Friday, February 26, 2010

Badgers Crush Hoosiers

The Badgers picked up just their fourth road win of the season with a 78-46 clinic over the Hoosiers last night, marking their largest margin of victory in a road Big Ten game since their 54-20 win over the University of Chicago in 1942.
Perhaps most importantly, the Badgers finished the game without any injuries.
With Purdue junior forward Robbie Hummel’s season cut short with an ACL injury Wednesday against Minnesota, the injury bug has found its way to each of the Big Ten’s top teams. Ohio State’s junior forward Evan Turner, Michigan State’s junior guard Kalin Lucas and the Badgers’ own junior forward Jon Leuer have all missed at least one game this Big Ten season.
Indiana (3-12 Big Ten, 9-18 overall) forced Wisconsin (11-5, 21-7) into a drowsy start, but junior forward Keaton Nankivil was sharp for the Badgers. He was just 12-of-30 from the field since the Illinois game, but started 4-of-5 to jump-start Wisconsin’s 23-to-8 run in the first half that gave the Badgers a 39-22 lead going into the locker room.
Wisconsin’s guards had a field day and found success getting into the lane, which lead to open layups. Sophomore guard Jordan Taylor collected two uncontested layups as the first half was winding down in front of a frustrated Assembly Hall.
In the early going it was all about balance for the Badgers. Senior guard Trevon Hughes and Taylor both contributed eight points while Taylor also pulled down five rebounds in the first half. Each of Wisconsin’s starters scored at least five points in the first half, with Nankvil scoring a game-high 10 at the half and finishing with 14, the highest since his 25-point explosion against the Boilermakers.
Turnovers plagued the Hoosiers again. In the first meeting at the Kohl Center, Indiana finished with an incredible 21 turnovers, and followed it up by giving away the ball 18 times to Wisconsin. The Badgers turned those 18 turnovers into 21 points, and thanks to 32 rebounds, they scored 11 second-chance points.
Wisconsin continued its streak of hot shooting as well. After scorching the net for 75 percent in the first half against Northwestern, the Badgers shot almost 55 percent from the field for the game and an amazing 8-of-11, or 72.7 percent from 3-point land.
I hope the Badgers are just tuning up for March Madness. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Three Badger Football Players Are Suspended

University of Wisconsin football head coach Bret Bielema recently announced the suspension of three football players due to an alleged violation of team rules.
Freshmen Kraig Appleton, Shelby Harris and Nick Hill have all been suspended from the team indefinitely, spokesperson for the Athletic Department Brian Lucas said.
In the case of an indefinite suspension, there is no assigned end time to the punishment, rather the suspending authority — in this case Bret Bielema — can enforce the suspension for however long he deems appropriate.
Lucas, along with other administrators of the Athletic Department, would not provide any details concerning the motivation for the suspensions or the possible consequences the team now faces.
Despite their alleged violations, the three men do remain students at the university, Lucas said.
Appleton, the only one of the three who played last season, is a wide receiver from East St. Louis, IL who finished the season with three receptions for a total of 26 yards.
Harris and Hill, who will be classified as redshirt freshmen next season, both redshirted for the team last year, meaning they did not participate in competition in order to further develop their skills and to extend their eligibility.
During his senior year in high school, Harris, a defensive lineman from Milwaukee who attended Homestead High School, was the number two-ranked player in the state of Wisconsin.
Also from Milwaukee, Hill is a walk-on linebacker from Milwaukee Washington High School who was once named UW’s defensive scout team player of the week last season.
Regardless of the suspensions, Lucas said, the team will still begin spring practices come March 13 to prepare for the annual Red-White spring football game April 27.
Spokesperson for the Athletic Department Justin Doherty said it is not appropriate to speculate as to how a suspension or multiple suspensions may or may not affect a team.
“It’s really unfortunate when promising players put an athletic team’s future in jeopardy because there are so many fans who support UW teams and who want to see them succeed,” UW freshman Catherine Bresnahan said.
It is a sad occurance whenever this happens at UW. Although I look forward to seeing the Baders take the field at Camp Randall this fall. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jon Leuer is ICE COLD in his Return

Wisconsin was supposed to have an added lift entering Thursday’s game against hated Minnesota. With UW getting junior forward Jon Leuer back from his broken wrist and with the Gophers being losers of seven of their past 10 games, this contest had a Badger win written all over it.
Somebody forgot to write that in the script.
Behind 16 points from junior guard Blake Hoffarber and a dominating effort on both the offensive and defensive glass from a hungrier Gopher squad, Minnesota extended its current winning streak over UW to three with an emphatic 68-52 win inside a sold-out Williams Arena.
With the loss, UW not only dropped its second of three games, but also essentially squashed any hopes of a Big Ten title.
“It’s always tough to lose a game in the Big Ten,” said senior guard Jason Bohannon, who chipped in 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. “Especially when you’re right in the heat of a title race. It’s tough.
“Minnesota came ready to play, and we just didn’t finish the game tonight.”
The Gophers finished the game by hitting 47.6 percent of their shots from the floor in comparison to UW’s 30.5-percent clip. Minnesota also controlled the glass, as the Gophers out-boarded Wisconsin by a 41-28 margin.
Let's hope the Badgers can learn from this experience and turn in around. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jason Bohannon Scores 30 points in win over Indiana

With a pair of former Badgers sitting behind the bench wearing their jerseys Saturday, senior guards Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes had one of the best combined performances of their careers.
Bohannon — whose jersey was worn by current New York Knicks forward Marcus Landry — put up a career-high 30 points while Hughes — whose jersey was the choice of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Alando Tucker — added 16 points, all in the first half.
Combining for 46 points, the UW senior captains helped No. 11 Wisconsin cruise past the Indiana Hoosiers in Saturday’s decisive 83-55 victory at the Kohl Center.
With the win, the Badgers managed to remain undefeated in games immediately following losses, as Wisconsin has yet to lose consecutive games during the 2009-10 season.
“We just hate the way it feels — we hate losing,” Hughes said. “The way we lose is when we get away from our game plan. If we stay in tune to that throughout the whole 40 minutes of the game, then we’ll be fine. That’s what we did.”
As they have several times this season at home, the Badgers quickly jumped out to a big lead over the Hoosiers. UW went up 8-0 in the first two minutes, 20-5 in the first six minutes and led by as many as 28 in the first half following a layup by Hughes with 2:55 remaining in the period that made it 46-18 in the Badgers’ favor.
The difference, though, between Saturday’s win and Wisconsin’s loss Tuesday to Illinois — a game in which the Badgers also led 8-0 in the opening minutes — was the ability of UW to maintain its hot start and to keep a young Hoosiers squad from getting back in it.
“You get that run, (and) you’ve got to sustain it,” UW head coach Bo Ryan said. “You’ve got to stay after it, and I thought we did a good job of that. They chipped away a little bit, but we got it back and then extended it again.
“It’s tough when you’re playing from behind, and we tried to make sure that we didn’t make it easy for them to chip into the lead.”
For the third time in four games, UW made more shots than it missed in the first half, as the Badgers shot 53.1 percent from the floor, including 46.2 percent from 3-point range. Six players scored in the period for Wisconsin, including Hughes, who led all scorers with 16 points at the break, and Bohannon, who had 14 first-half points.
It is great to see the Badgers rebound after a loss and continue to prepare themselves for a run at the Final Four. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Badger Basketball Freshman Making Waves

He may not be the most well-known player on the Wisconsin men’s basketball roster, but freshman forward Mike Bruesewitz is quickly making a name for himself.
Showing signs of talent right from the start, the St. Paul native set a career high in scoring, rebounding and minutes against Arizona. Although he has yet to match the six points, seven rebounds and 22 minutes of play tallied in the Maui Invitational game, the future still looks bright for the young star.
However, the transition from the high school level to the college level has been a challenging one for Bruesewitz, as it is for most players.
“I come home after practice, and the last thing I want to do is open up a textbook and read,” Bruesewitz said. “But you know, just get through it and make sure you get your stuff done, and it’s not too bad.”
Putting up over 17 points and almost 10 rebounds per game his senior year, Bruesewitz was highly touted out of high school. Winning both the Gatorade and AP Player of the Year awards in Minnesota, he already has experience as a team leader.
Bruesewitz won consecutive conference titles at Henry Sibley High School, and the Badgers are hoping that will carry over to the college level.
“You look at all the guys here, you know, they’ve all won at the high school level,” senior guard Jason Bohannon said. “Coming in here they know what it takes to win no matter what the situation is.”
Recruited by many schools, the freshman admitted the recruiting process was often hard on him due to the pressures of performing for scouts. Although Bruesewitz committed to the Wisconsin Badgers basketball program early on in February of his junior year, several other schools recruited him.
“Wisconsin, it’s just a great place to be,” Bruesewitz said. “It’s close enough to home where if I need to be home for something I can, (but) just far enough away where it’s kind of like I’m not going to go home for family dinner on Saturday nights.”
Coaches agree he shows great potential and definitely has the skill set to be successful in the future. With solid numbers coming off the bench, Bruesewitz is quickly showing signs of improvement.
With this kind of talent it is obvious that the Badgers will be a powerhouse for some time to come. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Badgers Shine at Camp Randall Classic

Wisconsin junior defenseman Brendan Smith entered Saturday’s Culver’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic leading the team with three game winning goals, but his fourth is going to be tough to top.
Smith converted on two power play goals in the final five minutes, including the winner with 1:22 left, to lead the Badgers past Michigan 3-2 in front of 55,031 people—the second highest game attendance in college hockey history.
Both of the goals came after Wisconsin made an adjustment on their power play set, allowing Smith to find some breathing room at the top of the slot and get in position to snap off two blistering one-timers that beat junior Wolverine goaltender Bryan Hogan.
“I have to give credit to the power play, Michael Davies threaded that pass through the lane so perfectly,” Smith said. “The first one was more of a ‘close your eyes and shoot.’ The second one I had a little bit of a lane and got a hold of it a little bit more.”
The Badgers jumped out to an early lead when sophomore forward Jordy Murray collected a bouncing puck right in front of the net and had plenty of space to finish at the 3:04 mark. Michigan tied the game with just over a minute to play in the first and seemed to carry momentum in to the second period as the teams tried to get used to the elements and the ice.
“I felt like a freshman again out there,” said senior center and captain Blake Geoffrion. “I had the butterflies going and everything.”
Neither team developed much rhythm in the second period, which featured a lot of back-and-forth possessions and neutral zone play. Freshman forward Kevin Lynch put Michigan ahead with just under nine minutes to play in the third period, and threatened to send the crowd home cold and disappointed.
However, with the help of some football tradition in the form of ‘Jump Around’ and the late-game heroics of Smith, a night that started at 21 degrees ended with a much warmer feeling for UW fans and players alike.
“We were cold, but I think the goose bumps were because of how loud it was,” said senior center and captain Ben Street.
The game also served as an energy boost and a bounce-back after last Saturday’s performance against Minnesota-Duluth. A week after taking 13 penalties against the Bulldogs, the Badgers committed just two and got great work on the penalty kill by tenacious senior forwards Aaron Bendickson and Andy Bohmbach. On the other side of the puck, the Badgers went 2-4 on the power play a week after finishing 0-5 on Saturday and 1-10 for the series.
Many of the players talked about how playing outside took them back to the old days of playing out on the neighborhood rinks. In front of a huge crowd that produced an absolutely electric atmosphere, the late-game heroics that always seem to work their way into childhood competition became a reality for Smith.
“When a young player is out on the backdoor rink, all they think about is winning the Stanley Cup.” Smith said. “This is pretty damn close.”
It was great to see the Badgers pull it out for such a special game. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

#16 Wisconsin Vs. #5 Michigan State

When Duke came to the Kohl Center in December, Wisconsin basketball players downplayed the game as a fun non-conference opponent to help prepare UW for conference play.
The Badgers then knocked off the Blue Devils with an intensity normally reserved for March.
When Purdue traveled to Madison three weeks ago head coach Bo Ryan passed the game off as another tough Big Ten game.
UW proceeded to play with a fire fans hadn’t seen since, well, the Duke game.
With No. 5 Michigan State (19-3, 9-0 Big Ten) coming to Wisconsin (16-5, 6-3) Tuesday, UW players and Ryan are once again making light of a game with huge Big Ten and possible NCAA Tournament ramifications.
While the cliché responses are easy to understand, it is a lot more difficult to believe them.
“Every game is big,” UW junior Keaton Nankivil said. “We don’t look at it differently. This is a chance to play against a very good team at home… so it is a good chance to prove ourselves on the home floor.”
I hope the Badgers hand Michigan State their lunch. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!