Wisconsin's Freshmen Take Center Stage

Although the score may not reflect it, Wisconsin takes some valuable points from tonight's contest.

MADISON, Wis.- With four newcomers playing for the cardinal and white tonight, there was bound to be some jitters for Jason Bohannon, J.P. Gavinski, Trevon Hughes and Brett Valentyn. All four of the Badgers saw action tonight and nobody took advantage of the exhibition play more than Bohannon.

Bohannon found his shooting touch early against the Blue Devils, hitting 4-of-7 from the field and leading all the freshmen in points, dropping in 11 on the night. Bohannan was also active away from the ball in his 12 minutes on the court, grabbing two steals and a defensive rebound.

Although Bohannon's numbers stuck out among his fellow classmen, the Wisconsin coach and upperclassmen can relate to the early game jitters and realize that this is a special group of players.

"As you can tell when the young guys got out there, the first three or four turnovers were [caused by] excitement," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "The lights and scoreboard are on and the people are in the stands … This was a chance to get guys in and get some different combinations."

"[There play] was as expected," senior Alando Tucker said. "As a freshman, you come in and you're excited. Travon was so excited that when he came in, he couldn't make a couple of calls. It's our job to calm them down and get them going. The good thing about them is that they don't do too much on the court and that can help us out."

Long Range Bucky

After averaging 34.7 percent from beyond the arc and putting in 6.4 threes a game last season, Wisconsin took their long-range shooting to a new level. Wisconsin took advantage of Stout's soft perimeter defense with the long ball. The Badgers shot 25 threes, making 10 of them for a 40 percent clip.

Although somewhat surprising, senior Jason Chappell and junior Brian Butch were the only two of the Badgers perfect from beyond the arc, going 2-2 and 3-3 respectively. With Chappell only shooting 17 three point shots last year, the sudden outburst was a little shocking.

"I haven't particularly worked more on offense this off-season, but if the open shot is there, I am going to take it," Chappell said, "I definitely heard it from the guys a little bit, but I feel comfortable with the [three-point] shot."

Seven foot Giants

Although the score may not reflect it, the Badgers got a strong challenge from UW-Stout's own version of the twin-towers. Seniors and twin brothers Jacob and John Nonemacher, both over seven feet tall and 240 pounds, gave the Badgers a look that they don't see very often. Constantly rotating and playing off the high and low post, the Nonemacher brothers made the Badgers work defensively throughout the night.

"[We took a lot of] little key points we can build on," Tucker said. "I don't think we are going to see a team with two seven footers to start. It gave us all a different look out there … and that's only going to help us later on."

"We're use to [defending tall guys], but in a game like situation, we aren't use to seeing it," Chappell said. "It gave us a good chance to defending those [kinds of players]."

A Stout experience

Although they lost by 49 points, head coach Eddie Andrist was not hard-pressed for words to describe the game and the experience.

"We didn't play real well, but the Badgers had something to do with that," Andrist said. "Obviously, scoring the ball was tough, but what I liked [was that] I saw a lot of close opportunities where we were almost there.

"What an opportunity and an experience," Andrust added. "That's the big show, that the big stage for college athletics … and I am so appreciative of that opportunity for out guys to experience that."

Andrist also tried to take full advantage of his opportunity to coach against the two-time Big Ten coach of the year, as he tried to get the Wisconsin coach a little rattled throughout the game.

"I tried to get him frustrated a little bit," Andrist joked. "I looked down and saw him yelling at the officials a little bit. That was cool."

Jacob Nonemacher also enjoyed the experience of playing the Badgers and he wasn't afraid to let his Wisconsin biased show a little.

"This is an awesome, unbelievable experience," Nonemacher said. "I hope that's the most Butch gets blocked all season though. Go Badgers!"

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