Wisconsin State Journal reporter Jim Polzin breaks down the matchup between the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team and the 20th-ranked Saint Mary's Gaels on Tuesday night at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
UW VS. NO. 20 SAINT MARY’S
What: 2019-20 season opener.
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Where: Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Radio: 1310 AM and 101.5 FM, with Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas.
Coach: Greg Gard, 80-47 in his fifth season at UW.
Player to watch: Nate Reuvers (above) scored a game-high 15 points in the Badgers’ 82-53 exhibition victory over UW-La Crosse on Friday night. Reuvers also had six rebounds and four blocks in 25 minutes.
PROBABLE UW STARTERS
|0||D'Mitrik Trice (above)||6-0||Jr.||11.6|
KEY BADGERS RESERVES
|12||Trevor Anderson (above)||6-2||Jr.||1.6|
YOU SHOULD KNOW
UW is opening with a ranked opponent for the first time in 24 years. The Badgers dropped a 66-58 decision to No. 3 Villanova in a Maui Invitational quarterfinal to open the 1995-96 season, which also served as Dick Bennett’s UW coaching debut. … Kobe King (above) finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists vs. UW-La Crosse. … Tyler Wahl produced seven points, seven rebounds and five blocks in 16 minutes off the bench against the Eagles. … D'Mitrik Trice is 10 of 17 from 3-point range in three season-opening games.
Coach: Randy Bennett, 414-174 in his 19th season at Saint Mary’s.
Player to watch: Jordan Ford (above) was second in the West Coast Conference in scoring last season. He shot 41.2 percent from 3-point range and scored at least 20 points in 19 of the Gaels’ 34 games.
PROBABLE SAINT MARY'S STARTERS
|24||Malik Fitts (above)||6-8||Jr.||15.2|
KEY GAELS RESERVES
|42||Dan Fotu (above right)||6-7||So.||2.8|
YOU SHOULD KNOW
The Gaels have recorded 20-plus victories in 12 consecutive seasons, with six NCAA tournament appearances in that span. … Saint Mary’s is 1-1 all-time vs. UW. The most recent meeting between the programs came early in the 1976-77 season, an 82-76 win for the Badgers at the UW Field House. … Aaron Menzies, a graduate transfer from Seattle, sat out last season with a hand injury. … Logan Johnson (above left) is a transfer who played last season at Cincinnati and was granted a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately at Saint Mary’s.