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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Wojciechowski prepares for Nate Reuvers, Wisconsin Badgers Sunday

Markus Howard works his way through Wisconsin’s defense in MU’s 2018 overtime win over the Badgers. (Marquette Wire Stock Photo)

For the second time in less than a week, Marquette will face another Big Ten opponent: in-state rivals the Wisconsin Badgers.

“It’s a typical Wisconsin team,” head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “They are very versatile. With (Nate) Reuvers playing at the five, he presents a difficult matchup because they can space you really at all five positions.”

But Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard does not have All-American forward Ethan Happ, who graduated in 2019. Happ did plenty of damage against the Golden Eagles last season, finishing with a double-double and game-high 34 points and 11 rebounds. He also recorded four assists and two steals in then-No. 12 Wisconsin’s 74-69 overtime loss at Fiserv Forum.

“Happ was such a dominant post player, where they ran everything through him and rightly so. He’s one of the top five players in the history of the program, so they should run things through him,” Wojciechowski said. “They have more balance this year and that, in some respects, makes them more dangerous.”

This year’s challenge will be 6-foot-11 post player Nate Reuvers.

“They still hit the post,” Wojciechowski said. “They post their guards a lot. It’s not just a matter of throwing it to Reuvers, which they do — their guards get the ball in the post a lot.”

Wojciechowski said 6-foot-9 junior forward Theo John will have to defend Reuvers not only in the post but also along the 3-point line.

“He’s really improved, and if you give him open shots, he can knock them down,” Wojciechowski said. “Our big guys’ ability to play away from the basket is important and playing without fouling away from the basket.”

Reuvers is not the only Badger who has success beyond the arc. Six-foot redshirt junior guard D’Mitrik Trice averaged a 39% 3-point percentage last season, going 76 for 195 in 34 games. Trice also averaged a team-high 32.6 minutes per game and contributed 11.3 points and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 38.4%.

“They can knock 3-pointers down, so defending the 3-point line is going to be important,” Wojciechowski said. “They still employ the swing, but they’re also running a bunch of ball screens for Trice, and he’s very effective off the ball screen.”

Marquette will have graduate transfer Jayce Johnson available, the team announced Sunday Morning. He suffered a knee sprain back in practice Oct. 28 and has yet to record his first points donning the blue and gold.

Wojciechowski said earlier in the week that Johnson was going to be “off for now a number of weeks so then he’ll have to get back into shape.”

After Marquette’s 65-55 victory Wednesday night against the Purdue Boilermakers, KenPom, a prominent college basketball analytics site, ranked Marquette No. 12 in the country. Wisconsin is No. 50.

“They’re not going to beat themselves. They’re going to play incredibly hard,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s a rivalry game. It’s going to be, hopefully, most likely a one-possession game.”

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