The #14 Badgers (9-2) and the Green Bay Phoenix (4-5) matchup in UW’s second straight in-state game, coming off of a win over Marquette 93-84 on Saturday afternoon. The game starts at 8:00 P.M. and will be televised on BTN.
G: Bronson Koenig (16 PPG, 1.9 APG)
G: Zak Showalter (6.8 PPG, 2.3 APG)
F: Nigel Hayes (13.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.5 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (8.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG)
C: Ethan Happ (13.3 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.5 APG)
G: Trevor Anderson (12.1 PPG, 2.7 APG)
G: Khalil Small (11 PPG, 5.8 RPG)
G: Charles Cooper (13.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG)
F: Jamar Hurdle (7.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG)
F: Kenneth Lowe (5.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG)
Wisconsin beat Green Bay by a five-point margin during the 2015-16 campaign. The Badgers ran away with the game early, outscoring the Phoenix by 21 at halftime. They would push the lead up to thirty in the second half, before the Phoenix came roaring back featuring a 33-6 run. However, the Badgers would hold onto the win. Nigel Hayes had 24 points on 7/8 shooting. Ethan Happ added 16 points.
The win was also Greg Gard’s first win as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers, as Bo Ryan abruptly retired just eight days prior following the Texas A&M CC matchup.
There are a couple of big problems for Green Bay from last year’s matchup. Carrington Love was a human torch against the Badgers last year, scoring 28 points on 5/11 shooting from the three-point line. Love was a senior last year.
Secondly, the Badgers improved greatly last year during the conference schedule, and then brought everyone back. The Badgers comfortably sit in the lead of the series beating Green Bay 21 times out of the 22 opportunities. It would be a major shocker if the Badgers weren’t able to make it 22-of-23.
Leading the Phoenix is senior guard Charles Cooper, who averages 13.6 PPG. Cooper is only 6’4″ but does most of his damage driving to the hoop, creating free throw opportunities. Cooper is averaging over seven attempts from the line per game.
Stevens Point native Trevor Anderson starts for the Phoenix as a freshman. Anderson was one of the best high school players in Wisconsin the previous few years. Anderson averages 12.1 points per game, and leads the Phoenix in assists per game at 2.7. Anderson is shooting 39.6% from beyond the arc and 84.6% from the free throw line.
Enes Kanter, a former Kentucky Wildcat recruit and current Oklahoma City Thunder member, has a little brother that plays for the Phoenix. Karem Kanter averages 7.9 PPG, but has been on fire as of recently. Kanter had 17 points in 18 minutes on December 3rd and 23 points in 19 minutes on December 6th.
The Badgers will look to keep the momentum rolling from the second half of their game against Marquette. A 58-point explosion in the second half helped propel the Badgers over the Golden Eagles. All five starters scored in double figures, and Khalil Iverson added 16 off the bench.