Fresh off its 74-56 defeat to No. 10 Florida in Gainesville, Fla., No. 22 Wisconsin (1-1 overall) will look to bounce back when it hosts Cornell (1-1) Sunday at the Kohl Center.
The Big Red will come to Madison with one more game under its belt, as it will play St. Peter’s at home Friday.
The nation’s No. 11 three-point defense shooting team last season, UW uncharacteristically allowed Florida to shoot 62 percent from the field Wednesday, including 50 percent from beyond the arc. Florida senior forward Erik Murphy was especially effective, connecting on all of his 10 field goal attempts.
While no one on Cornell’s roster has shown Murphy-type numbers this season, the Big Red have a do-it-all man in sophomore forward Shonn Miller, who has tallied 15 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals and seven blocks through two games. Miller had six of Cornell’s 13 blocks during the team’s season-opening win over Western Michigan.
Six of the Big Red’s top rotation players are seniors, making the Ivy League representative one of the more experienced teams in college basketball. The Badgers do not have as many upperclassmen in their rotation, but the teams’ makeup is similar from a scoring perspective.
Neither Wisconsin nor Cornell features a go-to scorer, but instead employs a more balanced attack: At least five players on each team average at least seven points per game.
Granted, it’s early in the season. However, many Badger players and coaches have said the team is more balanced offensively this season than it has been in years past, and Cornell hasn’t had one player shoulder the scoring load since the 2009-’10 season, when then-senior forward Ryan Wittman led the Big Red to an NCAA tournament second-round upset over No. 4-seeded Wisconsin, 87-69.
The Badgers will have a top-heavy height advantage Sunday in 6-foot-10 redshirt senior center Jared Berggren and 6-foot-11 sophomore forward Frank Kaminsky.
Cornell has just one player above 6-foot-9 on its roster in freshman center Braxston Bunce, who has not seen the floor through two games for the Big Red.
Wisconsin, a team that has come to be known for its shooting defense, could see a similar defensive presence from the Big Red Sunday. Cornell has held its two opponents this season to 36 percent shooting, including an impressive 18 percent from three-point land.