Marquette Wire

PREVIEW: Marquette looks to shut down Ethan Happ

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

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Marquette will take on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Saturday for the 100th anniversary of the first matchup between the two schools Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Here’s a preview of what to expect Saturday:

Wisconsin

If the Badgers (4-6) bounce back from two consecutive losses, it will have to come from forward Ethan Happ. The junior all-American candidate is Wisconsin’s leading scorer with 16.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

“He does so many things for that team,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “He’s got great experience and has been a big part of their success and why they’ve won a lot.”

“Obviously our guys know (Wisconsin),” Wojo continued. “They know Ethan Happ is as good as a center, if not the best center in the entire United States.”

However, for all the attention that Happ garners, he is not the only threat to the Wisconsin offense. Brad Davison is expected to be a gametime decision, but the freshman guard has made an instant impact for the Badgers, averaging 10.0 points per game. He has a team-high 20 3-pointers this season.

Wisconsin junior Khalil Iverson, who came off the bench to score 16 points in last year’s matchup at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, could also be a problem for the Golden Eagles.

Confirmed starters:

Aleem Ford (Fr 4.8 ppg), Khalil Iverson (Jr. 7.5 ppg), Ethan Happ (16.2 ppg), Brevin Pritzl (6.4 ppg) and Brad Davison (Fr 10.0 ppg).

Marquette

For Marquette (6-3), questions revolve around the usual suspects: Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey.

Markus Howard went 11 for 20 against Vermont on Tuesday including 6-for-11 3-point shooting. Through nine games, Howard has averaged 22.4 points per game. Andrew Rowsey is not far behind with 21.6 points per game.

Sam Hauser has been a consistent option this season for Marquette. His 6.0 rebounds per game leads the team. Hauser will be hoping to have a better game against the Badgers after not scoring in last year’s matchup.

Hauser and big men Matt Heldt and Theo John will have the challenge of guarding Happ. Theo John has consistently been in foul trouble, averaging 3.45 fouls per game. Meanwhile, Heldt has not always been aggressive enough at the rim this season. He has 5.3 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Freshmen Greg Elliott and Jamal Cain have to continue doing the little things well to fend off Wisconsin. Elliott has made a big impact defensively, leading the team with 12 steals.

“Hopefully the environment and the intensity of the game will bring out the best in them.” Wojo said. We’ve had some guys who have played in rivalry games, but I’m not sure what to expect because the majority of our team has never been in a game like this.”

Confirmed starters:

Sacar Anim (So, 6.3 ppg), Sam Hauser (So, 12.9 ppg), Matt Heldt (Jr. 5.3 ppg), Markus Howard (So 22.4 ppg) and Andrew Rowsey (21.6 ppg).

Key contributors:

Greg Elliott, Jamal Cain and Theo John.

UPDATE

Guards Kobe King and D’Mitrick Trice are out indefinitely with foot and knee injuries per the Badgers Twitter page. Trice will undergo surgery on his right foot on Monday. King will not play Saturday with a knee injury.

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