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Indiana Basketball Game Preview: Wisconsin – key storylines, injury report, how to watch



Indiana basketball
Previewing Indiana basketball at Wisconsin by looking at key storylines, injury reports, how to watch and other updates. (Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Indiana basketball continues its 124th season of competition with a two-game road trip beginning on Friday, Jan. 19 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis against the No. 11/8 Wisconsin Badgers. The Hoosiers are coming off an embarrassing loss to in-state rival Purdue Tuesday night.

The Big Ten-leading Badgers (13-4, 5-1) are led by 15.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game from sophomore guard AJ Storr. The St. John’s transfer is also second on the team with 20 made 3-pointers. Junior forward Steven Crowl (12.0 points, 7.8 rebounds) and fifth-year senior forward Tyler Wahl (11.7, 5.8) provide the bulk of the Wisconsin production from the frontcourt. Junior guard Max Klesmit (9.0 points), freshman guard John Blackwell (8.9), and junior guard Chucky Hepburn (8.0) provide 54 made 3-pointers between the trio.

Tip is scheduled for 8:30 PM ET on FS1.

Below is the full preview of Indiana basketball at Wisconsin.

Key Storylines

The backcourt problem is even worse now more than ever

You can point a blame to a lot of areas of this Indiana basketball and the struggles they have had however, it all ties back to the absolute horrible play by the backcourt of Indiana.

Sure, there may have been some bright spots here or there, but there have never been any consistent play from the backcourt of Hoosiers all season. Trey Galloway has had his struggles, Gabe Cupps makes freshman mistakes, CJ Gunn is hot and cold, and Xavier Johnson has been extremely immature and shown too much of ‘Bad X’ than what was needed this season.

The frontcourt has been this team has been the best part by far, but in today’s game you HAVE to have great guard play and that is a big reason why the season has taken the turn it has. We saw the difference in great guard play and bad guard play when Purdue’s backcourt smacked Indiana’s.

At this point in the season, as a fan, you can only hope things start to click, but you have not had any signs where you feel like it is going to get better.

The No. 1 priority this offseason for Mike Woodson is getting the backcourt fixed through the transfer portal. Everything will fall in line once that is fixed.

Going to have to win at a place you don’t have any success at

Indiana basketball needed that Purdue win so bad. They didn’t get that. Now, they go on the road the next two games in their toughest stretch of the season.

Up next, Indiana basketball travels to the Kohl Center to face Wisconsin. They travel to a place where they haven’t won since 1998.

The truth of the matter is, there is no hope that Indiana is going to get this win. They have been AWFUL on the road all season and with the way they have been playing, there is simply no reason that they are going to get this upset win let alone the fact they haven’t won in nearly 25 years there.

This is a game that Indiana has to win if they want to right the ship at this point in the season. The opportunities are running out and that NCAA tournament bubble is about to pop. Speaking of…

The NCAA Tournament bubble is about to pop 

Here we are! We are at the point that no Indiana fan wanted to be at this season. Indiana is VERY bubbly and that bubble is about to pop so loud.

Opportunity after opportunity, Indiana basketball has had many chances to get great, quality wins this season and has simply just not been able to take advantage of any of those. You can get 20 wins a season but if you do not have the quality to go with it, the committee will not even look at you.

What is crazy is there are are still some chances for Indiana to wake up some eyes a little bit. But is there faith they will do so? No, there is not at this time.

Related: Same lingering trends arise as Indiana basketball gets ‘smacked’ by Purdue — Lack of toughness. Leadership. Pride.

Series History

For the 188th time in program history, Indiana will take on the Wisconsin Badgers. The Hoosiers hold a 97-80 advantage in the series that dates back to Jan. 19, 1910, in a game in which IU emerged with a 13-11 victory in Madison.

Three Hoosiers scored in double figures to lead Indiana to a 63-45 victory on Jan. 14, 2023, at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in the lone matchup between the two schools a season ago.

All-American forward Trayce Jackson-Davis scored a game-high 18 points, including a series of thunderous dunks, to go with 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Jalen Hood-Schifino tallied 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while Jordan Geronimo added a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double.

The Hoosiers will attempt to secure the program’s first victory in the Kohl Center since a 69-59 result on Jan. 25, 1998, the second men’s game ever played in the arena. Indiana has not beaten a ranked Wisconsin team on the road in 12 tries.

Pro Hoosiers: Former Indiana basketball forward Trayce Jackson-Davis listed top-10 in NBA Rookie Power Rankings

Injury Updates

Jakai Newton: Newton had a lower body surgical procedure done this past offseason to help fix a previous injury he sustained during high school. He is still recovering and is not expected to play for the rest of the season.

Anthony Leal: The senior guard missed last game with a calf injury. His status is TBD.

Quick Hitters

Who?: Indiana (12-6) (4-3 Big Ten) at Wisconsin (13-4) (5-1)

When?: Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 • 8:30 PM ET

Where?: Kohl Center (17,071) • Madison, Wisconsin

TV: FS1 (Brandon Gaudin, Robbie Hummel)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, John Herrick)

Betting Lines: Indiana basketball is listed as an 11-point underdog via DraftKings Sportsbook.

SEE ALSO: Indiana basketball signee Liam McNeeley named to Naismith Midseason Player of Year watch list

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated, part of the Full Ride Network, on Twitter @Indiana_FRN, Facebook and YouTube to stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. You can also listen to the Talking’ Bout the Hoosiers podcast on Spotify.

Kyler Staley is a Basketball Recruiting Analyst for Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Kyler has been in the basketball recruiting industry since 2019 and is a credentialed media member. He has covered Indiana since 2021 while continuing to also work for Prep Hoops Indiana. He has previously worked for Rivals.