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Ring of confidence

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Men’s basketball: Badgers look to continue winning ways against Hoosiers

first_imgAfter a rough start to Big Ten play, where the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team lost four of their first five conference matchups, UW has managed to win two games in a row and improve their conference record to 3-4 (11-9 overall).Now, the Badgers will welcome red-hot Indiana (17-3 overall, 7-0 Big Ten) to the Kohl Center Tuesday, where they will look to avenge a 59-58 defeat they took in early January at the hands of the Hoosiers.Last time outUW’s most recent game was a victory on the road against Penn State. That win did not come easily for UW — after holding a 17-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the second half, the Nittany Lions came roaring back thanks to great three-point shooting and the Badgers missing some crucial free throws down the stretch.Penn State cut the lead down to three points with 30 seconds remaining, but after a missed layup on the following possession and redshirt freshman forward Ethan Happ making three of his next four free throws, Wisconsin was ultimately able to hold on.Wisconsin’s keys to victoryContinue to feed Happ: Happ – who was just honored with his second consecutive Big Ten Freshmen of the Week award — gives the Badgers a legitimate offensive presence in the post, and when they have fed the big man this season, they have found success as a team. In the seven games this season where Happ has scored at least 15 points, the Badgers are 6-1, with the lone loss coming in the heartbreaker against Maryland. He’s combined to record 34 points and 19 rebounds in Wisconsin’s past two outings, and he should be in line for another big day against Indiana’s weak defense.Prevent dribble penetration: In Wisconsin’s most recent losses to Maryland and Northwestern, the Badgers fell after giving up driving lanes to their opponent’s guards and allowing them to make play after play as a result.Terrapin point guard Melo Trimble scored 21 points and dished out five assists, while the Wildcats Bryant McIntosh managed 28 points and five assists of his own, all because UW made it too easy for them. Indiana boasts an elite scoring point guard of their own in Yogi Ferrell, so it will be on Wisconsin’s perimeter defenders to limit his effectiveness.Opposing player to watch: Senior guard Yogi FerrellFerrell is one of the best point guards not only in the Big Ten, but in the entire country. He’s smart, quick with the ball and does essentially everything a team would want out of their floor leader.In 20 games this season, the senior is averaging team highs in 17.1 points and 6.1 assists per game. He is shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from behind the arc. Ferrell is the clear focal point of Indiana’s high-powered offensive attack, as his 236 field goals attempted are 70 more than any other Hoosier player.In the team’s first meeting against the Badgers this season, Ferrell scored a team-high 19 points in 36 minutes as he lead the Hoosiers to victory.last_img read more