Men's hoops notes: better to share

Season-best assist-to-turnover ratio; offensive spark from bench; Williams takes leave of absence

MADISON—The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team committed a season-low six turnovers in its 66-52 win over Iowa Thursday night at the Kohl Center. Coupling that type of ball security with an impressive 20 assists will make any coach beam.

"I don't know how many times you'll see… 20 assists, six turnovers in a game, but I sure like being on the bench as a coach when a team can do that," Wisconsin's Bo Ryan said.

The Badgers entire team was seemingly in on the act. Four players—centers Jason Chappell and Greg Stiemsma, point guard Kammron Taylor and guard Ray Nixon—had four assists each. Only Taylor had more than one turnover—he had all of two. At halftime UW had 11 assists and three turnovers. The Badgers nearly duplicated that success in second half.

Ryan credited Taylor and reserve point guard Michael Flowers for their handling of UW's offense. The duo combined for six assists and two turnovers in 59 minutes of playing time.

"Kam had and Mike had the flow of the game in their hands in the second half," Ryan said.

Bench provides scoring punch

Flowers and forwards Marcus Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft combined for 19 points off the bench Thursday. Each made key baskets to help spur on the Badgers' offense while also helping the team in other areas.

Flowers was particularly active, scoring seven points and hauling down a career-high eight rebounds. He was also tenacious defensively.

Said Ryan: "Great defense, good court awareness. Deflections. His positioning. I thought he did a good job at taking care of the ball too."

Flowers made a key first-half 3-pointer to cap a 7-0 rally that gave the Badgers a 14-13 lead. His fast-break dunk with 8:03 left before halftime drew UW within 24-23.

Landry also scored five of his seven points in the first half. His jumper with 6:07 on the clock and his 3 at 5:14 each pulled UW within two. Landry's layup with 15:36 left in the game gave the Badgers a 40-35 lead.

Krabbenhoft only played five minutes—and only one in the first half—but he made his floor time count and connected on both shots he attempted. The true freshman drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing to give UW a 45-35 lead with 12 minutes left. And his jumper with 2:04 left effectively iced the game, giving the Badgers a 64-50 advantage.

"Krabbenhoft hit a couple big shots for them in key stretches," Iowa coach Steve Alford said.

Williams takes leave of absence

UW redshirt freshman guard/forward DeAaron Williams is taking a temporary leave of absence from the team for personal reasons, according to a press release provided prior to Thursday's game.

Williams has appeared in eight games this season, averaging 3.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 7.9 minutes. An excellent athlete at 6-foot-5, Williams has shown promise in practice and in his limited playing time.

After Thursday's game, Ryan briefly addressed Williams' situation.

"I know it's personal, so that's all I can honor," Ryan said. "But we certainly know—I mean you saw him; you guys who were here at the practices saw what he contributed the past couple days and everything else. I'll be informed probably like everybody else. So it's a personal thing and that's how we leave it."

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