Illinois-Wisconsin Preview

Under coach Bo Ryan, Wisconsin has made the Kohl Center one of

the toughest venues for opposing Big Ten teams. However, playing in

Madison hasn’t been nearly as imposing for Illinois.

As both teams look to bounce back from a loss and better their

chances of staying in next week’s AP poll, the 16th-ranked Illini

will try to win their third straight over the 20th-ranked Badgers

on Saturday.

Illinois (13-4, 3-1) is coming off one of its worst shooting

performances of the season in a 57-55 loss at Penn State on

Tuesday. The Illini, who had won their previous three and came in

shooting 64.7 percent in league games, were held to 41.3 percent

shooting and had 15 turnovers.

Leading scorer Demetri McCamey, who came in averaging 16.2

points, finished with 10 and committed a season high-tying five

turnovers.

“He has to accept that some games he’s not going to be perfect,

but then lead us and do all the other things, make the easy plays

and easier passes and let it come,” coach Bruce Weber said.

McCamey had a much more impressive performance in a 69-61 win

over Wisconsin (12-4, 2-2) on Jan. 2. He finished with 21 points

and seven assists, going 11 of 15 at the free-throw line.

The senior guard has averaged 18.2 points in his last six games

against the Badgers, scoring 27 and shooting 11 of 17 in a 63-56

victory at Madison on Feb. 9.

That win over the then-No. 11 Badgers made Illinois the first

unranked Big Ten opponent to win at the Kohl Center during Ryan’s

tenure. Wisconsin is 71-6 in league home games under Ryan, with

three of those losses coming to Illinois.

The Badgers, who moved into the Top 25 for the first time this

season Monday, will be looking to bounce back after a 64-61

overtime loss at Michigan State on Tuesday.

Wisconsin led by nine at the end of the first half and was ahead

54-48 with just over a minute remaining in regulation, but the

Badgers, who lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game with 8.3,

had four in the final 65 seconds as the Spartans ended the second

half on a 9-0 run.

“We fell apart,” junior guard Jordan Taylor said. “They turned

us over and did a good job of pressuring us.”

Taylor had 21 points but shot 8 for 20 for Wisconsin, which made

38.2 percent of its attempts.

Leading scorer Jon Leuer, who came in averaging 19.3 points, was

held to 10 against the Spartans. The senior forward scored 19

points against Illinois earlier this month and has averaged 17.0 in

the last four meetings. He’s shot 38.7 percent in two losses during

that stretch compared to 56.0 in a pair of wins.

His team will also be looking for a better defensive performance

against Illinois, which scored the most points by a Badger opponent

this season in the last meeting. The Illini shot 56.1 percent,

compared to Wisconsin’s other three Big Ten games in which teams

shot 39.4.

The Badgers have won 12 straight at home since falling to

Illinois last February.