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Marquette travels to Green Bay Wednesday for first time in its history

Marquette travels to Wisconsin-Green Bay Wednesday for the first time and the Phoenix have a history of knocking off state schools at the Resch Center.

Green Bay beat then-No. 23 Wisconsin 88-84 in overtime on Dec. 9, 2009 and coach Buzz Williams thinks the Phoenix are better than their 3-7 record indicates.

“It’s just part of where they’re at in that they’ve played seven of their 10 games as either a road game or a neutral game,” Williams said. “I’ve been on that side of the ledger before and if you look at their numbers at the Resch Center, that’s more indicative of who they are.”

Green Bay is 2-1 at home this season, following a 72-70 loss at home to Southern Illinois on Saturday. The Phoenix have beaten North Dakota State and Chicago State earlier in the year at home. Their other win came against Southern Utah in Reno, Nev., on Nov. 16 as part of the World Vision Classic.

Green Bay started the season 2-0 but is 1-7 in its last eight games and rank 278th in the country in field goal percentage (.403) and 202nd in points per game (66.8).

Williams is concerned with 7-foot-1 center Alec Brown, who he says “whipped” Marquette last year when he scored 22 points and 14 rebounds in the Golden Eagles’ 79-61 win at the Bradley Center.

Redshirt senior center Chris Otule had torn his ACL just four days earlier and then-sophomore Davante Gardner was forced to try and guard Brown.

“He just ran circles around Davante,” Williams said. “He’s as skilled a guy outside of the lane as he is inside of the lane. There’s been more NBA teams go see him than any NBA teams come see our guys.

“If Davante is not any better than he was last year, he won’t play this year.”

Marquette doesn’t play Wisconsin-Milwaukee this year, so it will have to try to sweep the state of Wisconsin with just two wins, but junior forward Jamil Wilson, a Racine, Wis., native, says it’s still important to get those “rivalry” wins.

“I didn’t think about it as much as last year because we didn’t play Milwaukee,” Wilson said. “Winning this game is just like winning any other game, taking a foot closer to where we want to be and where we want to go.”

Williams didn’t have much of an update on sophomore guard Todd Mayo, who has remains suspended indefinitely due to academic ineligibility, although Wilson said Mayo had practiced with the team on Monday and Tuesday.

“It’s good to see him around, good to have him back,” Wilson said. “He’s excited to come back and he’s just waiting to see how it all plays out.”

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