Illinois (15-7, 2-6) vs. Wisconsin (14-7, 5-3)
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2:30 p.m. - Champaign, Ill. - Assembly Hall (16,618)
Big Ten Network (Announcers Eric Collins, Shon Morris)
Notes (per Wisconsin sports info):
- SCHEDULE STRENGTH: Wisconsin is the only team in the nation to have played at least 7 games against AP top-25 teams. In fact, only two teams in Div. 1 (Minnesota and Purdue) have faced even 6 ranked opponents. Wisconsin is 3-4 vs. ranked teams on the year (3-2 in Big Ten play).
- BO KNOWS BIG TEN: Bo Ryan’s .706 (137-57) win percentage in Big Ten games is the best mark of any coach in conference history with at least 10 years of experience and the 2nd-best mark overall, trailing only Ohio State’s Thad Matta (104-42, .712).
- ROAD WARRIORS: UW is 2-2 on the road in the Big Ten this season and 8-5 over the last two seasons. Wisconsin’s 8 wins and .615 winning percentage are both tops in the conference. In 12 years at the helm, Bo Ryan’s Badgers are 64-64 (.500) on the road overall, the most wins and best win pct. of any team in the Big Ten.
- GETTING DEFENSIVE: A year after leading the nation in scoring defense at 53.2 ppg, Wisconsin is at it again, allowing just 55.0 points per game (52.9 in Big Ten play). UW leads the Big Ten in scoring defense and ranks 8th in the nation. The Badgers have held 10 of their last 11 opponents under 60 points.
- BERGGREN IS BIG VS. ILLINOIS: Coming off an 11-point, 9-rebound performance Tuesday at Ohio State, senior Jared Berggren is looking for another big outing against Illinois on Sunday. Berggren is averaging 15.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in his last three games vs. the Illini, including a double-double (15 pts, 12 reb) in this season’s earlier match-up.
Fun Fact: Since Bo Ryan was hired in 2001, Wisconsin has been the Big Ten’s best road team, owning the most true road wins (64) and best road win percentage (.500) in the conference. In fact, in that era Wisconsin is the only Big Ten team with a road record of .500 or better.
Ben Brust: G, Jr., 6-1, 195 - 10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Ryan Evans: F, Sr., 6-6, 208- 10.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg
Traevon Jackson: G, Soph., 6-2, 213 - 6.0 ppg, 2.2 apg
Mike Bruesewitz: F, Sr., 6-6, 223 - 7.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Jared Berggren: F, Sr., 6-10, 235 - 11.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg
Off the bench:
George Marshall: G, R-Fr., 5-11, 185 - 5.6 ppg, 1.3 apg
Sam Dekker: F, Fr., 6-7, 220 - 9.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Zak Showalter: G, Fr., 6-2, 195 - 2.3 ppg, 0.8 apg
Frank Kaminsky: C, Soph., 6-11, 230 - 4.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Series record: Illinois leads 110-78
Series streak: Wisconsin W-4
Record @ Champaign: Illinois leads 68-22
Series streak @ Champaign: Wisconsin W-1
Last meeting: Wisconsin 74, Illinois 51 (Jan. 12, 2013 @ Madison)
Groce vs. Wisconsin: 0-1
Coach John Groce on Illinois' improvement since the season's first meeting with Wisconsin…
"Well, we didn't play well in that game at all and they were absolutely terrific, so I'd like -- that could be an hour (long) answer. A lot of areas, in terms of relative to how we played that particular day, but I think the execution of our sets has gotten better. I think our shot selection has gotten better. I just think a lot -- our defensive rotations have gotten better. I think guys are more accountable defensively. You know, there's a lot of things that have gotten better. I think individual players have improved. Nnanna's gotten better. I think Tracy's still getting better, so there's a lot."
Groce on Badgers point guard Traevon Jackson…
"I think he's really developed. I told his dad that. He's really, really getting better. He's starting to figure our his role, running their team, has a confidence about him, making plays at the end of the clock. He made big shots against us in game one. I think he's good defensively, tough kid. He's really coming along. I'm impressed with his progress from the beginning of the season to where he's at now."
Wisconsin team info: