The Badgers are coming off of their longest break, nine days to be exact, of the season. If you can remember, the Badgers were victorious over UW-Green Bay all the way back on December 14th, 73-59. Wisconsin will try to extend its season-high six game winning streak on Friday against Florida A&M. Wisconsin and Flordia A&M will tip at 8:00 P.M., with the game televised on BTN.
G: Bronson Koenig (15.2 PPG, 2.1 APG)
G: Zak Showalter (7.6 PPG, 2.2 APG)
F: Nigel Hayes (14.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.3 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (7.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG)
C: Ethan Happ (13.3 PPG, 9.6 RPG)
Florida A&M Starters:
G: Elijah Mays (5.5 PPG, 2.6 APG)
G: Justin Ravenel (6.6 PPG, 1.8 RPG)
G: Marcus Barham (11.7 PPG, 2.5 APG)
F: Desmond Williams (16.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG)
F: Derrick Dandridge (6.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG)
While the Badgers record sits at a shiny 10-2, the Rattlers have not enjoyed very much success throughout the non-conference portion of the season. The Rattlers are 2-10 so far, and it gets worse for FAMU, as they are coming off of a twenty point loss at Samford…just last night.
FAMU, which is located in Tallahassee, traveled to Alabama to play Samford last night, and now will play in Wisconsin in a 24-hour turnaround. FAMU has lost nine straight ball games, with their last win being over a month ago on November 17th.
Desmond Williams leads the Rattlers in scoring at 16 PPG on 48% from the field. His five assists per game also lead the team. Last night against Samford, Williams totaled 20 points and six rebounds. Only one other player, Marcus Barham, was in double figures. The Rattlers shot 30% from the three-point line and were a lackluster 9/17 from the free-throw line.
The Badgers have been hot, winning their last six. Friday night’s contest will be the first game back after a long break due to finals for the Badgers student-athletes.
“The season is a grind so it’s nice to have a week or so off,” Bronson Koenig said. Koenig, who has been spectacular for the Badgers all year, had one of his worse outings of the season against Green Bay. He mustered just six points on nine shots in 33 minutes.
With all of the extra time off, the Badgers have taken advantage of the practice time as this is their longest break of the year. “It’s still the same thing, when we come in, we try to get better,” Koenig said. Koenig and D’Mitrik Trice both added that there’s been a stress on conditioning and taking care of their bodies at this point in the season.
This is the last tune-up game before the Big Ten season starts, with Rutgers coming to Madison on the 27th. The Badgers then play two key Big Ten games right after that at Indiana and Purdue. Even with those large tests looming, the Badgers aren’t letting their focus stray away from Florida A&M.
When asked about Big Ten play, Trice replied, “Right now it’s hard to tell because we’re focused on this next game…We haven’t looked too much forward to Rutgers but it’s in the back of our mind.”