Syracuse men’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about No. 17 Wisconsin

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on November 28, 2016 at 11:07 pm Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossmancenter_img Coming off its first loss of the season to then-unranked South Carolina, No. 22 Syracuse’s (4-1) nonconference slate doesn’t get any easier. The Orange travels to Madison, Wisconsin for a matchup with No. 17 Wisconsin (5-2) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN as part of the ACC/Big 10 Challenge.Here’s everything you need to know about the game.All-time series: Tied 2-2 Last time they played: SU was riding high when it met the Badgers last season in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse garnered its first and only ranking of the season after sweeping the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. But Wisconsin spoiled the homecoming, winning 66-58 in overtime. Led by Ethan Happ’s 18 points, four visitors stung Syracuse with double-digit point totals. The score, however, didn’t reflect the biggest blowout of the night. Wisconsin doubled up on the Orange and outrebounded the hosts 51-25. Happ and Nigel Hayes combined for 27 boards on their own.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The Wisconsin report: Unlike Syracuse, the Badgers returned every starter and significant bench player from the 2015-16 team that landed in the Sweet 16. This season their biggest struggle is rooted in perimeter shooting. Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig — arguably Wisconsin’s best players — are both shooting less than 30 percent from 3. The entire team is only shooting 31.6 percent from deep, and Syracuse is holding opponents to 20.3 percent shooting from 3.But that doesn’t mean the Badgers will be hard pressed to score entirely. According to Kenpom.com, Wisconsin adjusted offensive efficiency is tied for 14th best in the country at 113.2. This means they bury over 113 points per 100 possessions, while SU tallies 110.6. The Badgers have also outrebounded every opponent except UNC, the third-ranked team in the country.Kiran Ramsey | Digital Design EditorHow Syracuse beats Wisconsin: It’s not a matter of defending Wisconsin more than it is scoring more than the Badgers do. That sentiment was echoed by head coach Jim Boeheim after losing last week to the Gamecocks, when Tyler Lydon’s team-leading 18 points was the only bright spot in a 31.8 percent shooting night. Thus far the Orange has been reliant on the 3, perhaps more than was anticipated. Syracuse scored only eight points in the paint against South Carolina.It needs to diversify its offense production against Wisconsin. If Andrew White can find his stroke on the perimeter, that should spread the Badgers’ defense enough to let Lydon work around the basket. SU has the complementary pieces around those two to stitch together a good offensive game, it just needs to do it against a quality opponent.Kiran Ramsey | Digital Design EditorStat to know: 40.9 percent — According to Kenpom, Wisconsin collects nearly 41 percent of its offensive rebound chances.  This presents a problem for Syracuse, a team in the bottom 25 percent of defending offensive rebounds according to Kenpom. The Orange can do itself a favor by packing the paint to counter an offense that’s not only been effective around the basket, but keen on getting second-chance opportunities.Player to watch: Nigel Hayes, forward, No. 10When it comes to Wisconsin, look no further than the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year. Statistically he’s been outshined on offense by Bronson Koenig (14.4 points per game) and Happ (11.9 points per game), but Hayes possesses an elite ability to play inside. He can squeeze every bit of worth out of his 6-foot-8, 240-pound stature to back down defenders and deftly get shots up around the hoop. The senior will pose the toughest test for Syracuse’s defense to contain.MORE COVERAGE:Beat writers predict Syracuse-Wisconsin matchupSyracuse drops four spots to No. 22 in AP polllast_img read more

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