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The Starting 5: Wisconsin vs. Temple basketball preview

Wisconsin heads to the city of Brotherly Love hoping to get on a two-game win streak, can they topple Temple in its home opener?

Wisconsin got a much-needed road win, topping Penn State on Monday night. Can the Badgers keep the momentum going in the state of Pennsylvania?

Standing in their way is a game Temple squad, who come in 4-2 and have had a pretty light schedule in terms of volume. However, don’t sleep on this Owls team, because they already own wins over both Auburn, Clemson and South Carolina on the young season. On the flip side, Temple’s losses have come to LaSalle and George Washington.

Point being, Temple is clearly a team with ebbs and flows to its own game.

Will Wisconsin come out on top in Philly or will a young team’s education continue?

Let’s look inside this matchup, which you can see at 6pm CT on ESPNU

Wisconsin has lost just one time to Temple in Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love has been very loving to the Badgers over the course of history. Wisconsin owns a 4-1 record in games played in Philly between these two teams. In fact, Wisconsin comes in to this game with a four-game win streak in the series to date. The last meeting was an 80-67 win at the Liacouras Center in 2003.

Can Reuvers Back Up His Play Against Penn State?

Wisconsin has needed some offensive help for star forward Ethan Happ, and it was hard to come by early in the season. However, head coach Greg Gard took the redshirt off of Nathan Reuvers and it has proven to be a good decision so far. After failing to score in his first two outings in a Badgers uniform, Reuvers has hit double figures on the score sheet in the past two games. That includes a career high 11 points in a really tough spot against Penn State on Monday. Getting quality minutes because of need is one thing, but Reuvers is proving he can hold his own on the scoring front. Will that continue against Temple?

Will Rose Be a Thorn in Wisconsin’s Side?

No, we aren’t talking about Derrick Rose, but Temple has one of the American Athletic Conference’s best scoring threats in shooting guard Quinton Rose. He’s averaging 19.0 points per game in the six games played to date and is fourth in the AAC in scoring average. Wisconsin has struggled to guard the perimeter, especially with Brad Davison’s limitations due to his shoulder issue. The Badgers have to find a way to slow Rose down, who is coming off of games of 24 and 20 points against South Carolina and George Washington. Given UW’s streaky offense, it can’t afford to have Rose going off and playing catch up.

Perfection is on the Line

While things haven’t been easy for the Badgers in this non-conference slate, the Badgers are a perfect team on the road against unranked non-conference opponents under Gard. UW is 14-0 against those foes and an impressive 22-20 overall on the road in non-conference settings over the last 15 seasons. That’s hard to do in college basketball. Can UW keep Gard’s winning streak on the road against unranked opponents alive tonight?It won’t be easy, as Temple will be jacked up to play its first game of the season at home. Yes, all six of the Owls games to date have been away from their home court.

Twin Towers Could Hurt the Badgers

Ethan Happ has virtually had his way with opponents down low this season. It wasn’t that way when an equal like Mike Watkins showed up for Penn State last time out. Happ struggled with foul trouble and with Watkins’ length. Temple provides a difficult challenge to Happ because they will trot out two 6-10 forwards (Obi Enechionyia and Ernest Aflakpui) to combat his moves down low. It also hurts, because the Badgers don’t have a ton of length outside of Happ in the starting lineup. Iverson is a stretch player, while Aleem Ford is clearly a three. How the Badgers counter the two 6-10 starters. Enechionyia is no joke either on the offensive end of the floor, averaging a healthy 14.3 points per game himself.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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