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New-look Badgers impressive

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Arron Brenner/Special to the Gazette
November 5, 2007
— The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team showed off its new-look lineup with a 77-48 victory over Edgewood College in an exhibition game Sunday night at the Kohl Center.

As is the norm in these preseason tune-ups, no player’s statistics were particularly eye-opening, but several Badgers looked impressive as coach Bo Ryan continues to craft his starting lineup and rotation for the 2007-08 season.


“The more they get a chance to go in practice, and the more we get into non-conference games … we’re just trying to get enough people ready for the Big Ten (schedule), so we can go 11 deep, maybe 11,” Ryan said.


The minutes were spread out among 14 players, led by Trevon Hughes with 25 minutes. Everybody played at least eight minutes, and only guard Tanner Bronson and forward J.P. Gavinski did not score.


Wisconsin’s starting five included guards Hughes and Joe Krabbenhoft, forwards Brian Butch and Marcus Landry, and center Greg Stiemsma.


Hughes did a nice job running the point, scoring 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting. He added six rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.


“Sometimes when you’re young, you might tend to try to do too much,” Ryan said of the sophomore guard. “But he knows he has a chance to be on the floor for a very long time. That always helps, (to have) somebody with the ball, playing under control.”


Krabbenhoft was his usual hustling self, with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 18 minutes. Butch scored six points and grabbed four rebounds.


Coming off the bench, senior guard Michael Flowers was all over the court, despite just rejoining the team Wednesday after a two-week leave of absence.


One of the more exciting plays—and one that summed up Flowers’ energized evening—came with 3:30 left in the first half. Flowers grabbed a loose ball from an Edgewood player in transition and made a nifty behind-the-back pass to Morris Cain, who put away an easy lay-in.


“Steals, defense, hustle—that’s Mike Flowers,” Ryan said. “It’s what he does, and he does it well.”


But the star of the night was true freshman Jon Leuer, who led UW with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting.


“He has a feel for the game, as good as anybody I’ve seen as a freshman,” Ryan said. “He had a chance to do some things.”


Leuer made three impressive drives to the rim, all capped by powerful dunks, and even hit a three-pointer at the first-half buzzer.


“It was fun just to get out there and play against some new bodies,” Leuer said of his first collegiate game. “Once you get out there and start playing, you just try to remember what the coaches have told you, try and run the offense the best you can.”


Leuer played on the second unit with guards Flowers, Bronson and Jason Bohannon, and freshman Keaton Nankivil.


If Leuer continues to play well, the Badgers could be looking at a starting lineup—or at least a group of five that sees consistent minutes together—that includes Butch, Stiemsma, and Leuer. All three players are at least 6-foot-10.


“We’ve got four or five guys that are tall that could be out there on the floor at the same time,” Ryan said. “They did a nice job. I thought that worked out pretty well when the bigs were in there.”


Wisconsin is 45-4 all-time in exhibition matchups and hasn’t lost a tuneup since 1992, running off a string of 30 consecutive wins.


The Badgers host UW-Eau Claire in another exhibition at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The regular season tips off at 5 p.m. Sunday at home against Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne.


WISCONSIN 77, EDGEWOOD 48


Edgewood College (48)—DeMarco 5-13 4-7 14, Averkamp 3-12 3-4 10, Ciche 1-5 0-0 2, Fahey 1-3 0-0 2, Faurote 0-1 0-0 0, Ritschard 1-1 0-0 2, Tubbs 1-3 0-0 2, Donais 4-6 1-1 13, Barczak 0-1 0-0 0, Moore 1-2 1-2 3, Espe 0-1 0-0 0, Wahington 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 17-49 9-14 48.


Wisconsin (77)—Landry 3-5 0-0 6, Butch 3-7 0-2 6, Stiemsma 3-6 0-0 6, Hughes 5-7 0-0 11, Krabbenhoft 5-8 0-0 11, Bohannon 2-3 0-0 4, Bronson 0-1 0-0 0, Valentyn 1-1 0-0 2, Cain 2-3 0-1 4, Flowers 3-7 2-3 8, Jarmusz 1-2 0-0 2, Leur 6-7 2-3 15, Gavinski 0-2 0-0 0, Nankivil 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 35-62 4-9 77.


Edgewood College 20 28—48


Wisconsin 49 28—77


Three-point goals—Edgewood 5-18 (Demarco 0-1, Averkamp 1-6, Fahey 0-2, Faurote 0-1, Tubbs 0-2, Donais 4-5, Wahington 0-1), Wisconsin 3-8 (Landry 0-1, Butch 0-1, Hughes 1-1, Krabbenhoft 1-1, Bohannon 0-1, Bronson 0-1, Flowers 0-1, Leur 1-1). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—Edgewood 30 (Averkamp 7), Wisconsin 36 (Krabbenhoft 7). Assists—Edgewood 13 (Fahey 4), Wisconsin 16 (Hughes, Flowers 3). Total fouls—Edgewood 16, Wisconsin 15.




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