State Journal reporter Jim Polzin breaks down the matchup between the 22nd-ranked Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball team and the 14th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
NO. 22 WISCONSIN VS. NO. 14 IOWA
What: Big Ten opener
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa
Radio: 1070 AM and 101.5 FM, with Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas
Coach: Greg Gard, 63-37 in his fourth season at UW.
Player to watch: Sophomore forward Aleem Ford scored 12 points off the bench in UW’s 79-75 victory over North Carolina State on Tuesday night. Ford, in his fourth game back from a left knee injury, went 4 of 7 from 3-point range against the Wolfpack.
PROBABLE UW STARTERS
KEY BADGERS RESERVES
YOU SHOULD KNOW
The Badgers missed their first nine shots and 15 of their first 18 in an 85-67 loss at Iowa last season. … Ethan Happ is first in the Big Ten in rebounds (12.3), third in assists (5.3) and tied for third in scoring. Other statistical leaders for the Badgers include D'Mitrik Trice in 3-point shooting (60.0), Brad Davison in free throw percentage (89.5) and Nate Reuvers in blocked shots (2.6). … UW has outscored its opponents by an average of 9.4 points in the second half.
Coach: Fran McCaffery, 157-120 in nine seasons at Iowa.
Player to watch: Sophomore center Luka Garza is shooting 62.5 percent from the field and 87.0 percent from the free throw line. He’s also 6 of 9 from 3-point range over the past four games.
PROBABLE IOWA STARTERS
KEY HAWKEYES RESERVES
YOU SHOULD KNOW
The Hawkeyes are averaging 35 free throw attempts per game and are converting at a 77.6-percent clip from the line. Both figures lead the Big Ten. Tyler Cook already has 48 attempts from the stripe. … Jordan Bohannon is off to a slow start. After making 42.3 percent of his 3-point attempts his first two seasons, the younger brother of former Badgers Jason and Zach Bohannon is 8 of 28 (28.6 percent) so far as a junior. … Joe Wieskamp had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the Hawkeyes’ 69-68 win over visiting Pittsburgh on Tuesday.