Limit Wisconsin’s 3-point percentage: There’s no question that the biggest part to Wisconsin’s offensive attack is the three-point shot. The Badgers are shooting 39.6% from beyond the arc (1st in the Big Ten) and are averaging 21.2 three-pointers per game this season. In seven of their fifteen wins, Wisconsin has made over 40% of their three-pointers and have even made 60% of them in two games. If Illinois wants to contain Wisconsin’s high-scoring offense, they will need to limit the Badgers production from beyond the arc.
Keep Wisconsin’s scorers in check: The main reason why the Badgers are 15-0 to start the 2013-14 season is because four of their five starters are averaging double-digit points per contest. The team is lead by forwards Sam Dekker (14.1 points per game) and Frank Kaminsky (13.5 points per game) as both are shooting over 50% from the field this season. However, guards Ben Burst and Traevon Jackson are averaging 12.8 and 10.5 points per game respectively as well. The Fighting Illini will need to keep at least two of the Badgers’ four leading scorers in check in order to hand them their first loss of the season. In Wisconsin last game against Iowa, three of these four players did not reach double-digits and Wisconsin only won by four points. Illinois has the scorers to compete with the Badgers, and because of this they will need to play lock down D to get the win.
Start the game out strong: There have been a few times this season where the Illinois Fighting Illini have not played their best basketball to begin games. The Illini turned the ball over three straight times to start the Braggin’ Rights Game. They also let UIC get the jump on them at the United Center. On Wednesday, the Fighting Illini need to start the game much like they did in their last win over Penn State. If Illinois wants to earn their third straight conference win, they will need to start the game out right because Wisconsin has the talent to bury the Illini early (if given the chance).
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