After a week's rest, the Badgers (8-4) welcome the Bulldogs of Samford (3-10) to the Kohl Center Saturday for the last of their non-conference slate. The game tips at 1:00 PM CT and you can find it on the Big Ten Digital Network online or you can listen to it on the Badger Sports Radio Network.
Samford is led by first year head coach Bennie Seltzer, who had been an assistant under Tom Crean at Marquette and Indiana the last several years. Having prepared for Wisconsin annually in his coaching tenure could give him Samford a better chance of avoiding a complete blowout.
Those familiar with College Basketball know that there aren't too many teams who play at a slower pace than Wisconsin. Well, Samford is one of those teams. Their 59.4 average points per game ranks 316th in the country, the Badgers' at 72.1 rank 99th. According to KenPom.com it'll be the 336th ranked AdjTempo team (Samford) vs. the 324th team in AdjTempo (Wisconsin). Needless to say, this could be a very slow, long, and yes, boring basketball game.
The Bulldogs are an extremely young team with a ton of inexperienced players. Their two leading scorers are a freshman- Tim Williams (14.7 ppg) – and a sophomore – Raijon Kelly (13.8 ppg). Their starting lineup consists of 3 sophomores, a junior and a freshman. Youthful is certainly an accurate word to describe Seltzer's squad.
Samford has played at Louisville, Memphis and Kentucky so far this season, so I don't think coming in to the Kohl Center will be a huge culture shock for them, but it certainly will not be a cakewalk.
Freshman Tim Williams has proven himself to be an impact player at both ends of the floor. The lanky 6'8" big man is putting up some incredible numbers and leading the team in scoring (14.7 ppg) rebounds (7.8) and blocks (1.5).
When watching Williams the one thing that really sticks out to you is his all around basketball skill, even at his large size. He can take it to the post and get an east bucket, or go outside and hit a faceup jumper. This guy shows a lot of potential for the Samford program. Heck, his first collegiate game he dropped 23 points and 10 boards!
It will really be an interesting matchup for big men Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren, who haven't seen a player this long and lanky and skilled all season. I think Williams will do his damage against the Badger big men, but it won't be enough to fuel his team to victory.
Don't expect much of a game out of this one. The Badgers' experience and talent will be way too much for this young Samford Squad. It won't be a 50 point win, but chalk up a W for the Badgers and 3 game win streak heading in to Big Ten play.
Score: Wisconsin 68, Samford 41