And just like that...it’s college basketball season again! The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hoops team tips-off their season on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. CT against the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers in both teams’ first game of the season.
The Terriers, coming out of the Northeast Conference, finished last season at 9-10 overall and are only returning two starters. This is a team that also doesn’t have a ton of height with their tallest rotational piece standing only 6-foot-9.
That hopefully means that players like Steven Crowl, Ben Carlson and Chris Vogt will have an easy time in the post and on the boards to keep Wisconsin in control of this game from the start. Wisconsin will be starting a true freshman at point guard, presumably, and Jonathan Davis and Crowl will also be making their first career starts, so getting some easy looks from close to the basket might ease everyone into the game.
I have slowly become more optimistic about how this season will go as the offseason has worn on and we’ve gotten closer to real games. I still don’t think that Wisconsin is an NCAA Tournament team, but they’ll be on the bubble and they’ll be a tough out for the top teams in the Big Ten.
Racking up some early wins, and confidence, against teams like St. Francis Brooklyn is important in the growth of the Badgers. It will be exciting to see new faces out on the floor for the first time in, what seems like, forever while they take us on a 2021-22 college basketball journey.
How to watch/listen
TV: only streaming/radio for the first game :(
Streaming: BTN+; 7 p.m. CT; Noah Clark, Cade Johnson; you can also find it on the FOX Sports app
Radio/Satellite: WIBA 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 195; Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.
DraftKings Line: they don’t have one but if they did...presumably Wisconsin by a lot
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 99%
Torvik Wisconsin win percentage: 91%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- This is season No. 124 of men’s basketball at the University of Wisconsin and Brad Davison has been around for most of them.
- Entering his seventh season at the helm, Greg Gard, the 2020 Big Ten Coach of the Year, owns the third-best win% in program history (119-70, .630).
Also worth noting: UW will wear red jerseys in tomorrow’s season opener. St Francis College Brooklyn haven’t received all its jerseys due to supply chain industry shortages, so the Terriers only have white jerseys.— Abby Schnable (@AbbySchnable) November 8, 2021
- Wisconsin has won 22 of the last 23 home openers, including a 77-67 win over Eastern Illinois last season. The Badgers are 22-1 all-time in home openers at the Kohl Center.
- Gard is 5-0 in home openers winning by average margin of 22.0 ppg.
- Wisconsin is facing St. Francis Brooklyn for the first time in school history.
- However, there is a very interesting connection between the two programs: The father of UW freshman Markus Ilver (Tallinn, Estonia), Pritt Ilver, played two seasons at St. Francis Brooklyn (1998-2000), appearing in 28 games as a senior.
- Ilver also grew up playing with current St. Francis Brooklyn freshman guard Kasper Suurorg, who also hails from Tallinn, Estonia.
- UW’s top returning scorer, Brad Davison averaged 10.0 ppg last season. He’s played in all 128 games he’s been eligible (124 straight).
- Davison ranks fourth all-time at UW in games started (124), eighth in minutes played (4,011), 19th in scoring (1,363), fifth in 3FGs (222), 12th in steals (132) and fifth in FT% (.832).
- With the first point that Davison scores this season, he’ll move out of tie with Sam Dekker for the No. 19 spot on the UW all-time scoring list.
- This season’s Wisconsin Badgers feature 12 underclassmen, including five true freshmen on the roster.
- Wisconsin is tied with Nebraska (two So., 10 Fr.) for the most underclassmen in the Big Ten. Indiana and Michigan each have 11 underclassmen on their rosters.
- The average age of UW’s potential starting lineup this year is 19.8 years old. In comparison, last season’s lineup had an average age 22.6 yrs old.
- Johnny Davis, 6-foot-5, sophomore, guard, No. 1
- Tyler Wahl, 6-foot-9, junior, forward, No. 5
- Steven Crowl, 7-foot, sophomore, forward, No. 22
- Chucky Hepburn, 6-foot-2, freshman, guard, No. 23
- Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, super senior, guard, No. 34
St. Francis Brooklyn
- I could not find the Terriers’ media guide online and UWBadgers didn’t have it either (and they even had Whitewater’s game notes from the exhibition game so it’s not like they’re hiding it from us) so here is my best guess at who might start for St. Francis!
- After writing this on Monday night, they did release some game notes on Tuesday but didn’t include a projected starting five. STICKING WITH MY PICKS!
- Patrick Emilien, 6-foot-7, super senior, forward, No. 1
- Rob Higgins, 6-foot-1, junior, guard, No. 3
- Michael Cubbage, 6-foot-4, super senior, guard, No. 11
- Vuk Stevanic, 6-foot-8, junior, forward, No. 12
- Jack Hemphill, 6-foot-9, super senior, forward, No. 32