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Ryan says young Badgers are working hard

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Associated Press
February 17, 2009
— Enjoying a four-game winning streak after a six-game skid, University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan said Monday his young team has persevered well this season.

Wisconsin (16-9, 7-6 Big Ten) faces a struggling Indiana (6-18, 1-11) at 8 p.m. (CST) Thursday at Bloomington Ind.


“We had some givens in that there are four guys who had played substantial minutes, and then as we said months ago, the whole key was going to be how the other people raised their level through learning, through experience, through hard knocks, through positive things happening to them,” Ryan said.


“The other group would have to come along and play older, meaning they’re going to have to get the experience and learn from it and get better.”


Wisconsin has just two starting seniors and four overall. The freshmen and sophomores have played well, Ryan said.


“What our guys have done is persevere, keep working. They don’t put their heads down. They just come to practice every day,” Ryan said. “If they struggle in an area, they’re still trying to contribute in other areas.”


One of the standout young players is sophomore Jon Leuer, who has started every game in the current winning streak. He’s averaging over nine points a game.



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