Flowers, Freshmen Don't Miss a Beat

Coupled with a six-for-seven shooting performance with a team-high 15 points for freshman Jon Leuer and the return of Michael Flowers, the Badger basketball team roll in their exhibition opener.

MADISON - Wisconsin freshman forward Jon Leuer said it felt like his first high school game.

"When the coach told me what plans we were running and what defense we were in, I just forgot everything," Leuer said.

And it might as well have been a high school game as Wisconsin cruised to a 77-48 win over cross-town Division-III opponent Edgewood in exhibition Sunday.

After giving up the first field goal to Eagles forward Charlie Averkamp, the Badgers went on a 28-3 run and led by 42-17 at halftime.

With Wisconsin having the game well in hand early, Leuer was able to turn the pre-game butterflies into a team-high 15 points in his first game.

"Once you get out there and start playing, you forget about the fans," Leuer said. "You just try to remember what the coaches tell you, try to run the offense—then it just kind of comes easy."

In the second half, Leuer probably made the highlight reel play of the game, beating Averkamp off a juke move in the post and dunking over Eagles center Jon Ciche.

The Badgers came out with a starting five of Trevon Hughes, Joe Krabbenhoft, Marcus Landry, Brian Butch and Greg Stiemsma.

Flowers, a starter for the past two seasons, came off the bench. His reserve role was likely due to his two week leave of absence.

But when Flowers came in, it looked as if he had never left. He was a spark plug for the Badgers, providing eight points, four steals and three assists in 15 minutes off the bench.

Flowers was all over the place, as evident by a steal he had late in the first half that he turned into a nifty behind-the-back assist to forward Morris Cain.

"Steals, defense, hustle — that's Mike Flowers," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "That's what he does and does well. And he can score, too."

Flowers received a large ovation from the sellout crowd at the Kohl Center, and it was a special moment for him and his teammates after his early season absence.

"I think everybody in the crowd had a big smile on their face to see him out there," junior Joe Krabbenhoft said. "He brings so much energy and passion for the game no matter who we're playing, what time it is, where it is—no matter what he's going to go out there and make things happen.

"I think tonight was kind of special to see him out there," he added. "We all were really happy for him."

While it might not be evident as to who will fill 2007 Big Ten Player of the Year Alando Tucker's void just yet, it's obvious who will be stepping in for departed point guard Kammron Taylor.

Hughes, a sophomore, stepped in at the point and gave Wisconsin a different look at running the offense. He provided more of an up-tempo pace and ran the offense efficiently.

"Trevon Hughes did an excellent job of running the offense, getting things going," Ryan said.

Hughes filled the boxscore with 11 points, six rebounds, three steals, three assists and only one turnover.

The Badgers easily adjusted to Hughes' style of play by being able to push the ball in transition and come away with some easy lay-ups.

"Trevon, as well as all the other guards, did a great of getting the ball in transition right off the rebound and pushing it, looking for some easy buckets," said Krabbenhoft, who had 11 points and seven rebounds.

Wisconsin's next exhibition game is Wednesday, Nov. 7 against UW-Eau Claire.


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