Wisconsin has just one true point guard on its bench—little used freshman Kammron Taylor. Starter Devin Harris, averaging 35.8 minutes per contest, often plays whistle to whistle, belying the need for a backup to emerge. In Wednesday's 73-57 win over UW-Green Bay, though, Harris played only eight minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. In his absence, starting guard/forward Boo Wade slid over to the point and played very well, with four points, four assists, three steals and no turnovers in 18 first-half minutes.
"I didn't pop any Rolaids when Devin got two (fouls)," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said.
Wade was particularly impressive late in the half, converting a pair of buzzer-beating drives—one fighting the shot clock, the other the end of the half—into layups.
"He finished strong to the basket, that's what I liked about it," Ryan said. "And he was waiting for somebody to come off and help and he would have found them because Boo can pass, but nobody came off."
Wade, though, struggled at times in the second half after returning to his wing position, before clamping down defensively in the game's closing minutes. With 36 seconds left, Wade picked up his fourth steal of the contest and passed to Harris up court. Harris converted an emphatic dunk, giving Wade his fifth assist Wednesday.
"Maybe because of the minutes in the first half and mental strain of being the ‘one' man for 12 straight minutes…took its toll in the second half," Ryan said. "There was a little bit of a lull there and then he got himself regrouped and got back in there and in the end, defensively he was pretty tough."