"You can't dunk!" Clap, Clap, ClapClapClap. "You can't dunk!"
Five minutes later, the 6-foot-10 Leuer proved that he could.
In what will go down as one of the few bright spots from Tuesday's 82-58 throttling at the hands of the host Blue Devils, freshman Jon Leuer played his best game in his young career.
Playing just four minutes in the first half, Leuer played 15 second-half minutes and made them count, shooting 5-for-11 for a team-high 12 points and six rebounds in Wisconsin's 82-58 loss at Duke.
With the Badgers down 23 at the beginning of the second half, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan subbed Leuer in at the 17:10 mark and, other than a two-minute breather, never left the floor.
The freshman, playing in his first road game, was fearless, aggressive and doing whatever he could to give his team a boost on the court, helping the Badgers play nearly even with the Blue Devils over the final 20 minutes.
"It was just good to get out there and try to help us comeback," Leuer said. "They shot lights out in the first half and dug a pretty good hole for ourselves. With the crowd on top of us, it makes it hard to adjust, but we played even with them in the second half. We can take some positives away from that."
Entering the game averaging a touch over 10 minutes and four points per game, Leuer established new career highs in minutes, field goals, rebounds and steals in one of the most intimidating venues in college basketball.
"(Jon) doesn't care about where he was playing, he might not even know he was here at Duke," UW Head Coach Bo Ryan said. "Jon just plays. He doesn't have an excuse for anything."
Although the locker room was understandably dejected after the game, Leuer's second-half play was a high topic of discussion, giving Badger fans a window into the success in his future.
"He played great tonight against a tough team," junior Joe Krabbenhoft said. "He showed a lot tonight to all of us. We're proud of him and he knows he can even do better. He's going to be a hell of a player."
Butch's Struggles Continue
For whatever reason, senior Brian Butch can't seem to catch a break in this season's early going. After opening up the season with 24 points on 10-for-17 shooting, Butch's shooting percentage has plummeted. Except for his 7-for-15 (47 percent) performance against Colorado, Butch has missed over two-thirds of his shots in three of the last four games, with his struggles coming to a head in a 2-for-10 shooting night against Georgia.
Butch's perimeter game has vanished, as well. Entering the year a career 33 percent shooter from three-point range, Butch has going 0-for-9 in 2007 and was looking forward to turning it around in Durham.
That, unfortunately, did not turn out to be the case.
Although Butch was the only Badger in double-figures in the first half (11 points) and shot 45 percent, Butch misfired on three three-point attempts and failed to covert easy buckets in the paint. The senior only attempted one shot – a missed three-point try – and played just six minutes in the second half.
"This could have been one of those games for him," Ryan said. "By penetrating, we made some things happen when we kicked to him and Brian had probably had the most open looks of anybody in the first half. They just weren't going down for him."
Stats and Facts
Wisconsin is now 25-4 in November over the last four years – losing to Duke, Missouri State, Pepperdine and Wake Forest.
The Badgers have 96 offensive rebounds and 129 defensive rebounds on the season.
Wisconsin is now 62-44 when scoring under 70 points in the Bo Ryan Era. On the same accord, the Badgers are 95-5 when scoring 70 plus.
Duke's 82 points were the most UW has allowed in a regulation game since November 2005 at Wake Forest in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The Badgers are 63-45 when their opponent scores over 60 points under Bo Ryan.