Butch debuts, Tucker returns

Young forwards put up good numbers Wednesday, will likely have big roles this season

MADISON—It was a year in the waiting, but redshirt freshman Brian Butch made a strong initial impression when he took the court for the first time in a UW uniform Wednesday night. From the moment he touched the ball in the first half, Butch showed why so much hype has surrounded him as a former high school all-American.

"There were four guys who sat out all of last year [Alando Tucker, Brian Butch, Sharif Chambliss and Jason Chappell]," Butch said. "It's one of those things where it's tough to sit out a whole year being competitors that we are."

Butch showed the type of competitor he was as he tallied 13 points, four rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes. He connected on 4 of 5 shots from the field including 1 of 2 three-pointers and also knocked down 4 of 5 shots from the charity stripe.

As impressive as his statistics were, Butch's energy and enthusiasm off the bench is what impressed head coach Bo Ryan Wednesday night.

"Statistically, it looked pretty good," Ryan said. "What he did was he brought some energy … I think he was just anxious to play. Just happy to get on the court. He seemed happy didn't he?"

Offensively, Butch showed a mix of both a solid inside and outside game. Starting off the game with a baby hook shot in the lane, Butch attacked the defense down low throughout and on the perimeter on several occasions in his strong performance.

Butch scored the Badgers' first six points of the second half on a pair of three-point plays. He brought a great deal of excitement and liveliness to the game and really got the 17,000-plus in attendance energized.

"It was nice to get back to the old things, the things I was used to doing," Butch said.

Guess who's back?

Forward Alando Tucker was back in the starting five Wednesday and in return tallied 14 points, 10 rebounds (five offensive), two assists, one block and one steal in 19 minutes.

"It's great to see him back on the floor, but he can be better, he can be so much better than that," Ryan said. "Finishing shots, running the floor better, he's a little bit rusty. But I'm glad he's with us."

Tucker's presence down low and on the offensive glass were his most obvious contributions to the game, but his ability to stretch the defense, take guys off the dribble and battle with the big men were also welcome additions for the Badgers.

"You know, 14 [points] and 10 [rebounds], I thought we did a pretty good job on him, but we can only do so much against an athlete of his caliber," UW-Parkside head coach Luke Reigel said.

After missing much of last season with a foot injury, the Badger fans in attendance welcomed Tucker back with open arms via a loud ovation during pregame introductions. Tucker produced more than his statistical output—he brought back the obvious athleticism and versatility he boasts better than anyone else on the UW team.

Badger Nation Top Stories