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November 21, 2013

Preview: No. 12 UW vs Bowling Green





MADISON, Wis. - Tuesday night at the Kohl Center, Frank Kaminsky became the new owner of the single-game scoring record for the Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) when he scored 43 points in the Badgers' 103-85 victory over North Dakota.

"I still have a lot of games left," the 7-footer said after the game, "so maybe it can happen again."

Well, if the Badgers don't improve what has been a mediocre - at best - defense to begin the season, Kaminsky might have to "do it again" in order for the team to keep winning. Through four games so far, the Badgers are allowing an uncharacteristically high 69.75 points per contest.

What is concerning about the defensive struggles so far this season for the Badgers is that the projected weakness of this team coming into the season, mainly its lack of size, is not where opponents are making their money. Instead of forwards and centers torching Bo Ryan's defense night after night, it has been opposing teams' guards who have enjoyed the most success.

All four of Wisconsin's opponents to begin the season (St. John's, Florida, UW-Green Bay, North Dakota) have had a guard scoring 20 or more points. The season-opener against St. John's saw 6-foot-4 junior guard D'Angelo Harrison drop 27; Florida's 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Michael Frazier II burned the Badgers for 20; Green Bay's 5-foot-11 junior guard Keifer Sykes scorched Wisconsin for 32 points in 35 minutes; and North Dakota's 6-foot-5 senior guard Troy Huff torched his mom's alma mater for 37 points in just 28 minutes.

The next challenge for the Wisconsin Badgers? Trying to stop Jehvon Clarke of Bowling Green (1-1) when the Falcons visit the Kohl Center on Thursday night.

Through two games, Clarke, a 6-foot-1 junior, leads the Falcons with 17.0 points per game and 6.0 assists per game. In the season opener, Clarke has 17 points (7-of-11 from the field), eight assists, and six steals in Bowling Green's 102-49 defeat - to put it kindly - of Earlham. Against South Florida, Clarke again led the Falcons with 17 points, but did so on just 6-of-24 shooting, including 2-of-7 on 3-pointers.

Now Clarke is not as experienced as most junior guards the Badgers will face this season as the Canton, Oh., native had scored in double figures just once prior to this season (14 points in 12 minutes against Michigan St. in 2011) due to the fact that he was not named a started until this season.

Thursday's meeting between these two teams is somewhat of a reunion game for Wisconsin freshman forward Vitto Brown, a native of Bowling Green, Oh.

"I've been looking forward to playing them ever since I saw them on the schedule," Brown said via text message. "It will be great getting to see, and play against, my friends and old teammates."

Game Info

When and Where: 7p.m. Thursday at the Kohl Center

On the Web: ESPN3 (web-stream)

Radio: 1310 AM, 101.5 FM

WISCONSIN BADGERS (4-0)

Coach: Bo Ryan, 295-113 in his 13th season at Wisconsin.

Probable starters (height, year, ppg.)

1 Ben Brust 6-1 Sr. 11.0

12 Traevon Jackson 6-2 Jr. 11.5

15 Sam Dekker 6-7 So. 16.0

21 Josh Gasser 6-3 Jr. 9.5

44 Frank Kaminsky 7-0 Jr. 17.3

Key reserves (height, year, ppg.)

10 Nigel Hayes 6-7 Fr. 5.0

13 Duje Dukan 6-9 Jr. 5.0

24 Bronson Koenig 6-3 Fr. 4.0

Quick hits: Wisconsin is 2-1 all-time against Bowling Green with the last meeting coming in the Badgers' overtime victory in the 1991 NIT…George Marshall will miss his third straight game with a concussion…Traevon Jackson had a career-high eight assists on Tuesday night for the Badgers…Frank Kaminsky is trying to become the first Wisconsin player to score 30 points in back-to-back games since Michael Finley did so when he scored 30 at Michigan, 1/29/94, and 32 vs. Michigan St., 2/2/94).

BOWLING GREEN FALCONS (1-1)

Coach: Louis Orr, 90-102 in his seventh season at Bowling Green.

Probable starters (height, year, ppg.)

2 Anthony Henderson 6-1 Jr. 11.5

20 Jehvon Clarke 6-1 Jr. 17.0

21 Chauncey Orr 6-4 Jr. 14.0

22 Richaun Holmes 6-8 Jr. 11.0

35 Cameron Black 6-10 Sr. 9.0

Key reserves (height, year, ppg.)

0 Josh Gomez 6-10 So. 5.5

1 JD Tisdale 6-4 Fr. 4.0

3 Spencer Parker 6-7 So. 13.5

Quick hits: Bowling Green has lost 16 of 17 on the road…The Falcons are averaging 19.5 assists per game this season, good for 11th-best in the nation…Louis Orr was Jim Boeheim's first recruit at Syracuse and went on to play eight seasons in the NBA.

Why you should worry: Bowling Green is averaging 81.5 points per game this seasons on 45.3 percent shooting from the field.

Why you shouldn't worry: The Badgers are 85-4 at home against unranked non-conference opponents in the Bo Ryan era...Louis Orr is 0-6 against Big Ten opponents since taking over Bowling Green in 2007-08.


For more Wisconsin Badgers news, notes and discussion, follow Zack on Twitter.



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