The Wisconsin Badgers (11-0) can make a little bit of history Saturday when they take on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (7-3) at the Kohl Center. A victory for Wisconsin would mean the best start for a Badgers basketball team in school history.
The Badgers may be without junior Frank Kaminsky who sat out practice Thursday and was seen wearing a walking boot, but did return Friday to practice on a limited basis. Kaminsky, the Badgers leading scorer through 11 games, will be a game-time decision.
If Kaminsky is unable to go, Wisconsin’s guards will have to pick up most of the slack which should be no problem. Josh Gasser, Traevon Jackson and Ben Brust have been playing real well for Bo Ryan this season and Saturday should be no different with or without Frank the Tank. Sophomore Sam Dekker will also be asked to step up and have more of the offense go through him, which again should be no problems as he is the second leading scorer averaging 14.2 points per game.
Also expect to see more of freshmen Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, who have consistently seen a decent amount of time on the floor in the last couple of weeks. With Kaminsky’s status up in the air yet, these two should see the floor for a good chunk of the game once again.
Eastern Kentucky is not a team to be taken too lightly however. They’re a team that, if overlooked, will come out and surprise you and make you dig yourselves out of an early hole. Playing a four guard set, they can run up and down the floor and score points, as they are averaging 78.3 points per game and 15.6 assists per game as well. The Colonels are led by senior guard Glenn Cosey, who has 4.9 assists per game to go along with 19.3 points per game, both of which are best on the team.
The one downfall for the Colonels is that with playing with such a small lineup, they have trouble grabbing rebounds, something the Badgers must take advantage of. Crashing the boards and lockdown defense will be key for Wisconsin to come away with a victory Saturday. With Kaminsky out it will take a total team effort once again for this Badgers squad, something they have grown accustomed to over the years under Bo Ryan.
Game time is set for 12:00 p.m. CT at the Kohl Center and can be seen on ESPN3.