NCAA Basketball Picks ATS: Cornell Big Red vs. (22) Wisconsin BadgersCornell at (22) Wisconsin
Tip off: 6 PM EST (ESPN 3), Sunday, Nov 18, 2012
Spread: WIS -19.5
Betting Odds from Bookmaker
Last year the Wisconsin Badgers finished 26-10 with a 12-6 record in the Big Ten. In the NCAA tournament they beat Montana and Vandy, then lost to Syracuse by one point in the Sweet 16. Their only key loss was
Jordan Taylor, who averaged 14.8 points per game last year. Taylor started 87 games over for seasons at Wisconsin, and he believes the Badgers are still on to something good.
“I don’t think they’ll be skipping a beat. Kind of jealous I won’t be around for it,” Taylor commented.
Replacing Taylor in the backcourt will be freshman George Marshall and junior Josh Gasser, while sophomore Traevon Jackson will see spot minutes as well. Marshall should be an effective option, as he has shown himself to be a heady defender capable of making good decisions when he has the ball. He also has an effective mid-range jumper that should help the offense flow free when he gets into a groove.
Gasser is also a nice piece, as he started 66 games in two seasons and is a lockdown defender. Gasser is also a deadly three point shooter and hit 45.2 percent from three last year. He didn’t attempt enough though, and needs to take advantage of his opportunities to fill a large role for the Badgers.
Jared Berggren, Ryan Evans and Mike Bruesewitz will be a nice trio in the frontcourt. Berggren and Evans both showed a lot of offensive improvement last year, and averaged 21.5 points combined last season.
Berggren saw 27.8 minutes per game last season, which is the third highest minutes of all returning players (Evans, 30.5; Gasser, 34.1). The 6’10” 235 pound senior shot 45.2 percent from the floor and 37.2 percent from three, while also leading the team in blocked shots with 60 on the year.
Evans must improve his three point shooting and also work more heavily on becoming a premier rebounder, though his 6.8 rebounds per game last year wasn’t bad. The Badgers are predicted to be a “two and out” team by Athlon Magazine, but they can be better than that if things fall into place. They took too many threes last year and didn’t get to the line enough, but Berggren, Marshall, and Decker should work well as a unit and have the potential to make this Badgers team a surprise team in the Big Ten this year.
Cornell went 12-16 last year with a 7-7 record in Ivy League play. The Ivy league has gone 40-79 in tournament play.
The Big Red just lost Chris Wroblewski and Drew Ferry, so they will have an overhaul in the backcourt. Galal Cancer will take charge of the offense, but he has to improve his shooting. He hit just 36.5 percent from the floor last year, and this year as one of the primary options, he’ll have to hit a much higher percentage for Cornell to remain competitive, even in the Ivy League.
Shonn Miller and Errick Peck are good forwards, and Miller was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year last year, as he put up 8.9 points per game and grabbed 6.1 rebounds per night. Peck missed last year with a knee injury, but averaged 11 points per game in 2010-11.