The Badgers look to bounce back after their shocking loss against Milwaukee on Wednesday night playing Marquette at 12:30 P.M. on Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN2. The Badgers will look to spoil the Golden Eagles current six-game winning streak. Last year’s game between the in-state rivals was a low scoring win for Wisconsin, 49-38.

Projected Starters

Projected Wisconsin Starters

G: Bronson Koenig (15.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG)
G: Zak Showalter (7.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG)
F: Nigel Hayes (16.9 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 3.9 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (9.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG)
F: Ethan Happ (10.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG)

Projected Marquette Starters

G: Traci Carter (6.0 PPG, 5.4 APG)
G: Haanif Cheatham (10.1 PPG, 2.6 APG)
F: Sandy Cohen III (9.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG)
F: Henry Ellenson (16.7 PPG, 8.8 RPG)
C:: Luke Fischer (14.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG)

Shaky Starts

Much like Wisconsin, Marquette has been a victim to an inconsistent and young roster with three freshmen and one sophomore in their starting lineup. Marquette has had highs such as beating LSU with future NBA #1 pick Ben Simmons and beating Arizona State in OT the following the night. Countering those moments, the Golden Eagles opened the year up with a loss to Belmont at home 83-80 and a 28-point loss to Iowa. Of course, the Badgers resume looks somewhat similar with a win at Syracuse and home losses against Western Illinois and Milwaukee.


The Golden Eagles are headlined by super talented freshman Henry Ellenson who is leading the Eagles in points and rebounds. He was rated 5th in the country in the ESPN 100 for last season’s high school seniors, and could possibly be a NBA lottery pick in June. Ellenson is one of the many former Wisconsin high school standouts now playing for Marquette. Guard Sandy Cohen III from Seymour, WI is Marquette’s main three-point threat on the year going 16-38 (42%). Cohen III had 24 points and 6 three-pointers in their most recent win against San Jose State. Starting center Luke Fischer, who went to Germantown High School and was teammates with Wisconsin’s Zak Showalter, is averaging 14.6 points on a sky high 68.5% from the field. Sixth man Duane Wilson, who attended Dominican and was starting until recently, averages double figures and is always a scoring threat.

The Badgers will have to run Cohen III off the three-point line, but the rest is up to the interior defense. Nigel Hayes, Ethan Happ, and Vitto Brown will all have to contribute to slowing down Fischer and Ellenson in the paint. Marquette looks to push it up and down the floor because of their athletes and depth. Marquette has 8 players consistently in their rotation, and 7 players play more than 19 minutes per game. To put that into perspective, the starters are the only players with over 19 minutes per game for Wisconsin.

Offensively, the Badgers will have to keep up with Marquette, although Marquette is willing to give up some points as well. Marquette’s scoring average of 82 per game will be a challenge for the Badgers if they have any hangover of the mess that was the second half against Milwaukee. Another up and down game from Bronson Koenig combined with no help from the role players besides Happ led to a frustrating night for Hayes who was doing it all at times for the Badgers. The Badgers only scored 27 points in the second half and shot 29%. That game will have to be put completely in the rearview mirror for a win against Marquette.

Fischer and Ellenson’s height will make it hard for Hayes and Happ to successfully crash the boards like they have recently. Koenig and Showalter are more experienced than any of the guards in Marquette’s rotation, so they’ll have to use that to their advantage.

Bottom Line

Honestly, who really knows? Both teams have shown up for games, and both teams have definitely not shown up for games. Hopefully a rivalry game and a chance to right their wrongs from Wednesday night is enough for the Badgers to resemble the team that played in Syracuse.

Photo: Mike McGinnis / Getty Images