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Wisconsin Preview

by Chris Mackinder | November 29th, 2007

2006-2007 Record: 30-6 (13-3) 2nd
Postseason Games:

3/9/2007 Michigan State Big Ten Tournament W 70-57
3/10/2007 Illinois Big Ten Tournament W 53-41
3/11/2007 Ohio State Big Ten Tournament L 66-49
3/16/2007 Texas A&M-CC NCAA W 76-63
3/18/2007 UNLV NCAA L 74-68

Returning Statistical Leaders:
8.8 ppg – Brian Butch
5.9 rpg – Brian Butch
2.9 apg – Michael Flowers

Starting Lineup: Key Stat:
C Greg Stiemsma 6’11 Sr. Fouls have limited potential breakthrough
PF Brian Butch 6’11 Sr. Don’t underestimate experience (88 games played)
SF Marcus Landry 6’7 Jr. Led team in blocks (31) last season
SG Trevon Hughes 6’1 So. Shot 31% in 31 games in ’06-‘07
PG Michael Flowers 6’2 Sr. 1.08 assist-to-turnover ratio not great for a PG

Key Player Losses: Alando Tucker (19.9 ppg), Kammron Taylor (13.3 ppg). Tucker was the Big Ten Player of the Year for a reason last season–the same reason he was a candidate for National Player of the Year. He could do it all, especially in the toughest of situations. His leadership and ability to come up huge in the clutch will be missed. Taylor also hit big shots for the Badgers and the Chris Tucker look-alike played lockdown defense as well.

Impact Newcomer: Jon Leuer. A typical big man playing in Bo Ryan’s offense, Leuer will draw the opposition away from the basket and can knock down the 3-point shot. Don’t expect the world this season, but we should get a peak of what the future holds.

Tough Question: Can the Badgers win without a superstar? Interestingly enough, that is the question that could be asked for the past five Wisconsin teams. Alando Tucker was not a superstar when he started his Wisconsin career. Ryan gets players to fit his system and playing within that system, they develop into stars.

Too Much PT: Kevin Gullikson. “Gully” will get anywhere from 5-10 minutes a game, but because he doesn’t bring much to the table (he’s a 6-foot-7 forward with minimal offensive skills) he should enjoy the bench.

Get Him on the Floor: Jason Bohannon. The sophomore guard hit some huge shots last season. He’s a great asset to have in crunch time (83.9% free-throw shooter last season) and he can hit the 3-pointer when the Badgers need to make a comeback (34-for-91 in his college career).

Point Guard Impact: Flowers, a homegrown senior, will pace Wisconsin. He should average upward of five assists a game and he hits about one of every three triples he attempts. As long as he’s not making mistakes, Flowers will be the perfect point guard for Wisconsin.

Final Word: Don’t count out Wisconsin for anything. That includes 30 wins, a Big Ten title, and a top three seed in the NCAA Tournament. While all of those seem unlikely, Bo Ryan’s done it in the past when the chips were down. In all likelihood, Wisconsin will experience a “down” year, but in recent Badger terms, that means competing for a Big Ten Championship and a mid-range seed (No. 6-8) in the NCAA Tournament.

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