lot of the same things as the Wolverines, especially on defense, they just aren’t quite as good.
How to watch/listen
TV: FS1, 8:00 p.m., CT, Brian Custer, Jim Spanarkel
Streaming: FOX Sports GO
Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 83; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Rutgers Athletic Center; Piscataway, N.J.
Line: Wisconsin -2
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 59%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- Wisconsin is 5-3 against Rutgers since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten, including a 5-2 record under head coach Greg Gard.
- Friday’s game marks the 12th-ever meeting between Wisconsin and Rutgers in a series that began in 1949. The Badgers are 8-3 all-time against the Scarlet Knights
- The Badgers are looking for their first win at the RAC since RU joined the conference.
- The Badgers lead the Big Ten allowing only 62.7 ppg this season and are second in FG pct. defense (40%).
- Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Texas have five top-50 wins in KenPom, which leads the country. Rutgers has four.
- Over the last three seasons, Wisconsin is 15-6 (2-0 this year) coming off of a loss.
- Senior G D’Mitrik Trice has been on an offensive tear the last five games, averaging 21.8 points per game, shooting 52.2% FG and 50% 3FG.
- Trice is four points away from moving into the top-25 of all-time scoring leaders at Wisconsin and four three pointers away from moving into the top-five of all-time three point makes at Wisconsin.
- Senior G Brad Davison is one three pointer away from being alone in tenth place all-time on the career three point make list.
- Wisconsin is just 15-for-57 (.263) from 3-point range and has 33 assists and 33 TOs in the three recent losses at the RAC.
- UW is 4-1 this season when making nine or more three pointers.
- Senior big man Micah Potter has scored double figures in eight of the last nine games for the Badgers.
- For Rutgers, Jacob Young leads the Big Ten in steals per game (2.36) and Ron Harper Jr. paces the league in three-pointers per game (3.00) and is second in three-point percentage (45.5).
- Ron Harper Jr., averages 20.1 points per game and has scored in double-figures in all 10 games he’s played in this season.
- Myles Johnson is second in blocks (2.09) and fifth in rebounding (8.5).
- LMAO the Rutgers game notes say that they beat Iowa on Jan. 2 when, uh, they very much did not do that.
And on that note, the Scarlet Knights have lost three in a row and four of their last five so they’ll be coming out swinging against the Badgers to try and end their losing streak.
- D’Mitrik Trice, 6-foot, redshirt senior, guard, No. 0
- Aleem Ford, 6-foot-8 redshirt senior, forward, No. 2
- Tyler Wahl, 6-foot-9, sophomore, forward, No. 5
- Micah Potter, 6-foot-10, redshirt senior, center, No. 11
- Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 34
Have no idea how long Greg Gard had been contemplating this move. But this makes sense to do it tonight because it'd be tough for Reuvers to match up with Ron Harper Jr.— Jim Polzin (@JimPolzinWSJ) January 16, 2021
- Geo Baker, 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 0
- Montez Mathis, 6-foot-4, junior, guard, No. 10
- Myles Johnson, 6-foot-11, junior, center, No. 15
- Ron Harper, Jr., 6-foot-6, junior, forward, No. 24
- Jacob Young, 6-foot-2, senior, guard, No. 42