Boo Wade, a junior guard from Milwaukee who was expected to start at point guard this year, will take an indefinite leave of absence from the men's basketball team, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan announced Monday in a prepared statement. According to the press release, Ryan and Wade mutually agreed upon the leave of absence. Wade will not return to the team until both he and Ryan agree it is appropriate for him to do so.
"Boo and I have decided that he needs to step away from basketball to concentrate on some personal issues," Ryan said. "Boo needs time away from basketball to get some things in order. We have no specific timetable for his return."
"I look forward to having the time away from basketball to be able to concentrate on some personal issues in my life and eventually get back on the court," Wade said.
Wade, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard, starting at the "2" last year and doubled as Harris' backup at the point. With Harris in the NBA, Wade was the heir apparent at the position. He entered this season with a career 1.79 assist-to-turnover ratio, a mark slightly better than Harris' 1.74 during his Badger tenure.
Wade started 28 of 30 games last season, averaging 6.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He played in 32 games as a freshman, averaging 3.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Known as one of the Badgers' better defensive players, he had 58 steals over the course of the last two seasons.
The Badgers have two other point guards on the roster—sophomore Kammron Taylor and true freshman Michael Flowers. Taylor, a 6-3, 175-pound native of Minneapolis, played just 41 minutes in 18 games last season, with a total of 21 points, two rebounds, one assist and three turnovers to his credit.
Wisconsin could also turn to Sharif Chambliss, who is practicing with the team but is still recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Chambliss sat out a transfer year last season after staring as a shooting guard at Penn State. An elite three-point shooter, Chambliss could slide over to point guard in Wade's absence.
Wade was suspended for two games last season after a Feb. 4 arrest on misdemeanor battery charges, stemming from an altercation with an ex-girlfriend. Wade plead no contest in April and had the battery charge reduced to disorderly conduct. He also plead no contest to a bail jumping charge and was placed in the state of Wisconsin's First Offender's Program.