Wisconsin Basketball: Hoosiers vs. Badgers preview

Indiana Hoosiers Basketball
Wisconsin Badgers Basketball
Thursday, January 7
6:00 PM

The Wisconsin basketball team seeks their 10th win of the season when they host the Hoosiers.

After their last game against Penn State was postponed, the Wisconsin basketball team will return to action tonight when they host the Indiana Hoosiers.

The Hoosiers (7-5, 2-2) are coming off of a win over the Maryland Terrapins on Monday. The Hoosiers rallied from down 10 points midway through the second half of the game to win by eight. They outscored Maryland 42-28 in the second half.

Sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in their winning effort. Junior forward Race Thompson added in 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Hoosiers as well.

Meanwhile, Indiana’s second-leading scorer Armaan Franklin (13.8 points per game), left just seven minutes into the game with an ankle injury. Austin Render and Jackson Yeary of the Indiana Basketball Podcast talked a bit about his injury during the Maryland game. They said when Franklin went down, “the air went out of the gym.” Indiana’s head coach Archie Miller also said Franklin would probably be doubtful for the Wisconsin game.

That would be a big victory for the Wisconsin basketball team if they wouldn’t have to face Franklin. That force the Hoosiers to find scoring elsewhere. I’m sure the Badgers will have a plan for Jackson-Davis, who will be a contender for a spot on the All-Big Ten First-Team by season’s end.

The Badgers, on the other hand, have had plenty of time to rest up. They haven’t played since they defeated Minnesota on New Year’s Eve. Their only notable injury is freshman forward Ben Carlson. Carlson got some minutes early in the season but hasn’t played in the past five games due to an ‘upper-body injury.’ Wisconsin basketball coach Greg Gard didn’t have an update on the injury.

Looking at the game tonight, this is a matchup of two polar-opposite teams, as far as leading scorers. The Badgers depend on their veterans for scoring. Their top five scorers all are seniors, whereas Indiana’s top two scorers, Jackson-Davis and Franklin, are both sophomores.

If you look at the stats of both of these teams, you’ll see that these two teams are actually pretty similar. The Badgers average 76.2 points per game and the Hoosiers score about 71.8 per game. Wisconsin allows just 60.5 points while the Hoosiers give up 64.5 points per game. Both teams are shooting about 46% from the field.

The big difference between these two teams is who they have played. According to ESPN’s BPI strength of schedule rankings, the Badgers have had the 21st most-difficult schedule this season while Indiana has had the 54th hardest schedule.

Indiana is coming off of a big win over a team that defeated Wisconsin just last week. The Badgers will need to try to contain Trayce Jackson-Davis if they are going to win this game. They catch a break with Franklin being out of the game, but even without him, the Hoosiers rallied to defeat the Terrapins. Indiana could come to Madison feeling confident, and a confident team can always be a problem.

At the end of the day, I think the Badgers are just an all-around more complete team. Their veteran leadership has been extremely important this season. Senior guard D’Mitrik Trice has been really good lately. He takes care of the ball, has been awesome defensively, and can take over a game if it is needed as he did against Michigan State in East Lansing on Christmas day.

I think the Badgers will find a way to slow Jackson-Davis down and will shut down this Indiana offense. I think the Badgers have a comfortable lead throughout the game and end with a double-digit win by the end of the night.

Prediction: Wisconsin 82 – Indiana 68