The No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers (3-0) will face off against in-state rival Marquette (2-1) Friday evening in the 127th matchup between the two programs.
The Badgers come into this game on a red hot 11 game win streak dating back to last year, including three wins this season by an average of 28 points. Marquette dominated a couple of bad teams in their first two games, then lost to Oklahoma State and potential lottery pick Cade Cunningham by eight in their third game.
While the Badgers returned nearly all of their players from last year's squad, Marquette lost their top two scoring threats in Markus Howard — the Golden Eagles all time leading scorer, who averaged 27.8 ppg last season — and fellow senior Sacar Anim (13.1ppg).
Marquette has turned to a score by committee strategy to offset their losses, with three players averaging more than 10 ppg, and a fourth, senior forward Theo John, who averages 9.7 points and 9.7 rebounds a game.
“This is still a tough nosed team that wants to get up in your face and guard you on the defensive end, and they’re built well for it this year,” assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft said Wednesday. “They’re going to try to turn us over and hang their hat on the defensive end, so we just have to play Wisconsin basketball to the best of our abilities.”
The Badgers also score mostly my committee, with three players scoring more than 10 points a game — Nate Reuvers, Micah Potter and D’mitrik Trice — but have had seven players score in double figures so far this season.
Sophomore forward Tyler Wahl sparked Wisconsin in their last game out against Green Bay, stuffing his stat box with 11 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
“Our group is excited, we’re 1-2 against Marquette in my time here, so we definitely want to get that to 2-2,” senior guard Brad Davison said. “They’re still a very talented team, and solid on the defensive end, so it’ll be a challenge for us to get better on the road.”
Tip off is set for 6 p.m.