An Inside Look at the Wisconsin Badgers

No. 11 Wisconsin missed out on a chance to move into a tie for the Big Ten lead with this week's homecourt loss to Illinois, but the Hoosiers will still ahve their hands full with Bo Ryan's team Saturday...


Fifty-one wins later, Wisconsin is starting over again.

Its sparkling 51-game winning streak against unranked Big Ten opponents died at the hands of Illinois on Tuesday. So did its 18-game home winning streak.

The good news? The Badgers won't need long to start a new streak. Unranked Indiana comes to the Kohl Center on Saturday.

The Badgers might need four days to recover from Bruce Weber, who is the only coach in the league to beat Bo Ryan three times at the Kohl Center. Ryan was so upset, he didn't even answer a post-game reporter who asked what the mood of the locker room was after the loss.

Ryan paused six seconds before muttering, "Next."

Next is the Hoosiers, who will face Wisconsin for the first time this season. The Badgers have swept the regular season series from the Hoosiers each of the last two years, winning by an average of 14 points.

ILLINOIS 63, WISCONSIN 56: Jason Bohannon scored 15 points, including 13 in the second half, and Trevon Hughes added 12, but Wisconsin's 51-game winning streak against unranked Big Ten teams came to an end.

Wisconsin built a 22-11 lead in the first half, but Illinois' Demetri McCamey scored 15 of the Illini's final 20 points to pull the upset.


--Sharpshooter Jason Bohannon hasn't been the Badgers' biggest scorer this season -- he's third on the squad with 11.1 points per game -- but the senior has saved his bigger outputs for the bigger games. He drilled No. 4 Purdue for a career-high-tying 20 points in the Badgers' win on Jan. 9. He posted 19 points in the Feb. 2 win over No. 5 Michigan State. He poured in 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting, including a half-court shot to beat the halftime buzzer, and handed out five assists in a 62-44 win at Michigan on Feb. 6

True to his nature, though, Bohannon refuses to acknowledge his increased role with Jon Leuer's broken left wrist still on the mend. Did you know the Badgers are 5-2 since Leuer went out, and 6-2 if you consider the fact Leuer couldn't contribute much in the Purdue victory?

"Just up and down the line," Bohannon told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "there are guys that are stepping up and filling different roles every different night."

--When Wisconsin bounced No. 5 Michigan State 67-49 on Feb. 2, it gave the Badgers three wins over Top 10 teams this year. They also dropped No. 6 Duke and No. 4 Purdue at Kohl Center. This marks the fourth time in school history -- and the first since the 1999-2000 season that ended with a Final Four -- that Wisconsin has defeated three Top 10 teams. The Badgers won't get a chance to knock off a fourth until the postseason.

--Senior Trevon Hughes made the list of 11 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award that goes to the nation's top point guard. Well, calling it the final list is a bit of a misnomer. The Cousy voters will chop the list to five in early March. Regardless, Hughes belongs on the list. The third-year starter leads the Badgers in scoring (15.5 ppg), ranks second in passing (3.0 apg) and stands third in rebounding (4.7 rpg). With his 14-point effort on Saturday at Michigan, Hughes moved into 18th place on UW's all-time scoring list with 1,190 points. He needs 218 points the rest of the way to move into the Badgers' Top 10.

ON THE SPOT: The Badgers are well-known for their defense, but their offense completely fell apart against Illinois in the second half. Wisconsin scored just 21 points after halftime. Trevon Hughes and Keaton Nankivil both went without a basket in the second half. With Jon Leuer still out of the lineup, Wisconsin can't afford to go long stretches without any points from their top scorers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He is tough driving into the lane. He's got that little floater that when he is on the scout team we have a hard time stopping ... but he's still working on his defense, on his coverage, on some other things. That's why we enjoy teaching." -- Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan on sophomore guard Rob Wilson, who has averaged 24.2 minutes the last five games as one of the Badgers' answers for Jon Leuer's injury.


SEASON RECAP: The Badgers aren't just in great position to earn their 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, they're looking like they want to make an outside run at a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. Wisconsin ran its Kohl Center record to 13-0 with an 18-point win over Michigan State on Feb. 2, which means the Badgers now have victories against MSU, Purdue, Duke, Maryland and Marquette on their resume.

PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- F Keaton Nankivil, F Tim Jarmusz, G Jordan Taylor, G Trevon Hughes, G Jason Bohannon. Key Subs -- F Ryan Evans, G Rob Wilson.


Purdue 60, Wisconsin 57

Wisconsin 67, Michigan State 49

Wisconsin 62, Michigan 44

Illinois 63, Wisconsin 56


vs. Indiana, Saturday, Feb. 13

at Minnesota, Thursday, Feb. 18

vs. Northwestern, Sunday, Feb. 21

at Indiana, Thursday, Feb. 25


--G Jason Bohannon has averaged 17.3 points over Wisconsin's last three games, up from his season average of 11.1.

--F Keaton Nankivil had three offensive rebounds against Illinois and six overall. Nankivil has grabbed an offensive rebound in 11 straight games and 19 of 23 this season.

--G Jordan Taylor has 43 assists and just 12 turnovers in Big Ten games this season. Top Stories