Badgers Cruise In Exhibition

The men's hoopsters jumped all over UW-Stout to open their much-anticipated season.

At this point, the best news is usually an absence of surprises. Friday night was no different as the Wisconsin men's basketball team ran all over UW-Stout in an 82-33 exhibition victory at the Kohl Center.

Jason Chappell led all scorers with 14 points on 6 of 7 shooting from the field, carrying over his inspired play from the Red-White scrimmage the previous week. Brian Butch added 12 points, connecting on all three of his shots from beyond the arc.

When the Badgers weren't already doing their share to bury their first opponent of the season, Stout gave them more than a hand. Most notably, the Blue Devils provided Wisconsin 32 of them in the form of turnovers. A pair of free throws with five seconds remaining edged Stout's point total just above its giveaway tally.

"I don't know," said coach Bo Ryan, when asked if he had ever held an opponent to fewer points than turnovers.

Wisconsin never trailed on Friday, scoring on nine of its first 10 possessions and opening up a 26-8 lead by the midpoint of the first half. Behind the quick start in those opening minutes was Chappell, who netted 8 points as Wisconsin jumped on top 14-2. The Badger lead never again fell below double digits.

"I've definitely heard it from a couple of these guys that I didn't take the open shots [last year], so I'm going to try it this year," Chappell said with a smile.

The early command allowed UW to play every man on its bench before halftime, as all 16 Badgers saw at least seven minutes on the floor during the contest. No one logged more than 20.

"This was a chance to get guys in and try some different combinations," Ryan said. "That's what the exhibition games are about."

Ryan liked what he saw out of his younger players after some initial jitters. Freshman Jason Bohannon confidently fired a number of long-range shots, connecting on 4 of 7 from the field for 11 points. Bohannon's heralded classmate Trevon Hughes forced a few things early, but began to settle down as the game progressed.

"It was as expected," said Alando Tucker. "[Hughes was] so excited he couldn't make a couple of calls. It's up to us to calm them down.

"They don't try to do too much and that's a good thing about the freshman group we've got in."

Tucker did his best to distribute the ball to his teammates during his time on the floor – freshmen included. The Big Ten preseason player of the year scored just 5 points but dropped four assists in 19 minutes and worked on his perimeter shot, while refraining from working the paint to his usual extent.

"When I can get it to [Chappell], knocking down some threes, knocking down some shots, that's good," Tucker said about looking to get his teammates involved.

With a relatively even distribution of points – Kammron Taylor finished with 9 and Morris Cain added 8 – the Badgers kept building on their lead steadily through the second half. After Butch hit his final 3-pointer to give Wisconsin back-to-back-to-back connections from deep with 16:34 remaining, the UW advantage opened to 30 and never again fell below it. Maintaining that level of intensity was what the team aimed for from the get-go.

"You play the way you practice, and if you practice hard than when you play you should," Ryan said. "To not play hard is being disrespectful to the game."

Taylor stressed that the team he thinks is Ryan's deepest yet at Wisconsin will look past no opponent, no matter whom. As Tucker pointed out, the Badgers learned that the hard way against North Dakota State.

"The intensity is going to be here every night," Taylor said. "It doesn't matter who we play.

"The season started today."

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