The Iowa Hawkeyes are poised to kick off 2024 on the hardwood as the men travel to #21 Wisconsin to take on the Badgers on Tuesday night. After falling to 0-2 in conference play and limping into finals week, the Hawkeyes rounded out calendar year 2023 with three straight wins in the non-conference slate. Can they keep the hot streak going and help wash away the taste of the football team’s abysmal bowl showing on New Year’s Day?
It’s a tall task for Fran McCaffery’s bunch as they face off with a 9-3 Badgers team that plays a contrasting style of basketball to the Hawkeyes.
While Iowa comes into the game with an impressive offensive display, averaging nearly 88 points per game on the young season, the Wisconsin Badgers boast a formidable defense, allowing just 64.9 points per game. Wisconsin enters the day at 6-1 inside their home at the Kohl Center and winners of eight of their last ten games this season. They’re averaging 71.5 points and 35.0 rebounds while their stifling defense is allowing only 62.3 points per game during that span.
Wisconsin is led by sophomore G AJ Storr, who is averaging 15.3 points per game. Steven Crowl has also been a consistent force, averaging 12.8 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds, while Tyler Wahl makes it a trio of Badgers in double figures averaging 10.8 points per game. John Blackwell’s three-point shooting could be a game-changer as well. He’s shooting 48% from deep on the season.
The Hawkeyes will need to find some answers on the defensive end of the floor to slow down the Badgers. Iowa is 6-4 over the last ten games and giving up nearly 78 points per contest in that span.
The Hawkeyes are led by Ben Krikke, averaging 17 points and 5.6 rebounds and fresh off a 20-point performance in the win over Northern Illinois. Tony Perkins remains Iowa’s #2 scorer, averaging 13.4 points over the last 10 games.
Will Iowa’s scoring prowess overpower Wisconsin’s solid defense, or will the Badgers’ home advantage and defensive prowess prove too much for the Hawkeyes to handle? Buckle up for a Tuesday night clash that promises sparks on both ends of the court. Whether it’s the Badgers locking down or the Hawkeyes lighting up the scoreboard, expect an entertaining battle in this Big Ten showdown.
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