Wisconsin State Journal reporter Jim Polzin breaks down the matchup between the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team and the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Friday night at the Kohl Center in Madison.
UW VS. EASTERN ILLINOIS
What: 2019-20 home opener.
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Kohl Center.
On the Web: BTN Plus.
Radio: 1310 AM and 101.5 FM, with Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas.
Coach: Greg Gard, 80-48 in his fifth season at UW.
Player to watch: Sophomore wing Kobe King (above) struggled in UW’s 65-63 overtime loss to No. 20 Saint Mary’s on Tuesday, finishing with a team-high four turnovers to go along with six points and four rebounds. King went 1 of 2 from the field and 4 of 7 from the line in 30 minutes.
PROBABLE UW STARTERS
|0||D'Mitrik Trice (above)||6-0||Jr.||10.0|
KEY BADGERS RESERVES
|12||Trevor Anderson (above)||6-2||Jr.|
YOU SHOULD KNOW
UW is 5-1 all-time vs. Eastern Illinois. The Badgers won the most recent meeting between the teams, an 81-47 decision on Nov. 25, 2003. … The Badgers’ bench only contributed two points against Saint Mary’s. Brevin Pritzl (above) didn’t attempt a shot in 22 minutes. … Four players had at least three turnovers in the opener. The Badgers finished with 14 turnovers in 69 possessions. … Nate Reuvers’ 22 points vs. the Gaels matched the career high he set last season at Illinois.
Coach: Jay Spoonhour, 93-125 in his eighth season at Eastern Illinois.
Player to watch: George Dixon (above left) posted a double-double — 13 points and 10 rebounds — in Eastern Illinois’ 85-60 loss at No. 13 Texas Tech on Tuesday night. Dixon played at Milwaukee Riverside before finishing his prep career at IMG Academy in Florida.
PROBABLE EASTERN ILLINOIS STARTERS
|4||Marvin Johnson (above)||6-6||Jr.||5.0|
KEY PANTHERS RESERVES
|32||JaQualis Matlock (above)||6-5||Sr.||3.0|
YOU SHOULD KNOW
Deang Deang (above), East, and Shareef Smith, Memorial, are former Madison high school products. Smith averaged a team-leading 3.8 assists per game last season for the Panthers. Deang, the 2015-16 State Journal All-Area Player of the Year, arrived at Eastern Illinois after spending three seasons at Highland Community College. He was high school teammates with UW junior Courtland Cuevas. … Josiah Wallace, who averaged a team-high 15.5 points per game last season, was held to two points on 1-of-6 shooting in the opener against Texas Tech.