Although Wisconsin and Texas A&M have met just once before, there will be some familiarity when the Badgers face the Aggies in Monday’s opening round of the Maui Invitational, played this season in Las Vegas instead of Hawaii.
Texas A&M (4-0) is coached by Buzz Williams, who split six games with in-state rival Wisconsin when he was the coach at Marquette. The Badgers also defeated Williams-coached Virginia Tech, 84-74, in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
“In my tenure here, we have not played against a team that has the same foundation that Wisconsin does,” Williams said. “Obviously, because of my path, I’m very familiar with them.”
“They’re incredibly physical,” he added. “They have great poise late in the clock. It will be the slowest game, I anticipate, we have played since I’ve been employed here. They never beat themselves.”
Wisconsin (2-1) is coming off a rare home loss — 63-58 to Providence last Monday — that snapped the Badgers’ streak of 23 consecutive nonconference wins at the Kohl Center in Madison. With Johnny Davis (15.0 points per game) out with a bruised heel, Wisconsin shot just 32.8 percent. Davis is expected to be ready for Texas A&M.
Fifth-year senior guard Brad Davison had a season-high 25 points against Providence. Steven Crowl had 29 points and 15 rebounds in the first two-games, but the 7-footer had just four points on 1-of-10 shooting with four rebounds against All-Big East center Nate Watson.
Wisconsin has held its first three opponents to 51.7 points per game and a 35.1 field-goal percentage.
“I’ve always liked the competitiveness and the grit of this group, now we’ve got to clean up and continue to improve some of those other areas,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “And, obviously be a little cleaner offensively.”
Texas A&M is coming off a 73-39 victory over Houston Baptist on Wednesday. Tyrece Radford and Quenton Jackson each had 13 points for the Aggies, who opened the second half with a 22-0 run. Aaron Cash came off the bench for 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Aggies outrebounded Houston Baptist 43-26 and had a 38-14 advantage on points in the paint.
The Aggies feature a balanced attack with Henry Coleman III (12.5 points per game), Radford (11.3), Marcus Williams (10.8) and Jackson (10.8) each averaging in double figures. Texas A&M has limited opponents to just 36.7 percent shooting.
The only other meeting between Wisconsin and Texas A&M was in 1984, when the Badgers won 71-69 in Madison.
–Field Level Media
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