Badgers Basketball Preview: Nicholls Colonels edition

The Matchup: Nicholls (1-4) at No. 5 Wisconsin (9-1)
When: Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2pm CT
Where: Madison, WI; Kohl Center
Radio: Badger Radio Network
Last Meeting: First Meeting
All-Time Series: n/a

Projected Starting Lineups:

Nicholls Colonels
G Richie Lewis — So. 6-0, 170 (6.4 ppg, 2.8 apg)
G Ja’Dante’ Frye — So. 6-4, 180 (10.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
G T.J. Carpenter — Jr. 6-4, 205 (10.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
F Sam McBeath — Jr. 6-7, 200 (4.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
C Liam Thomas — 6-10, 195 (7.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

Wisconsin Badgers
G Traevon Jackson – Sr. 6-3 207 (1o.0 ppg, 2.9 apg)
G Josh Gasser – Sr. 6-4 192 (6.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
F Sam Dekker – Jr. 6-9 230 (11.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
F Nigel Hayes – So. 6-8 235 (11.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg)
C Frank Kaminsky – Sr. 7-0 242 (16.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg)

Key Matchup: Josh Gssser vs. T.J. Carpenter 

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-2nd Round-Wisconsin vs American UniversityGasser hasn’t been the biggest scorer for the Badgers this season, but he’s been one of the most consistent defenders Wisconsin has. Against the Colonels the gameplan is pretty simple, hold down the two 6-4 guards who are the only players in double figures. Oh, and win the rebounding battle too, as both Ja’Dante’ Frye and T.J. Carpenter average over four rebounds a game.

It means that Gasser has to step up against one of the two, and he’ll likely draw the defensive assignment against the one who loves to shoot from the perimeter — Carpenter. He’s jacked up a team high 33 three-point field goals through five games and is shooting just .152 from deep. Yet, he’s also the Colonels leading scorer on the young season.

Gasser is perhaps the best perimeter defender the Badgers have, so look for him to be in lockdown mode early. He can’t let the junior get comfortable, otherwise it could be an interesting day.

Prediction: Wisconsin 95, Nicholls 58

Apparently Nicholls doesn’t want to be known as ‘Nicholls State’ anymore, so they’ve got some importance to them…Too bad the Badgers aren’t going to care, and too bad this isn’t even going to be a close matchup.

One thing the Colonels have going for them is they likely won’t be intimidated, as they’ve already faced UCLA, Wake Forest, and Michigan on the schedule. Yet, they’ve been blown out in each of those matchups, losing by an average of 30.3 points per game. Expect more of that, if not worse in this one.

The Badgers have not only a major height advantage, but a major size and skill advantage in this game. Nicholls has a 6-10 player, but the dude is just 195 pounds. Good luck banging down low against Frank Kaminsky, Nigel Hayes and even Sam Dekker if you want to go that far. Expect the Badgers to pound the ball down low and play a little kick-out game to take control of this contest early. The Colonels are simply overmatched.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, as well as Publisher of Big Ten site