December 20, 2008

Breakdown: Wisconsin vs. Coppin State

MADISON, Wis. - When the Wisconsin men's basketball team takes the floor later this afternoon against Coppin State, it will be the first game in exactly a week after having time off for final exams. For the Eagles, the game will mark the eighth straight time they play an opponent on the road. In fact, Coppin State will not play a home game until January.

Today, breaks down the potential match-ups to provide a closer look into this evenings game.

Quick notes:

--This will be the second-ever meeting between the two schools with UW winning its only other meeting 71-63. That game was 11 years ago to the day.

--UW has never lost to a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Overall, the Badgers have logged a 9-0 record against teams from that conference.

--After tonight's game, Coppin State will have played at least two Big Ten opponents in each of the past four seasons. Over that stretch, the Eagles have yet to win.

Tywain McKee vs. Trevon Hughes

-The UW coaching staff has acknowledged McKee as a special talent with a great variety of skills. On the year, he has averaged just less than 20 points per game on nearly 45 percent shooting. Hughes, for Wisconsin, has been just as effective for the Badgers during the non-conference portion of the schedule and has run the UW offense at a high level.

Advantage: Wisconsin

Jordan Lee vs. Jason Bohannon

-As a true freshman, Lee has made an immediate impact for the Eagles offense. Averaging just over 10 points per game, and standing at 6-foot-4, he has the body and skill set to present problems for Bohannon. However, UW's junior shooter has consistently improved his defense so far this year and shut down one of Green Bay's more effective scorers last week. If that defense continues, Bohannon will log plenty of minutes even if his shot is off on a given night.

Advantage: Wisconsin

Chuka Iloegbu vs. Joe Krabbenhoft

-Regardless of whether Krabbenhoft matches-up with Iloegbu or Lee, he will have a sizeable height advantage. After coming off a career-high 15-point game against the Phoenix, Krabbenhoft seems to have found his scoring touch. But, as anyone who follows UW basketball knows, Krabbenhoft is the essential team player and scoring is not his main priority. Still, by having at least four inches on his defender, look for him to take advantage of his height mismatches.

Advantage: Wisconsin

Brian Chestnut vs. Keaton Nankivil

-In the game of experience, Chestnut has Nankivil beat by a long shot. However, Nankivil has continually improved at each passing game this season and has shown the ability to knock down mid-range shots and score in double figures. If he is able to pull Chestnut out of the paint, it will open driving lanes for UW guards as well as spread the floor for Marcus Landry to work the post.

Advantage: Wisconsin

Rigoberto Sargeant vs. Marcus Landry

-Landry has quietly put together a solid senior season so far. As one of the key players on the UW squad, and all the attention he receives from opponents, his 12.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game are major influences for the Badger offense. Against Sargeant, he should hold the upper hand, especially if his jumper is working.

Advantage: Wisconsin

Coppin State bench vs. Wisconsin bench

-Much like the Badgers, Coppin State plays a relatively deep bench with at least nine players getting 10 or more minutes per game. However, they do lack the scoring presence coming off the bench like Jon Leuer for Wisconsin. In comparing the two teams, the depth is similar, but the Badger talent is supreme.

Advantage: Wisconsin

Ron "Fang" Mitchell vs. Bo Ryan

-It is not too often that Bo Ryan runs into a coach that has more career wins than him, but that will be the case tonight. Even so, Ryan is nearly impeccable in the Kohl Center and the Eagles have continually been on the road this season. Coppin State will be ready to play, but pulling out the win will be a rather tall task.

Advantage: Wisconsin


Saturday, December 20, at 5:00 p.m. CT


Madison, Wis.


Kohl Center (17,230)


Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee and Jim Jackson)


Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)


UW leads 1-0


Wisconsin: USA Today: RV, Assoc. Press: RV

Coppin State: USA Today: NA, Assoc. Press: NA

Last meeting

71-63 UW win on Dec. 20, 1997 in Madison

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