December 16, 2009

Five things to watch: Cal Poly

MADISON - After defeating Marquette last weekend, the Wisconsin men's basketball team will welcome in the Cal Poly Mustangs for the second of five straight home games. The meeting will be the first ever between the two schools. Before tip off, presents five things to watch.

1.) Can Leuer keep it up?

Last week was easily the best statistical week of Jon Leuer's career. In games against Green Bay and Marquette, the junior forward combined for 50 points and 26 rebounds on 66 percent shooting from the field.

He has seemingly elevated his game at a pretty good time considering conference play is only two and a half weeks away. He, along with Trevon Hughes will likely take this Wisconsin team as far as it winds up going.

Tonight, against Cal Poly, it will be fun to watch Leuer as he has a chance to log his third consecutive double-double.

2.) New member to the 1,000-point club?

Senior guard Trevon Hughes, who's elevated game has been very welcomed this season, is nine points shy of reaching the 1,000-point milestone. Should he score the nine points, he would become the 34th member of the club in UW history. He would also become the seventh Badger under Bo Ryan to achieve the feat.

Barring injury, Hughes and Jason Bohannon (124 points shy) should reach the mark by the end of the season.

3.) Can Hughes keep it up?

Through nine games this season, Hughes has been absolutely superb. His 17.4 points per game ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Additionally, that scoring average is the highest for any Badger player since Alando Tucker averaged just under 20 (19.9) per outing during the 2006-07 season.

Hughes is shooting 41 percent from the floor, including a 36 percent clip from downtown. Against Cal Poly, a 2-5 opponent, Hughes should be able to have another decent game as he will likely be quicker and more fundamentally sound than the Mustangs players. But the fact that he only averages 2.4 turnovers per game may be the most impressive.

4.) Will Nankivil get back on track?

While Leuer was having a career week last week, Nankivil was struggling. In games against Green Bay and Marquette, the junior center played less minutes than his average (15 and 22) of 24 minutes per game, attempted only three shots, scored four combined points and committed two turnovers. As a result, his scoring average dropped from 8.1 entering the week to 6.8 after it.

Tonight, look for a more aggressive Nankivil who will surely be looking to get his game back on track offensively.

5.) Getting the Grambling State treatment?

If you were to ask Bo Ryan about what the best thing about the Grambling State 79-46 blowout win, he would be quick to say the fact that they continually ran offense and made UW work to defend was the key component of the game. Even though they were down big following a quick second half spurt, the Tigers stuck to their offensive sets and made UW work to defend them.

Against Cal Poly, a team that has struggled so far this season, should UW earn a big lead, it will be interesting to see if the Mustangs stay true to their principles or decide to pass and shoot with no offensive rhythm. Again, that only matters if UW gets a big lead. If not, then the game will dictate itself anyway.

Game Information:

Location: Kohl Center (17,230)

TV: Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris)

Radio: Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay & Mike Lucas)

All-Time Series: First Meeting

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