The Badgers will look to extend their win streak to four games tonight as they host the Bengals from Idaho State at 6pm.
The Bengals come in with a record of 1-7, their lone win coming at home against Lamar University by score of 77-60. The Badgers will be the first top-25 opponent of the season for Idaho State, and the second foe from a Power 5 conference. The Bengals lost to Texas Tech 91-58 on November 25th.
The Bengals are led in scoring by Ethan Telfair, younger brother of former NBA guard Sebastian Telfair, who averages 19.8ppg this season. They also have two other players averaging double figures in Brandon Boyd (14.3ppg) and Geno Luzcando (11.9ppg). Novak Topolovic is the Bengal’s leading rebounder, averaging 5.0rpg.
The Badgers enter Wednesday’s contest ranked #17 in the nation with a record of 7-2. They are coming off of a 3-win week, as they defeated Prairie View A&M 95-50, Syracuse 77-60, and Oklahoma 90-70. The biggest storyline for the Badgers this past week has been Nigel Hayes and his performances as of late. Hayes had a near triple double vs Syracuse and followed that up with 28 point performance against the Sooners; it seems like Nigel has found his rhythm again. Hayes comes in averaging 13.1ppg along with 5.7rpg and 3.8apg. Bronson Koenig comes in averaging 15.2 ppg, and to round out the Badgers big three Ethan Happ comes in averaging a near double-double with 13.7ppg and 9.8rpg.
The key for the Badgers expected success tonight is to make Idaho State play a Wisconsin brand of basketball. The Badgers need to show their superiority right from the get-go as they did against PVAMU. If the Badgers dominate the boards, finish down low and have a relatively solid shooting night, they shouldn’t have any problem with this game. Freshman D’Mitrik Trice has proved to be a spark off the bench and a threat from the 3-point line. Trice has the ability to open up the floor for his teammates and finds pockets for himself to score. Badger fans are loving watching this kid play early on.
My Player-To-Watch tonight is forward Charlie Thomas. Assuming this game stays out of reach for the Bengals, Thomas will get a lot of chances tonight to settle in. He’s seen some time the past couple games vs Syracuse and Oklahoma, but never seemed to be able to settle in completely. Tonight look for Thomas to get significant minutes off the bench and to settle into his role in the post and see more production as a result.
Caleb King’s (@calebking_2) Prediction: BADGERS 87 Idaho State 54
Ben Thorson’s (@benjthorson) Prediction: BADGERS 91 Idaho State 55