The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (1-1), will host McNeese State (1-2) Wednesday night at the Kohl Center at 6 p.m.The Badgers will look to build on a career game from junior Nate Reuvers, who gets another chance to face an undersized team. It will also be interesting to see how Kobe King’s role is expanded upon after putting up a career-high 18 points last time out.The Cowboys are filled with guys who transferred in from other schools and carried by a backcourt tandem of juniors Dru Kuxhausen and A.J. Lawson. They’re both electric guards who can put up points in an instant and do so primarily from deep.Kuxhausen is a Junior College product from Scottsbluff, Nebraska. He’s averaging a team-high 17 points per game through their first three matchups almost exclusively from three point range. He made seven deep balls in just 17 minutes against Southern New Orleans Monday night, and finished with 23 after not recording a field goal inside the arc.To this point in the year, 81% (26-32) of his field goal attempts have come from outside, and he’s shooting them at a 46% clip.Men’s Basketball: Badgers find new identity as season beginsThe absence of Ethan Happ is conjuring up many questions about the future of the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball Read…Lawson is in his first year at McNeese after transferring from North Texas and sitting out a year. At North Texas, he was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team and started in a total of 49 games in two years.So far with McNeese State, the Texas native is averaging 15.7 points per contest, but that number is a little deflated because he only logged 15 minutes in the Cowboys’ 104–33 obliteration of Southern New Orleans.On the interior, McNeese State boasts Sha’markus Kennedy, who stands at just 6 foot 8. He’s averaging 13 points and 10.3 rebounds, but the height disadvantage will make things extremely tough on the Cowboys Wednesday night.Don’t be surprised if Nate Reuvers posts another monster stat line after handling Eastern Illinois last Friday.He was a beast and came up just one block shy of breaking the single-game blocks record for Wisconsin, instead settling for a tie with himself (2018) and Brad Sellers (1982).With one more block Friday, Reuvers also would have finished with an extremely rare points-rebounds-blocks triple double. With a stat line of 14-14-9, Reuvers showed just why so many people see him as the future of the Badgers’ program.Men’s Basketball: Badgers secure bounceback win against Eastern IllinoisThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (1-1) got their first win of the season Friday night after getting big Read…Because McNeese State is so perimeter-oriented, you can expect Brad Davison, D’Mitrik Trice and Kobe King to be applying constant pressure to the ball handlers. It will force Kuxhausen and Lawson to get down low, where Reuvers’ never-ending wingspan will be waiting.One thing to keep an eye out for is how Head Coach Greg Gard utilizes King from here on out. In his masterful performance against the Panthers, King showed glimpses of why he was such a highly-touted recruit coming out of high school. He hit tough jumpers, contested layups and even threw down a nasty one-handed poster en route to a career-high 18 points. 2019 just may be his breakout season.You can catch the game live on the Big Ten Network, or listen in on 1310 AM at 6 p.m. Wednesday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was surprised to learn he is on the cover of the April 8, 2019 issue of “Sports Illustrated,” when he found out from an unlikely source.Bucks teammate Khris Middleton broke the news by thanking him, because Middleton is featured in the background of the cover photo. “I just found out from Khris. … he’s in the background,” Antetokounmpo told reporters Wednesday. “(Khris) walked in and he said, ‘Thank you for putting me on the Sports Illustrated cover.’ … I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘You’re on the cover.'”I said, ‘OK, good to know, I didn’t know that.’ … He was happy to be in the background. I was like, ‘Yeah, I got you, bro.'”The SI cover features Antetokounmpo getting ready to posterize a trio of Spurs with a dunk as Middleton looks on in admiration (possibly thinking, “Take cover!)How the @Bucks turned the Greek Freak into the MVP, by @SI_ChrisBallard https://t.co/sNaOsEyh62 pic.twitter.com/B9kBaW3NMo— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) April 3, 2019The cover story, entitled, “Giannis: How to coach a unicorn,” follows first-year Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer’s quest on how to utilize the multi-dimensional Antetokounmpo. Ironically, Budenholzer told Middleton he would have to trim his accustomed role as a shot creator to accommodate Antetokounmpo’s game.“He told me he wanted me to take on a bit of a lesser role, be a team player and not rely on so many tough shots,” Middleton told SI. “And when a coach tells you that the first time you’re meeting them, I feel like you can’t do nothing but respect that.” “Instead of B.S.-ing me and telling me everything I want to hear, which a lot of people tend to do, I’d rather hear the straight truth, whether it’s good or bad.”Whatever they’re doing in Milwaukee, it’s working. The Bucks have an NBA-best 58-20 record. Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.4 points and 12.5 rebound per game and Middleton (18.1 ppg) made his first All-Star game this year.