Men's basketball notes: statistical anomaly

Badgers are not concerned with quick return to the state of Indiana

Wisconsin is holding its opponents to 42 percent shooting this season but Purdue managed to connect on 16 of 26 shots in the second half Wednesday night, for a 62 percent clip in the Badgers' 77-68 win.

The stat line, however, is a little misleading. Purdue made its last five shots of the game, including three layups and a dunk, as Wisconsin was parading to the free throw line in the game's final 45 seconds.

Wisconsin made 9 of 10 charity shots during the span, holding off the Boilermakers end-of-game scoring binge.

"Am I concerned? We'd like for teams to shoot 30," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said, "but a lot of that had to do with we were not going to challenge those shots."

The idea was to keep the clock rolling, Ryan said. The Badgers also went to a smaller lineup as the game wore down, with three guards and no center.

"Protecting the rim was a little different," Ryan said. "We went smaller and we're not going to foul out on the floor and stop the clock."

However, Purdue was shooting a still strong 52 percent prior to the 45-second dash.

Taylor, Flowers progressing

Freshman point guard Kammron Taylor rebounded from a poor first half Wednesday and was on the floor at game's end. He made 5 of 6 free throws to help ensure Wisconsin's victory.

"He's a very good free throw shooter," Ryan said. "Having him on the floor was important at that time. Plus, he had settled down from the first half."

Taylor played just five minutes in the first half and had three turnovers. He scored seven points in seven minutes in the second half, however, with one turnover.

Taylor has adjusted to fluctuating playing time throughout this season. He started the first four games of the campaign but has come off the bench since, playing as many as 21 minutes at Rutgers and as few as five minutes versus UNC Greensboro.

From all indications, Taylor has reacted well to the yo-yoing minutes.

"I don't worry. It's about results and it's about how guys play and how guys develop," Ryan said. "That's important. That's all I'm looking at. Progress is being made."

Another young Badger point guard, true freshman Michael Flowers, has not played in Wisconsin's last two games, wins over Alabama Dec. 29 and at Purdue Wednesday. Flowers has seen action in nine games this season, playing 73 minutes and scoring 14 points in those opportunities.

"Same thing that all the other guys have done and worked their way through like Kamm did last year, working with the scout team and also making sure in his notebook he has everything that we're doing," Ryan said. "This is that time of the year where you tend to get into that part of the routine. Routine meaning you got a game. We have a team that runs their stuff and some guys will change back and forth but they got to all be ready to play."

Quick return to Indiana

After playing in West Lafayette, Ind. Wednesday night, the Badgers made the bus trip back to Madison, Wis., arriving on campus around 5:30 a.m. Thursday morning. They were back on the practice floor at 1:30 p.m. that day, preparing for Saturday's 7 p.m. tip at Indiana.

"We are not allowed to have groggy practice," Ryan said Thursday. "We had just as tough a trip coming back from Pepperdine to get ready for Maryland. No excuses. Just as usual. Got possessions in on Indiana, got the scouting report in."

After playing in Malibu, Calif., Nov. 27 to face Pepperdine, the Badgers took a redeye flight to Madison early on the morning of Nov. 28. They beat Maryland 69-64 at the Kohl Center two nights later.

That time, however, a late night of travel led into a home game. This quick turn around led into another trip to the state of Indiana, this time a chartered flight Friday. On the other hand, the fact that UW is still in between semesters lightens the burden on players' schedules.

"We don't have class now so it's the only thing we have to do," senior guard Clayton Hanson said. "It's not as bad."

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