Preview: Wisconsin at Marquette

Sam Dekker is averaging 10.4 ppg (Moebius/12)

Taking the headlines away from Wisconsin football for at least one day, Wisconsin travels east down I-94 for its annual matchup with top in-state rival Marquette.

Wisconsin (6-3, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Marquette (5-2, 0-0 Big East)

Date/Time -Saturday, December 8, 5 p.m. Central

Arena – BMO Harris Bradley Center (18,550)

Television - ESPN2 (Dave O'Brien & Dan Dakich)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt LePay and Mike Lucas)

Series – Wisconsin Leads 64-54 (Marquette leads 38-27 in Milwaukee)

Last Meeting – Marquette won, 61-54, on December 3, 2011 in Madison.

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Ben Brust (6-1 Junior Guard, 13.7 ppg)

5 Ryan Evans (6-6 Senior Forward, 10.4 ppg)

12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Sophomore Guard, 4.6 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6 Senior Forward, 6.2 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (6-10 Senior Forward, 14.9 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 George Marshall (5-11 Freshman Guard, 5.6 ppg)

15 Sam Dekker (6-7 Freshman Forward, 10.4 ppg)

32 Zak Showalter (6-2 Freshman Guard, 3.0 ppg)

34 Zach Bohannon (6-8 Junior Forward, 1.4 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (6-11 Sophomore Forward, 4.1 ppg)

Marquette Probable Starters

0 Jamil Wilson (6-7 Junior Forward, 9.9 ppg)

5 Junior Cadougan (6-1 Senior Guard, 6.3 ppg)

13 Vander Blue (6-4 Junior Guard, 12.8 ppg)

22 Trent Lockett (6-5 Senior Guard, 8.4 ppg)

42 Chris Otule (6-11 Senior Center, 7.3 ppg)

Off the Bench

10 Juan Anderson (6-6 Sophomore Forward, 4.6 ppg)

23 Jake Thomas (6-3 Junior Guard, 4.6 ppg)

25 Steve Taylor (6-7 Freshman Forward, 3.9 ppg)

54 Davante Gardner (6-8 Junior Forward, 12.9 ppg)

Last Time Out

MADISON (AP) - Ben Brust scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Wisconsin over Nebraska-Omaha 86-40 on Tuesday.

Brust was one of five Badgers (6-3) in double figures. Ryan Evans had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Jared Berggren scored 13, Frank Kaminsky had 11 and Sam Dekker chipped in with 10.

Justin Simmons led Nebraska-Omaha (2-8) with 12 points.

Trailing just 6-5 early in the first half, it was largely downhill from there for the Mavericks. Wisconsin finished the half on a 36-7 run, punctuated by Traevon Jackson's steal and shot at the buzzer to put Wisconsin up 42-13.

The Mavericks had a miserable first half, shooting 22 percent from the floor, including 0 of 5 from 3-point range, while committing 10 turnovers.

Last Meeting

MADISON (AP) - Darius Johnson-Odom scored 17 points and No. 16 Marquette knocked off in-state rival No.9 Wisconsin 61-54 on Saturday.

Todd Mayo added 14 points for Marquette (7-0), which snapped the Badgers' 23-game home winning streak. Mayo, the younger brother of NBA player O.J. Mayo, had a critical late layup and an emphatic game-clinching dunk.

Jordan Taylor scored 13 and tried to lead a late comeback charge for the Badgers (6-2), who have lost two straight.

The Golden Eagles were without starting point guard Junior Cadougan, who was suspended for Saturday's game for a violation of team rules.

Even without their floor leader, the Golden Eagles seemed comfortable playing at Wisconsin's deliberate tempo and generally didn't lose their focus on defense. Then they fended off a late charge by the Badgers.

With Marquette leading 51-42, Taylor -- who appeared to hurt his right ankle on the previous possession -- hit a jumper with just over four minutes left, then cut the deficit to five with a pair of free throws.

Taylor then hit a driving layup to get the Badgers within three. But Mayo scored on a high-arching layup, and Davante Gardner scored inside to give the Golden Eagles a 55-48 lead.

Ben Brust hit a 3-pointer for Wisconsin with a minute left, cutting the lead to four, but the Golden Eagles hit their free throws down the stretch and Mayo added the dunk for a big finish. Wisconsin trailed by 10 at the half, then 41-29 after a driving layup with Mayo with just over 15 minutes remaining. But the Badgers got back in the game with an 11-0 run, including a 3-pointer by Josh Gasser and a driving layup by Brust.

It was enough to erase their first-half deficit, but not enough to get past the Golden Eagles. Marquette held Wisconsin to 6 for 23 from the floor -- and 1 for 7 from 3-point range -- in the first half and took a 32-22 lead into halftime.

Series Notes:

Separated by just 75 miles, the Badgers and Golden Eagles have met 118 times in a series that began in 1917. UW and MU have played every year but one since the 1958-59 season (did not play in 1984-85).

Marquette is the Badgers' most played non-conference rival.

The Badgers have won two of the last three meetings with MU, and 9 of the last 15. However, Marquette won the most recent match-up, a 61-54 decision at the Kohl Center on Dec. 3, 2011.

In games played in Milwaukee, UW is 27-38 all-time against the Golden Eagles. The Badgers won in their most recent trip to the Bradley Center, pulling out a 69-64 win behind 21 points from Jordan Taylor and 17 from Jon Leuer.

The road team has won four of the last six meetings in this series, including each of the last two.

Bo Ryan owns a 6-5 record against Marquette, including a 2-2 mark against Buzz Williams-led teams.

Under Ryan, the Badgers have a 27-5 (.844) record in the in-state round-robin with Marquette, Milwaukee and Green Bay. Ryan's teams have never finished worse than 2-1 in the state series.

UW is 101-101 all-time against teams currently in the Big East Conference.

Wisconsin Notes

Known for its defensive prowess, Wisconsin has also been remarkably efficient at the offensive end during the Bo Ryan era. According to StatSheet.com the Badgers are averaging 1.16 points per possession this season, which is tied for 13th in the nation.

Wisconsin is forcing opponents into 14.6 turnovers per game this season, the highest average of the Bo Ryan era. The Badgers' 2006-07 team is only other squad to average over 14 opponent turnovers per game.

On the season, the Badgers lead the Big Ten in both assist-to-turnover ratio and turnover margin. UW owns a +5.0 turnover margin (9.6 turnovers per game, 14.6 opp. TOs per game) and a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio (15.0 apg, 9.6 TOs per game).

With 15 blocks through 9 games this season, Berggren ranks 3rd in the Big Ten, averaging 1.7 per contest.

Marquette Notes:

The Marquette University men's basketball team will honor former assistant and head coach Rick Majerus by wearing a special patch on the squad's uniforms the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign. Majerus passed away last Saturday night at the age of 64.

In Marquette's 33-point loss at Florida, Blue finished with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and also found time to contribute four rebounds and two assists in 32 minutes of action. He was the lone Marquette player to reach double figures in points, marking the first time since Jan. 20, 2010 only one MU competitor has scored 10-or-more points in a game.

MU's 49 points were the fewest since the team dropped a 51-50 decision at DePaul on Jan. 20, 2010 in BIG EAST Conference action. The final margin of 33 points was the largest since the Golden Eagles fell 99-52 (47 points) at No. 12 Louisville on Jan. 26, 2005 in a Conference USA outing.

MU's group of players not in the starting lineup is currently contributing 32.7 points and 19.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 55.3 percent from the field as a unit and 38.2 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Sophomore guard Todd Mayo has rendered himself academically ineligible, head coach Buzz Williams announced. Mayo is unable to practice or play, indefinitely. The Huntington, W.V., native appeared in 35 games for the Golden Eagles in 2011-12, averaging 7.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest.

Prediction

Both teams haven't been amazing this non-conference season (evident by neither being ranked nationally) but both are good basketball teams. When you look at the matchup between the two storied programs in the state, the difference this evening is going to come down to bench play.

Having to replace a couple of senior standouts from last season and Mayo because of academic trouble this season, head coach Buzz Williams has made the most of his options through the team's first seven games. A total of 10 players are averaging at least 10 minutes per game and the team leader, Blue, checks in at just 29.0 minutes per contest.

As a result of the shared playing time, Marquette currently features six competitors contributing at least 6.3 points per night. Nobody has taken bigger advantage of that than Gardner.

Despite playing just 20.0 minutes per night off the bench through seven games, Gardner continues to lead the team in scoring. Not only is he shooting 56.3 percent from the field, Gardner is first on the team with 5.7 rebounds per contest. Gardner finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes against Mississippi State on Nov. 20, the third double-double of his career.

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan hasn't gone that deep on his bench this year (only two forwards and one guard average over 10 minutes), but he might have the most athletic player on the court in Dekker. Becoming a bigger piece of Wisconsin's rotation every game, Dekker is averaging 20.4 minutes off the bench, has hit a 3-pointer in all 9 games and ranks fourth among Big Ten freshmen with 10.4 ppg. In three road/neutral games this year, Dekker is averaging 12.7 points per game.

Marquette has been off over a week since getting spanked by Florida in Gainesville. The last time Wisconsin faced an opponent who had more than a week off prior to facing them, the Badgers forced an undefeated California team into 23 turnovers, held them to 38.3 percent shooting and won by 15.

To a degree it's comparing apples to oranges, but the Badgers didn't shoot lights out last Sunday from the two stripes (33.3 percent from 3-point range, 56 percent from free-throw line), but Wisconsin shot 51.7 percent from the floor and had that toughness on the glass. Wisconsin is much better on the glass than Marquette, so continuing that intensity will be a huge shot in the arm for the road team.

Since Ryan was hired in 2001, Wisconsin has been the Big Ten's best road team, owning the most true road wins (62) and best road win percentage (.504) in the conference. Wisconsin has learned from its early-season bumps to play some pretty good basketball over the past week. Let's see if that continues tonight.

Wisconsin by five.

Worgull's Record: 6-3

Points off Prediction: 111 (12.3 per game)

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