Freshman center Greg Stiemsma made his presence known early and often in Sunday's intrasquad scrimmage as he contributed both offensively and defensively. Stiemsma started the game and pitched in 10 points—a couple of which were very nice baby hook shots down low in the post.
More than his offensive output, the rookie big man blocked several shots and altered quite a few others in showing a bit of authority when the red team entered the paint.
"Like we've said all along, he can make people alter shots and he's a little bit bigger and longer than people realize—until you try to get to the rim on him," Ryan said. "He got into foul trouble, which is going to happen. That's what you're going to have to learn when you go to high school to college—college players control fouls better than high school players. So guys got him committed, took the ball at him, used pump fakes, got into him a little bit and that's what he's got to learn to play against."
On a side note, Stiemsma wears the No. 34 on his jersey—formally the number of Devin Harris.
Guess who's back
Sophomore forward Alando Tucker made a strong return to the Badgers lineup' Sunday in leading the team with 25 points. After missing most of last season with a leg injury, fans saw a glimpse of Tucker that resembled the stud he was prior to his injury plagued second season.
With a barrage of inside moves, Tucker display explosiveness off the dribble and the ability to get to the rim as he connected on several put backs. While he made most of his shots around the rim, he did step out and connect on a three-pointer as well.
In addition to Tucker, another sophomore—Kammron Taylor—also played a strong game in leading the red team's attack. Taylor started the game at point guard for the red team and contributed 18 points on a mix of outside and inside shots. His ability to take the ball the rim and finish plays is the most noteworthy thing to take from his performance.
"Well, I think there are things they could have done better," Ryan said. "But there's some potential there that'll make some things happen on certain nights. Some nights they'll be tough to guard, other nights they're going to have to make sure that they don't let things get away from them like anyone else. But the potential is there for two sophomores."
Missing from action in Sunday's scrimmage was freshman center Brian Butch. After redshirting a year ago, the much-anticipated arrival of Butch to the everyday lineup will have to wait until at least Wednesday. The big man from Appleton is suffering from a right foot injury and his return to the court will be evaluated on a daily basis.
Asked if Butch will be ready for Wednesday's exhibition game with UW-Parkside, Ryan responded, "I hope so."