Landry reaches 1000-point mark as Badgers roll over Iowa
Quiet with his mouth, quiet with his leadership, quiet with his play, and quiet with his stats.
So it’s fitting that it took about four or five minutes for the Kohl Center to loudly proclaim that an individual milestone had been reached here Wednesday night, after Landry’s post-up layup gave the University of Wisconsin senior forward over 1,000 career points.
Landry was, of course, quiet in the first half, failing to score. But he only needed seven points to reach the millennium mark, and heated up in the second period to score nine during the surging Badgers’ 69-52 victory over Iowa.
It Wisconsin’s third straight win and lifted the Badgers back the .500 mark in the Big Ten men’s basketball race.
Even though fellow veterans Joe Krabbenhoft (16 points), Jason Bohannon (15) and Trevon Hughes (14) scored more against the Hawkeyes, everybody knew who was the star of Wednesday’s show: the 33rd and newest member of Wisconsin’s 1,000-point club.
“It was Marcus’ night tonight,” Bohannon said.
And also fittingly, Landy was involved in the game-changing play, which came shortly after Iowa trailed only 27-24 late in the first half.
Hughes hit a jumper, then made a steal and hit a fast-break layup to put the Badgers up 31-24 with 21.4 seconds left. Landry and Iowa’s Matt Gatens tangled under the basket after Hughes’ layup, and Gatens gave Landry a hard shove with his right arm—which led to a technical foul.
After getting knocked down, Landry said he got up emphatically in part so the officials would take notice.
“I sort of ’sold’ the end of it,” Landry said.
But Landry wasn’t about to retaliate.
“Hey, I’m not that kind of guy anyway,” Landry said. “I’m always smiling.”
Bohannon made both free throws, then hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer to give Wisconsin a 36-24 lead at halftime. And the Badgers were in control the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, Landry joined an exclusive list of Bo Ryan-coached players to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Alando Tucker leads the all-time list with over 2,200 points, followed by Mike Wilkinson, Kirk Penney, Devin Harris, Kammron Taylor and Brian Butch. Landry was a teammate of Tucker, Taylor and Butch.
“Just to be mentioned on the same list as those guys is a great accomplishment. Those guys have done a lot in this program,” Landry said.
“It does mean a lot to me, probably not as much as it will down the road since we still have a lot of basketball to play.”
Ryan acknowledged that 1,000 points is easy for players who look for their shot first and value statistics over team play. That’s what made Landry’s accomplishment so special to coach.
“I just know that guys can’t play for me that try to go for those numbers intentionally, with disregard to the rest of the team, not being a good teammate or not playing team ball,’’ Ryan said.
“Marcus got his being a team player. Marcus getting points for us is a good thing. He’s been pretty steady, especially these last three years.’’
“He’s learned a lot, and he’s put that to good use,” Ryan added. “I’m happy for him.”
Krabbenhoft said on the plane ride back from Sunday’s victory at Penn State, Landry wasn’t even aware that he was in line to reach the plateau on his own floor.
“He didn’t even know (he was close to 1,000). That’s the type of player he is,” Krabbenhoft said. “He just goes out and does his business. It’s all about the team, and the way he’s been helping us has been in so many ways.”
Krabbenhoft also helped in so many ways Wednesday, leading the team in scoring for the fourth time this season on 7-of-10 shooting, while adding six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.
Ryan had an interesting take on how Krabbenhoft, nowhere near UW’s go-to scorer, was able to shoot so well.
“I think Joe had a premonition last night, that he was going to shoot it pretty well,” Ryan said. “He felt something. Some people, it’s gas, but with Joe, he felt like he could go get some things, and he did.
“He doesn’t wait for things to come to him. That’s not the way he is. He’s a go-getter.”
Of course, Krabbenhoft was more than happy to talk about his fellow senior’s accomplishment.
“I’m so proud of him,” Krabbenhoft said. “He’s been one of my best friends since we got here. To reach that milestone is great, but he’ll be the first one to say it’s all about the team. That’s what makes him a great teammate and a great player.”
Directly after Krabbenhoft said that, Landry peered over from the other end of the press conference table and cracked a joke at his buddy’s expense.
“You’re gonna make me cry,” Landry said.
But any tears Wednesday night were happy tears, particularly since the Badgers continued to distance themselves from that six-game losing streak that plagued them not so long ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.