Basketball Preview: Wisconsin Vs. Illinois State


The No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2) return to the court against visiting Illinois State (8-5) for the first time in 13 days following their most recent cancellation against George Mason due to a Covid-19 outbreak within the program.

This is the first time these two programs have played since 1998. UW will be the first power five team the Redbirds have played this season.

This is Wisconsin’s final non-conference tune up before they begin full-time Big-Ten play January 3rd when they travel to the Mackey Arena to face Purdue.

Notable KenPom Rankings:

Wisconsin: 33rd ranked team, 25th in ADJ Defense, 4th in turnover%.

Illinois St: 216th ranked team, 273rd in ADJ Defense, 332nd in rebounding.

Illinois state projected starters:

Guard: Mark Freeman (9.9 ppg, 4.1 apg)

Guard: Antonio Reeves (20.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

Guard: Howard Fleming Jr. (5.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg)

Forward: Sy Chatman (14.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg)

Forward: Kendall Lewis (8.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg)

Wisconsin projected starters:

Guard: Chucky Hepburn (7.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg)

Guard: Brad Davison (15.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg)

Guard: Jonathan Davis (20.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg)

Forward: Tyler Wahl (8.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg)

Center: Steven Crowl (7.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg)

Wisconsin comes into the game with a significant size advantage and should have no problem dominating the glass against the countries 332nd ranked rebounding team.

Illinois State does however, shoot the three extremely well. As a team, Illinois State shoots 39.3% from downtown.

After the poor defensive showing against Nicholls State, I’d expect Wisconsin to come out and make a statement defensively.

The game tips off at 7 pm CT against Illinois State on BTN.

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