Marquette Travels To Rival Wisconsin Saturday
Dec. 10, 2015
TV: ESPN2 (Bob Wischusen/Dan Dakich) | Radio: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men's basketball team (7-2, 0-0 BIG EAST) heads to rival Wisconsin (6-4, 0-0 Big Ten) Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. CT for its annual matchup with the Badgers. ESPN2 will feature MU's eighth national television broadcast of the campaign, with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Dan Dakich (analyst) calling the action. Following Saturday's matchup, MU will take a break in their schedule to focus on finals and won't return to action until hosting Chicago State on Dec. 21.
MU-UW Rivalry Reaches 122nd All-Time Meeting
Marquette's all-time series with Wisconsin dates back to 1917, with the first meeting coming in just MU's second season of competition.
Wisconsin owns a 66-55 edge in the previous matchups, with each squad enjoying an extended run of success at various points in the series. Marquette's best streak came between 1969 and 1984 when the team claimed 15-straight wins and 19-of-21 overall.
MU has met Wisconsin more times (121) than any other opponent in program history. Notre Dame and Marquette have met on 118 occasions dating back to 1920, the second-most matchups against any single opponent in the record book.
The Golden Eagles dropped a 49-38 decision to the No. 2 ranked Badgers at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Dec. 6, 2014 in the most recent matchups. Guard Matt Carlino led the team with 18 points, but was the only player with more than six points for Marquette.
Marquette's last victory in the Kohl Center came on Dec. 11, 2011 when No. 16 Marquette held off No. 9 Wisconsin 61-54. Guard Darius Johnson-Odom led all scorers with 17 points and Vander Blue added nine points and eight boards.
Improved Shooting Touch Key During Win Streak
The Golden Eagles are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, thanks in large part to an improved shooting touch.
During the streak, Marquette is shooting 50.8 percent (186-of-366) from the floor and 50-of-121 (41.3 percent) from behind the 3-point line. Both of those numbers are well above the season averages of 48.0 and 34.0 percent, respectively. The team's defensive effort has been just as important, holding opposing squads to just 34.8 percent from the field and 65.3 points per game (down from season average of 70.6 ppg.).
Marquette hasn't won seven-consecutive games since the 2011-12 campaign when the team accomplished the feat on two occasions. MU opened the year 10-0 that year and later in the season rattled off seven-straight in BIG EAST play.
State's Recent Prep Standouts Well Represented On Rosters
Saturday's matchup between Marquette and Wisconsin will more than likely feature heavy contributions on both sides from some of state's top prep standouts in recent years.
A total of 15 players (8 - MU, 7 - UW) on the two rosters hail from the great state of Wisconsin, including the leading scorers for both teams in Marquette's Henry Ellenson (16.7 ppg.) and Wisconsin's Bronson Koenig (15.8 ppg.). Along with playing on an annual basis, the fact many of the student-athletes have competed against each other in high school and on the AAU circuit makes each roster very familiar with its respective opponent.
While half of Marquette's roster calls Wisconsin home, only three MU players have limited game experience in the actual series. Sophomores Duane Wilson (31) and Sandy Cohen III (10) have seen minutes in just one game and junior Jajuan Johnson has totaled just 20 minutes in a pair of appearances. Junior Luke Fischer didn't become eligible for Marquette until mid-December last year and missed the Badger game.
Freshman Class Making An Impact
Led by freshman of the year candidate Henry Ellenson, Marquette's nationally ranked recruiting class has been making a big impact early in 2015-16.
During the team's six-game winning streak, the starting lineup has featured a trio of newcomers (Ellenson, Haanif Cheatham and Traci Carter) and both Sacar Anim and Matt Heldt have seen minutes off the bench. Through the team's first nine outings, the newcomers are accounting for at least 40 percent of the team's per game averages in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
Marquette's first complete recruiting class under head coach Steve Wojciechowski was a consensus top-10 group and was rated as high as fifth nationally by ESPN.com and FoxSports.com
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