Men's hoops: Badgers shorten bench

Missing two key forwards, Wisconsin is forced to modify its rotations; Butch out indefinitely

With both senior Zach Morley (left leg) and freshman Brian Butch (mononucleosis) out of action Wednesday, Wisconsin's bench was thin against Iowa. However, that did not stop head coach Bo Ryan from calling on some unfamiliar faces for some quality minutes in the first half.

Because of foul trouble and inconsistencies on the floor, Ryan was forced to call upon the reserves early and went to unlikely sources: sophomore Jason Chappell and freshman Greg Stiemsma.

Both played only three minutes in the first half, but nonetheless contributed for the Badgers. Chappell, who's season-high in minutes has been eight, pitched in two points and three rebounds, including an offensive rebound and tip-in, in the limited action.

However, in the second half, with Wisconsin trailing for much of the time, Ryan refrained from going deep to the bench. In order to mount a comeback, he instead chose to primarily use five players: guards Sharif Chambliss, Kammron Taylor and Clayton Hanson and forwards Mike Wilkinson and Alando Tucker. Only three other players entered in the second half: forward Andreas Helmigk, who started both halves but played all of two minutes in the second session, forward Ray Nixon (4) and guard Michael Flowers (2).

"Bugsy and Onions didn't show up for tonight's game," Ryan said, referring to Butch and Morley. "It happens. What I wanted to do was get some minutes early just to see, but when you're playing from behind then you have to give your guys a chance who have the most experience. That's the only reason why you didn't see the other guys get more minutes. We could get away with that tonight because [the Hawkeyes] also played their top five, six."

One youngster, however, who did get a couple minutes in the second half was freshman Flowers. The Madison native proved huge in helping to slow down a red-hot Jeff Horner for the Hawkeyes.

When Flowers entered with 12:26 left in the game, Horner had made three 3-pointers in the past two-and-a-half minutes. Flowers barely registered on the stat sheet in his ensuing two minutes of floor time, but he did the little things to get Horner out of rhythm.

"Michael Flowers gave us a nice little stretch in there where he really forced Horner to do some different things," Ryan said. "Maybe not that [Horner] realizes it….that it was any different when Michael was on him, but I thought that kind of slowed him down some."

Tucker agreed, saying Flowers' energy lifted the team during its second-half comeback.

"It was big. It just shows," Tucker said. "When you look at guys like Mike, for instance. He came in when Horner was hot and he came and gave us intensity. He kind of put Horner in a dry spell. That's what he need."

Butch out indefinitely

About two hours before tip-off Wednesday, the UW announced that Brian Butch was out indefinitely after being diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis by UW team physician Dr. David Bernhardt Wednesday morning.

According to a statement, the 6-foot-11 redshirt freshman forward will be monitored closely by the UW Sports Medicine Staff and no timetable has been set for his return. He was not on the bench Wednesday evening with his teammates.

Butch has appeared in 19 of the Badgers' 20 games this season, having missed its Jan. 25 home game with Illinois due to a left foot injury. He is averaging 4.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game off the bench.

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