Men’s basketball need to know: No. 5 Wisconsin at Penn State

first_imgThe No. 5 Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s season keeps rolling along with only six games left in the regular season and less than a month until the 2015 Big Ten tournament.The Badgers’ next game is Wednesday where they’ll travel to State College, Pennsylvania to take on the Nittany Lions. Wisconsin and Penn State met earlier this season in Wisconsin’s Big Ten opener — a game in which the Badgers won 89-72.Here’s what you need to know before Wednesday’s matchup:Wisconsin (23-2, 11-1 Big Ten)The Badgers notched yet another double-digit conference win Sunday — their ninth of the season — this time taking down Illinois at the Kohl Center. National Player of the Year front-runner Frank Kaminsky paced Wisconsin with 23 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore guard Bronson Koenig (15), sophomore forward Nigel Hayes (14) and junior forward Sam Dekker (10) rounded out the Badgers in double figures for scoring Sunday.Four players — Hayes (21), Kaminsky (18), Dekker (17) and currently-sidelined senior guard Traevon Jackson (16) — hit double figures for the Badgers in their first meeting against the Nittany Lions this season. Kaminsky also grabbed 12 rebounds to lead UW. Overall, Wisconsin shot 63.8 percent which included a 70 percent-mark in the second half to outlast Penn State.Big Ten: 11-1, 1st place, 2.5 games over Purdue and MarylandLast Game: Defeated Illinois at home, 68-49Probable Starters: G – Bronson Koenig (6-4, 7.5 ppg), G – Josh Gasser (6-4, 7.3 ppg), F – Nigel Hayes (6-8, 12.4 ppg), F – Sam Dekker (6-9, 13.0 ppg), F – Frank Kaminsky (7-0, 17.6 ppg)Key Reserves: F – Duje Dukan, F – Vitto Brown, G – Zak ShowalterPenn State (15-11, 3-10 Big Ten)The Nittany Lions have lost four of their last five Big Ten games including their last two games against No. 23 Ohio State and No. 17 Maryland.Against Maryland Saturday, Penn State held tough with the Terrapins, falling by only three points at home 76-73. Senior guard D.J. Newbill had a game-high 25 points for the Nittany Lions in the loss.Newbill is the Big Ten’s leading scorer, averaging 20.8 points per game. The 6-foot-4 guard is also hauling in 4.8 rebounds a game and dishing out 3.1 assists per game. Against Wisconsin Dec. 28, Newbill dropped a game-high 29 points, going 11-for-18 from the floor.As a team, Penn State ranks toward the bottom of the Big Ten in both scoring offense and defense, ranking 10th in the conference in offense (68.1) and second-to-last in defense (65.9).Big Ten: 3-10, 12th placeLast Game: Loss to Maryland at home, 76-73Probable Starters: G – D.J. Newbill (6-4, 20.8 ppg) G – Geno Thorpe (6-3, 8.3 ppg), G – Shep Garner (6-1, 9.2 ppg), F – Brandon Taylor (6-6, 10.0 ppg), C – Jordan Dickerson (7-1, 2.3 ppg)Key Reserves: F – Ross Travis, F – Payton Banks, F – Donovon JackGame VitalsWho: No. 5 Wisconsin at Penn StateWhen: Wednesday, Feb. 18, 6 p.m.Where: State College, Pennsylvania; Bryce Jordan Center (15,261)TV: Big Ten Networklast_img read more