Big Ten (19-12, 10-8)
Big Wins: 12/31 at Michigan (73-61), 2/5 Illinois (63-50), 2/14 Ohio State (55-50)
Bad Losses: 1/15 Minnesota (74-78), 1/21 at Iowa (69-73), 1/31 at Northwestern (63-66)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2008, Sweet Sixteen loss to Davidson
Coach: Bo Ryan (10-7 in 7 NCAA appearances)
Trevon Hughes, Junior, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 2.9 apg, 1.5 spg
Jason Bohannon, Junior, Guard, 10.3 ppg, 1.7 apg
Joe Krabbenhoft, Senior, Guard, 8.6 ppg, 2.5 apg, 6.8 rpg
Marcus Landry, Senior, Forward, 12.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Jon Leuer, Sophomore, Forward, 9.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Tim Jarmusz, Sophomore, Forward, 3.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Keaton Nankivil, Sophomore, Forward, 4.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Jordan Taylor, Freshman, Guard, 1.6 ppg, 1.1 apg
Why They Can Surprise:
Coach Bo Ryan always has a group of players who can handle the ball and keep the turnovers down. This year’s group might lack some of the superstar names that the Badgers have had in the past, but they still do a great job taking care of the ball and they commit only 10.2 turnovers per game, ranking fifth in the entire nation. Trevon Hughes is the point guard who makes the offense tick. He only commits 1.8 turnovers per game, while dishing out 2.9 assists. Hughes is also a dynamic scorer who can get to the basket or hit the outside shot.
Speaking of hitting the outside shot, Hughes’ backcourt mate Jason Bohannon is the most consistent outside shooter on the team. Joe Krabbenhoft is not the shooter or scorer that Hughes and Bohannon are, but he is a key part of the offense. Krabbenhoft is a superb passer for a 6-7 wing and he is the best rebounder on the team.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Usually the Badgers have a big guy or two who can consistently hit the long ball. Keaton Nankivil, Jon Leuer and Tim Jarmusz all have the capability to do so, but have not hit the three-point shot very consistently this season. Nankivil is a solid defender, but he rarely shoots from the outside. Leuer is not afraid to take the outside shot and has emerged as a decent scoring option inside the arc, but he is only shooting 30.6 percent from the other side. Jarmusz’s numbers are not too much better, but he is really a 6-6 wing who will spend some time at the four spot, not a true big. If the Badger big guys are not hitting their shots, Coach Ryan’s offense can stutter.
Who To Watch:
The closest thing to a superstar this team has is Marcus Landry. He is also the closest thing the team has to a big guy who is an outside scoring threat. The 6-7 senior hits nearly one three-pointer per game, yet he will do most of his scoring around the basket. The Badgers need him to score in the paint as much as they need him to score from the outside. Unlike last year when Wisconsin had 6-11 centers Brian Butch and Greg Stiemsma clogging the paint, the shot blocking is also up to Landry. With Butch and Stiemsma the Badgers had a very difficult defense to score against. It is much easier to score over the 6-7 Landry than it was over the big guys this team had in the past.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.6 (241st in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.9 (10, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.5 (131, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.0 (204, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (144, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.1 (61, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.2 (66, 4)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (76, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.2 (229, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.2 (5, 1)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Florida State