Badgers top Rangers in exhibition hoops

Wisconsin puts depth and size on display in 81-42 win

MADISON—Bo Ryan got what he wanted Wednesday night. UW-Parkside played with energy and ran its system from start to finish, giving Wisconsin a quality look for 40 minutes of basketball.

The Badgers won handily, 81-42, but the game provided them with plenty of lessons as they move forward towards their Nov. 20 opener with Pennsylvania.

"You can't look at the score to see exactly what that game means to us," Ryan said. "When you try to handle those screens and handle their action, and then think about some of these teams that we played [in exhibitions] where it was a lot of one-on-one stuff."

All 13 players who suited up played, 11 scored, and 12 were involved in the rotation from the opening tip, receiving between 11 and 22 minutes.

Wisconsin played an up-tempo style, with a full-court press throughout, though not always intensely pressuring the Rangers.

"I know why Coach Ryan is going to go to a little more pressure because he has so many guys that can come in and give them quality minutes and they are just going to wear down people," Parkside coach Luke Reigel said.

Within five minutes, 11 Badgers had entered the game, and a dozen had touched the floor just a minute later.

Walk-on Tanner Bronson, the 13th UW entrant, played the final 4:31 of the game and hit a three-pointer with 1:32 left to put Wisconsin ahead 80-39, much to the pleasure of the Kohl Center crowd.

Alando Tucker, playing in his first game since taking a medical redshirt last season, paced UW with 14 points on 6 of 13 shooting. He was very active around the basket, pulling down 10 rebounds, five offensive, in 19 minutes. Tucker had nine points and nine rebounds in 12 first-half minutes.

As expected Tucker joined Mike Wilkinson, Andreas Helmigk, Clayton Hanson and Kammron Taylor in the starting lineup. Wilkinson carded a double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds to go with four steals in 20 minutes. Hanson also had four steals but was scoreless in a team-high 22 minutes.

Redshirt freshman center Brian Butch provided a spark off the bench, with 13 points and four rebounds in 15 minutes. The first time he touched the ball, he made a back-to-the-basket move in the post and connected on a half hook, drawing a foul in the process. He missed the free-throw but finished 4 of 5 from the line and 4 of 5 from the field.

In a bit of a surprise, freshman DeAaron Williams did not suit up and may still redshirt.

"He works so hard in practice and as we know there are some tools there," Ryan said. "It is just the refining and with five seniors; there are some things that always go into what a guy feels about whether or not he's comfortable. I'll give him the time."

Williams' classmates Michael Flowers and Greg Stiemsma did play, however. Stiemsma had four points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 16 minutes, while Flowers had zero points, two assists and two turnovers in 14 minutes.

"They did fine… it's early yet," Ryan said. "The effort was there."

Parkside held a 4-3 lead a minute-and-a-half into the game and trailed just 12-10 with 12 minutes left in the first half.

Wisconsin took advantage of a nine-minute Parkside scoring drought, however, to pull ahead 28-10, 5:38 before halftime.

The Badgers depth and size took over as the game progressed. With no player taller than 6-foot-9, Parkside struggled to matchup with a Wisconsin squad that at times had four players 6-8 or taller on the court together.

Starting point guard Kammron Taylor had just one assist, but the Badgers totaled 19, led by Zach Morley's five. Wisconsin was successful throughout the game with a variety of high-low looks.

"We were hanging around and hanging around and then they went to the high-low where they cleared out the right side and were going over the top," Reigel said. "You can just see how they're drilled day after day. If you front and you don't have the proper technique, they are going to destroy you."

Wisconsin's pressure resulted in a handful of turnovers, helping the Badgers score 20 points off 19 Ranger miscues.

Teaching moments abound

The Rangers may have been outmatched and out-muscled, but they kept setting screens and hustling on defense throughout the game.

"We knew we'd see a lot of screens," Ryan said. "That's why you play these types of teams, meaning teams that have run an offense. There were some things that showed, where we didn't handle certain screens the way we are going to have to on chases, on certain staggers."

While Wisconsin's post players enjoyed significant success, the game was not without blemish. Ranger forward Kevin Boutelle scored eight points in the first half, six in the lane against Stiemsma.

"Parkside did a great job of rotating and keeping guys from getting easy baskets," Ryan said. "We had to battle for everything inside, even though we were bigger. If we brought the ball down a little bit it was going to disappear.

"Our bigs got a chance to have to move their feet because they played against guys that were a little quicker."

Recruiting class announcement delayed

Wisconsin did not announce its 2005 recruiting class Wednesday, the first day of the national early signing period, which concludes Nov. 17. Ryan stated following the Badgers' exhibition game that all of the team's signed letters of intent had not yet been returned.

"Tomorrow will be our release on the guys," Ryan said.

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