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Wisconsin Basketball: 3 Keys to a Badgers Victory vs Marquette



Wisconsin basketball; Badgers forward Tyler Wahl
Dec 3, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Tyler Wahl (5) during the game against the Marquette Golden Eagles at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers basketball team begins their three game gauntlet on their schedule Saturday. They will play host to their in-state rival and third ranked Marquette. The Golden Eagles are one of the best teams in the country an return a ton of production from a team that was a two seed in the NCAA Tournament year season.

The Badgers have won the last two games in this series and three of the last four. They also lead the overall series 70-59. Can Wisconsin basketball get a massive win on their resume or will Marquette steal a road win?

Here are the keys to victory for the Wisconsin Badgers. Tip time is 11:30 AM on FOX.

Wisconsin Basketball Must Dictate the Pace of Play

When you play a Shaka Smart team, you know they want to run and make the game a track meet. It will be no different with this Marquette team. The Golden Eagles average 80 points a game and are also efficient shooting the ball at 48% as a team. It’s impressive they can get good looks despite the pace of play.

I think the Badgers have done an excellent job the last two seasons playing their style and playing Marquette’s style when needed. However, I don’t think this Wisconsin basketball team can play in a 40 minute fast pace game. This is a game Wisconsin needs to dictate the pace and make the Golden Eagles play their slower style of play.

Wisconsin Basketball Needs Their Bench to Produce

I look at a player like Connor Essegian and I think he has the potential to be a game-changer. After the injury in the season opener, Essegian has not looked like himself and has not seen as much court time as we thought he would. We know he has the ability to put up buckets in a heartbeat. I think he’s important in a game like this.

Players like Kamari McGee, Carter Gilmore, John Blackwell, and Nolan Winter will also be important in this game. They all have to be able to defend and take open looks when they get them. I think if this rotation of players play the way they did against Virginia and SMU, Wisconsin basketball will beat Marquette.

Chucky Hepburn and Max Klesmit vs Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones

If you like guard play on both sides of the court, these are matchups you want to see. Tyler Kolek is one of, if not, the best pure point guard in the country. Everything Marquette does on offense starts with him. Kolek is a terrific floor general and shoots the ball well too. He’s everything you want in a point guard.

On the other hand, Kam Jones is the leading scorer on this Marquette team. He’s also a good shooter and gets to the rim quick. He can put a ton of pressure on opposing defenses.

Chucky Hepburn and Max Klesmit will have their hands full. When they get a break, players like McGee and Blackwell need to hold their end on the Kolek-Jones duo. It will also be on players like Steven Crowl, Tyler Wahl, and AJ Storr to step up on offense.

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Dylan began as a staff writer for Badger Notes in August 2023. He has written about Wisconsin Badger Football and Men's Basketball since May 2020. Dylan's work has been featured on Yard Barker, NewsBreak, and Bleacher Reports