Joe & Ebo Experience: Easing into the week

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Joe & Ebo Experience: Super Bowl Party

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Sports Director Zach Heilprin (16:00)

Coaching stories &  Rodgers v. Mahomes (26:55)

Gard & King discussion (34:11)

Former Badgers basketball player Brian Butch (52:32)

Joe & Ebo Experience: Bad Breakup

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Callers weigh in (24:01)

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Marquette 82, Wisconsin 63: Last word

MADISON — Marquette got 47 points combined from guards Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey on its way to a dominating 82-63 victory over a shorthanded Wisconsin team on Saturday at the Kohl Center.

Player of the Game: Rowsey

Saddled with foul trouble in the first half, the senior had 18 of his 24 points after the break. When the Badgers had trimmed the lead to 6 with 15:54 left, Rowsey went on a personal 8-2 run to push it back to double digits. Wisconsin had zero answer for Rowsey.

The good: Brad Davison

The freshman seems to play his best when the rest of the team is struggling and that was again the case on Saturday. Playing with a brace protecting an injured left shoulder, Davison scored a career-high 20 points, 11 of which came from the free throw line, and continued to throw his body around like he has all year. He played a team-high 38 minutes and was a driving force in keeping Wisconsin within striking distance until the final 10 minutes.

The not so good: Injuries

The injuries didn’t happen during the game, but they were certainly evident during it. Wisconsin learned late Friday morning that starting guard D’Mitrik Trice would be out indefinitely to undergo foot surgery, and then found out late Friday night that guard Kobe King will miss significant time with a knee injury. It left the Badgers without two key perimeter defenders on Saturday and leaves them extremely thin in the backcourt moving forward.

Stat of the game: 14 of 22

That was Marquette’s day from beyond the arc. It included Sam Hauser hitting 4 of 5 and Rowsey going 5 of 6. More than a couple of those were uncontested as the Badgers defense really struggled to close out on shooters.

What they said:

Ethan Happ was asked how the team can turn the season around:

“Stay together. That’s the biggest thing. We’ve had struggles my first two years playing here. That’s what we did. We just stayed together and kept fighting. Didn’t hang up the shoes. We’re going to keep doing that and keep playing.”

In Case You Missed It:

— T.J. Schlundt played a career-high 13 minutes, hitting the only 3-pointer he took. His father, Terrell, played for Marquette.

— Wisconsin honored six football players during a break in play, including running back Jonathan Taylor and linebacker T.J. Edwards.

— Most of the 2018 recruiting class for the Wisconsin football team was in attendance at the game as many took their official visit to Madison this weekend.

— Wisconsin’s top basketball target in 2020, forward Jalen Johnson (Sun Prairie, Wis.), attended the game.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (4-7) welcomes Western Kentucky (6-2) to the Kohl Center on Wednesday.

Badgers fall to Temple 59-55

The Wisconsin Badgers lost to the Temple Owls 59-55 on Wednesday night in Philadelphia. The Badgers had plenty of opportunities in the back-and-forth contest, but were ultimately unable to finish down the stretch.

Forward Ethan Happ had 23 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the loss for Wisconsin. He was 11-of-19 from the floor on the night. Happ was the only player for Wisconsin to reach double-figures on the night.

Temple was able to seal the game thanks to two Shizz Alston Jr. free throws with 6.0 seconds left to push the lead to four points. On the previous possession Wisconsin attempted to take the lead on a Kobe King step-back 3-pointer from the top of the key that bounced off the iron. Alston Jr. finished the night with 22 points for Temple.

Wisconsin falls to 4-6 on the season with the loss and finish their Pennsylvania road trip 1-1 after defeating Penn State on Monday night. The Badgers have lost 6-of-8 since they started off the season 2-0. The Badgers return home for a matchup with in-state for Marquette on Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center. Tip-off is at 11AM.

Badgers top UW-Stout 85-56 in exhibition finale

The University of Wisconsin won their third and final exhibition matchup Sunday evening against in-state foe UW-Stout 85-56. The Badgers swept through the preseason, defeating Missouri in a closed scrimmage, as well as Northern Iowa and UW-Stout at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin was led by freshmen guards Brad Davison and Kobe King on the night. They scored 13 and 17 points, respectively. The Badgers finished with four players in double-figures as Andy Van Vliet and Khalil Iverson both finished with 11 points.

Here are nine last shots for the nine three-pointers made by Wisconsin Sunday evening.

1. It was difficult to learn much about the Badgers on Sunday in their matchup against UW-Stout. When the talent gap is as large as it is between a division one and a division three program, some things will be difficult to figure out for those watching.

2. One of the things that has been evident for Wisconsin no matter who the opposition is that King and Davison will be key cogs for the Badgers this year despite their inexperience. Davison got the start in place of an injured D’Mitrik Trice who missed the exhibition with an ankle injury. Both the talented freshman were able to handle the point guard responsibilities at different points throughout the night.

3. “For me, playing point was something new, I haven’t really done too much,” King said. “This morning me, Brad [Davison], Khalil [Iverson], sat down with coach Gard, ran through some things. Overall it was pretty fun, but I’m excited to have [Trice] back.”

4. Understandably the two can’t wait for the games to count for real, as they start to on Friday night when the Badgers host South Carolina State.

5. “We’ve put in a lot of work since we’ve been here over the summer. Especially with the foreign tour we had extra practices. I think it’s something that we’re very well prepared for and I know we’re all looking forward to it,” King said.

6. Defensively Wisconsin wasn’t as impressive early on as there were against Northern Iowa in their previous exhibition. They seemed to be giving UW-Stout a few more open looks than the Panthers were able to find on Wednesday night.

7. The most surprising number from Sunday evening might have been zero, as in the number of official shot attempts for forward Ethan Happ. He finished the night with two points, both coming from the free throw stripe. It was clear that UW-Stout’s plan was to double Happ immediately once the ball was given to him in the post. He did add in four rebounds and three assists in his 22 minutes on the floor.

8. Happ looked comfortable passing out of the post when he was forced to, however it was extremely odd to see the team’s best player not attempt a shot. The production from Davison and King certainly helped to offset the lack of offense from Happ.

9. Obviously, things can change quickly, and not too much stock should be taken in an exhibition, but it must be comforting for the team to see that King has been able to consistently create offense for himself. He can provide an instant spark and find many ways to put points on the board. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him average double-figures in scoring during the season.

Wisconsin tops Northern Iowa 69-38 in exhibition

MADISON | The Wisconsin Badgers opened the home portion of their preseason schedule on Wednesday night with a 69-38 victory over the University of Northern Iowa in an exhibition matchup. Wisconsin got a strong effort out freshman Kobe King, who was the game’s high scorer with 15 points.

The Badgers only return one starter from the 2016-17 season in forward Ethan Happ. Happ got off to a slow start in the first half, but finished with nine points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes on the night. As a team, Wisconsin was not very sharp early, failing to score for nearly the first three minutes of the game. They trailed 10-2 at the 13:20 mark of the first half.

After that it was all Badgers as they were able to pull away against the inferior Panthers, cruising to the 69-38 win.

Here are 15 last shots for King’s 15 points on the evening.

1. Wisconsin trotted out a starting lineup of D’Mitrik Price, Brevin Pritzl, Khalil Iverson, Andy Van Vliet, and Happ. Of those five, only Happ was a regular starter last year for the Badgers.

2. “I think it’s meshing together nicely, but it’s definitely taking time and it’s going to take some more time,” Happ said of the new starting lineup. “Especially having certain guys in at certain moments of the game. We’ve been really fortunate with the trip overseas and then to have the scrimmage against Missouri and now this. The more reps we get as a team, that’s going to help us a lot.”

3. Early on, it looked as if the Badgers hadn’t played together much yet, which is mostly true. While the team did play exhibition games in Australia and New Zealand over the summer along with a closed exhibition against Missouri last week, they’re still feeling each other out.

4. Wisconsin went nearly the first three minutes without a bucket. Happ started the scoring for them at the 17:01 mark to cut the early Northern Iowa lead to two points. UNI then scored the next six to make it 10-2 at the 13:20 mark of the first half. McCloud had all 10 of those points for the Panthers. He didn’t score again the rest of the night.

5. After the slow start, Wisconsin got things rolling once King and fellow freshman Brad Davison checked in. The two guards book-ended a 17-0 run for the Badgers. The run started with five straight points from King and ended with a Davison three-pointer. It was evident that they provided a much-needed spark off the bench for Wisconsin.

6. “We settled down, we were nervous,” Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard said about his team’s slow start. “I could tell by looking at Van Vliet, Iverson, and Pritzl on the bench before the starting lineups, you could tell they had the look like ‘I’m starting my first game in the Kohl Center.’ They all admitted that they were a little nervous, and rightfully so. This is a big step for them to do that.”

7. With the starting lineup being 80% new compared to last season, there’s a chance that it becomes a fluid situation. If King continues to give Wisconsin the same effort and production that he gave on Wednesday night, it will be awfully tough to have him continue to come off the bench on a regular basis. He might be better off in the starting lineup at points this season.

8. Wisconsin went 10-of-24 from behind the arc against UNI. They used eight different players to knock down those 10 three-pointers, including Happ. Happ had not attempted a three-pointer last season, but attempted two Wednesday night, knocking one down from straight away early in the second half.

9. “He’s worked at it, but I know he understands that his game isn’t attached to his ability to shoot threes,” Gard said about Happ’s game from deep. “I don’t know if I have anything up my sleeve for him to run for him for a three yet. Maybe he’ll try and talk me into it.“

10. Iverson and Aleem Ford were the two Badgers to hit multiple threes against UNI. They both shot two-of-four from behind the arc.

11. Defensively, Wisconsin really locked down in the second half. The half began with Wisconsin leading 35-18. Northern Iowa scored the first seven points of the half in the first two minutes. They didn’t hit another field goal until there was 3:43 left to play. Over that stretch they missed 17 consecutive shots, only scoring three points on free throws. Wisconsin stretched their lead from 10 points to 32 points in that time.

12. The Badgers did play good defense over that stretch, but Northern Iowa did miss shots that a typical team found on Wisconsin’s schedule would normally make. If you’re a Panthers fan, it was an especially tough half of basketball to watch.

13. One area where the Badgers thrived was creating points off turnovers. They forced 16 turnovers on the night, turning them into 25 points. Conversely, the Badgers turned the ball over 11 times, but UNI was only able to score six points off those miscues.

14. Wisconsin will be in action next on Sunday when they host UW-Stout in their third and final exhibition of the preseason.

15. The regular season beings for Wisconsin on November 10, when they host South Carolina State University at the Kohl Center.

Red/White scrimmage recap

MADISON | Sunday afternoon the world caught a glimpse of the 2017-2018 Wisconsin Men’s Basketball team in the annual Red/White scrimmage. The team looks much different than Badger fans are used to. Typically, Wisconsin is filled with experience, however that’s not the case this year with only Ethan Happ returning from last year’s starting five.

At the scrimmage, the most impressive player was freshman Kobe King. King, a La Crosse, Wi native, lead both squads in scoring with 16 points in 34 minutes. He was able to showcase his scoring ability multiple ways. King got to the rim, created space in the mid-range, and knocked down shots from behind the arc. For a freshman, he showed an offensive game matured beyond his years.

While King was the leading scorer, another freshman, Brad Davison, reached double figures in the scoring column as well. He had 10 points in a team-high 35 minutes. Davison also had five rebounds and two assists.

The way things look, it should surprise anyone if King and Davison open the year as important members of the rotation, if not starters. The tandem will certainly experience growing pains, as was evident in the four combined turnovers, but they’ll be a pair Wisconsin fans will find highly entertaining as well.

INSTANT OFFENSE: Sophomore Brevin Pritzl was hot from distance early, nailing his first three attempts from behind the arc. He finished the day with 11 points. Pritzl has an incredibly pure stroke that can ignite the Badgers’ offense without warning. Whether his role will come as part of the starting five or off the bench is yet to be determined.

DOWN LOW: Another impressive aspect of the scrimmage on Sunday afternoon was how well a few of the Badgers’ big men played. While Happ didn’t have the best of days, going scoreless in 25 minutes, forwards Charles Thomas and Andy Van Vliet both had strong performances. Thomas has 14 points on six-of-nine from the floor and Van Vliet has nine points to go along with nine rebounds on the night.

UP NEXT: Wisconsin hosts UW-Stout in an exhibition on November 5 at the Kohl Center. Tip-off is at 4PM