Indiana men’s basketball, which is coming off a 68-55 win in its first Big Ten game against Nebraska, will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to face No. 22 Wisconsin at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Both teams enter the game with 7-1 records this season and Indiana will be looking for its first win on the road against Wisconsin since 1998.
“We try to bring the same energy no matter where we’re at,” sophomore guard Anthony Leal said at a press conference Tuesday. “Just staying locked in and being focused on bringing our own energy is something we’ve really tried to focus on this year.”
Indiana’s starting lineup scored just 8 points in the first half of its last matchup against Nebraska and relied on its bench, which scored 18 of the team’s 26 first-half points. Junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 14 points against Nebraska after a two-game stretch where he averaged 37 points per game.
Jackson-Davis has averaged a team-leading 21 points in the first eight games this season, followed by seniors guard Xavier Johnson and forward Race Thompson who are averaging 10.4 and 10 points per game, respectively.
“The chemistry is really good this year and we all really do love and support each other, which is awesome,” Leal said.
Sophomore guard Johnny Davis and senior guard Brad Davison lead Wisconsin with 20.1 and 15.9 points per game, respectively. Davis, who also leads the team in rebounds, assists and steals per game, did not play in Wisconsin’s only loss this season to Providence College.
“If he shoots 15 shots he’s probably going to score some points, but just to make every shot hard and every point he gets challenging is something we have to focus on,” Leal said about Davis. “He’s definitely a special player and we’re going to hopefully try to slow him down.”
Leal also complimented Davison, saying his leadership and work ethic is invaluable.
Indiana will be looking for its first win on the road this season. Its only road game, a 112-110 double-overtime loss to Syracuse University, was its only loss this season. Even after giving up 112 points, Indiana’s defense has allowed just 63.8 points per game.
“As long as we execute our game plan and keep playing as hard as we can on defense, I think we’re going to be in it no matter what,” Leal said.
The Hoosiers are 2-8 in their last 10 games against the Badgers dating back to 2016, and they haven’t won on the road against them since 1998. The Hoosiers forced double overtime last season at the Kohl Center, but fell 80-73 despite a 23-point effort from Jackson-Davis.
Men’s basketball: [Indiana men’s basketball opens Big Ten play with 68-55 win over Nebraska]
Leal played 34 minutes in that matchup, scoring a career-high 9 points on 3-6 shooting from 3-point range. Leal has played in half of Indiana’s eight games this season, seeing 36 minutes of action and shooting 67% on 3-point shots.
Indiana leads the overall series with Wisconsin 96-78 sincethe first matchup in 1910, but Wisconsin has won the last three meetings. Indiana’s last win against Wisconsin came on Feb. 26, 2019, a 75-73 double-overtime victory led by former Indiana guard Romeo Langford with 22 points.
Follow reporters Kamil Gut (@GutKamil) and Tristan Jackson (@Trist_Jackson), and columnist Da’Qwan Dockery (@ddockery35) for updates throughout the game and the rest of the Indiana men’s basketball season.
Location: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: IU Radio Network