Sconnie Sports Talk

Wisconsin men’s basketball preview: Badgers look to bounce back against Chicago State

Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin State Journal.


The Badgers are coming off of just one full day of rest to play Chicago State after being upset by #22 Creighton. Tip-off is at 7:00pm and the game will be televised on ESPN3.

Projected Starting Lineups:

G: Bronson Koenig (18.5 PPG, 3 RPG)
G: Zak Showalter (8.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG)
F: Nigel Hayes (15 PPG, 4 RPG, 5 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (3.5 PPG, 4 RPG)
C: Ethan Happ (7.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3.5 APG)

Chicago State:
G: Glen Burns (7 PPG, 6 APG)
G: Clemmye Owens V (26 PPG, 5 RPG, 3 APG)
G: Fred Simms Jr. (19 PPG, 3 RPG, 4 APG)
F: Trayvon Palmer (9 PPG, 6 RPG)
F: Deionte Simmons (14 PPG, 4 RPG)

Chicago State has only played one game thus far, beating Illinois Tech, 97-89.

The Cougars are led by guard Clemmye Owens V, who erupted for 25 points in the first game. The Badgers will have to chase Owens around the three-point line, as he went 5-6 from deep in the Cougars first contest.

Sophomore Fred Simms Jr. was Chicago State’s leading scorer last year, averaging just under 11 points per game. Simms registered 26 points in a game at Marquette last year. Simms Jr. played well in Chicago State’s opener, scoring 19 points and adding 4 assists.

Dieonte Simmons, Chicago State’s starting center, is the tallest starter at 6’8″ for the Cougars. The Badgers are coming off of a game in which they shot 39 threes and only were able to hit 11. Chicago State will offer the Badgers a chance to figure out their post offense. Dump downs to Ethan Happ in the post should happen early and often as the Badgers need to get the reigning Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten going. Happ is only averaging 4.5 shots per game through the Badgers first two games, almost half of the amount of attempts he averaged last year.

The Badgers also had a difficult time taking care of the ball against Creighton in addition to the poor shooting performance. Creighton forced the Badgers into 16 turnovers on Tuesday night.

Head coach Greg Gard told reporters (via, “I thought at times we showed some very uncharacteristic Wisconsin like handlings of possessions.”

The Badgers were only able to register 15 assists in comparison to their 16 turnovers. Creighton had 15 assists and only seven turnovers. Bronson Koenig has only one assist in four halves of basketball.

The Badgers are clearly a much better team than Chicago State, and it’s a chance for the Badgers to fix some of the issues that showed in Omaha on Tuesday night. Fixing the offense starts with taking care of the ball and a team oriented approach.