The Wisconsin Badgers and Providence Friars hook up in Rhode Island on Tuesday for the annual Gavitt Tipoff Games as Wisconsin looks to avoid losing back-to-back games.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Providence Friars (PK, 145.5)
After Wisconsin played an uncharacteristically fast game to start the season, a 105-76 win over Arkansas State, their next game had more than 10 fewer possessions in it, an 80-70 loss to Tennessee.
Wisconsin has a long track record of playing at a slow pace, ranking 344th in total possessions last season and has been 271st or slower in total possessions per game in total possessions per game since the 2006-07 they.
Though the Badgers added some outside shooting help in the offseason with AJ Storr entering the program from St. John’s, the team is likely to return to their roots playing against another team that is content with not speeding up.
While this is Kim English’s first season at the head coach at Providence, he showed in his two seasons at George Mason that he wants his teams to play under control, ranking 215th and 210th in total possessions per game in two seasons at George Mason.
Additionally, many key pieces from last season’s George Mason team followed English to Providence with all three incoming transfers that played at the Division I level last season being from George Mason.
Entering Monday’s action, Providence was 244th in the country in total possessions per game and will look to exploit the home and road splits on offense that have plagued Wisconsin in recent seasons.
During the 2022-23 season, Wisconsin shot 37.4% from 3-point range at home compared to 31.3% away from home and averaged 9.3 points per 100 possessions fewer away from home than at home, ranking 220th in points scored per possession overall.
With both coaches in this matchup having a track record of playing at a slower tempo and Wisconsin’s shooting taking a dip in past seasons on the road, Tuesday’s matchup will look much more like the Wisconsin games of past seasons than what they showed in the first two games of the season.
The Play: Wisconsin vs. Providence Under 145.5