The Badgers ring in the new year with a game against Rutgers at 1 P.M. on Saturday. The game will be televised on BTN. Rutgers pulled off a huge upset last year against the Badgers, winning 67-62 with Frank Kaminsky sidelined with a concussion and Traevon Jackson hurting his foot. That handed Wisconsin one of their two losses in Big Ten play. Rutgers just lost to Indiana to open up Big Ten play, moving their record to 6-8. Both teams are looking to notch their first win of the conference season.

Projected Starters

Projected Wisconsin Starters

G: Bronson Koenig (13.9 PPG, 2.4 APG)
G: Zak Showalter (7.7 PPG, 4.8 RPG)
F: Nigel Hayes (16.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 4.1 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (9.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG)
F: Ethan Happ (10.9 PPG, 7.9 RPG)

Projected Rutgers Lineup

G: Corey Sanders (14.2 PPG, 3.6 APG)
G: Omari Grier (6.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG)
G: Mike Williams (11.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG)
F: D.J. Foreman (7.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG)
F: Greg Lewis (4.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG)


The injury bug has hurt the Scarlet Knights all season with their second leading scorer Deshawn Freeman (13.1 PPG) and rotation player Ibrahim Diallo both missing extended time throughout this season.

Rutgers offensive attack starts and finishes with Corey Sanders, who leads the team in points and assists. Sanders is only a freshman, so he’s someone you should probably get used to. Sanders isn’t the only young  contributor, either. Mike Williams (11.1 PPG) and D.J. Foreman (7.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG) are only sophomores, while two freshman come off the bench in the form of Jonathan Laurent and Justin Goode.

Omari Greer and Corey Sanders are both efficient from the 3-Point line, with Greer shooting 53.6% and Sanders shooting 38.6%. Closing out on them will be key for Wisconsin.

Even though Rutgers played Indiana tough at home in their last outing, that hasn’t been the case all season. The Scarlet Knights lost to George Washington University by 34 points and lost to Seton Hall by 29. A young, inexperienced team having an up and down season, remind you of anyone?

The Badgers showed a lot of improvement in their loss against Purdue, but lengthy offensive droughts and the inability to produce easy buckets still was the major factor in the loss. Nigel was more efficient shooting wise, but turned the ball over 4 times. Ethan Happ only played 16 minutes. Bronson Koenig only had 7 points. We have yet to see the Badgers pull it all together, and if they can, things could turn around in a hurry.

Gard continues to go to the bench more than Bo did. Jordan Hill played 23 minutes, and Alex Illikanien had a career high 11 points.

Bottom Line

Rutgers is a pretty good team for the Badgers to get their first Big Ten win against this season, but the Badgers haven’t taken care of business against the lesser teams this season as we all know.