Notes: Krabbenhoft Continues to Deliver

With his 12 point, 10 rebound performance in Wisconsin's win over UW-Green Bay, junior Joe Krabbenhoft continues to perform well in a starting role.

MADISON — After he scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out four assists Saturday night – all team highs – the question was posed to Joe Krabbenhoft: was his game, based on the statline, as complete as could be?

Krabbenhoft, not a man in love with his mirror, struggled to respond, uttering, "Sure, I guess so."

One could make the case that this was a career game for Krabbenhoft, who before this season averaged just 4.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest.

But a simple perusal into Krabbenhoft's stats this season and it's obvious that the junior forward's effort against UW-Green Bay was unprecedented in no way, shape or form.

Just check Krabbenhoft's line on Nov. 15 against Savannah State: 12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists. Kind of familiar, isn't it?

Krabbenhoft also had one steal each against Savannah State and against Green Bay. He was actually worse from the free throw line Saturday (4-of-5) than he was Nov. 15 (6-of-6).

Nope, this wasn't a career night at all. This is just Joe Krabbenhoft playing hard-nosed, consistent basketball.

"That's pretty much the way Joe plays," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "He's always active. Because of how hard he plays and how revved up he is, he does a lot of great things."

Krabbenhoft would like to think he didn't do anything special, he just played his normal game and ended up lighting up the stat sheet.

"I was just out there doing the job that Coach asks of us," Krabbenhoft said.

Green Bay coach Tod Kowalczyk had extremely high praise for Krabbenhoft, who is often overlooked by more highly touted Badgers like center Brian Butch and point guard Trevon Hughes.

"In my opinion, their best player is Joe Krabbenhoft," Kowalczyk said. "I thought he just dominated the glass during times. It seemed like he kept getting offensive rebounds on us."

Indeed he did: Krabbenhoft had six offensive boards, a season high for the junior.

"Some of the balls on the offensive end bounced my way, so I just grabbed them," Krabbenhoft said. "I didn't do anything that I don't usually do."

Krabbenhoft was a key player in last year's run to Wisconsin's number one ranking, with his endless energy off the bench. In some ways, Krabbenhoft is still learning to slow things down in his new role as starter.

"That (energy) also gets him to rush things at times," Ryan said. "He's working at it. I'd rather have that energy and have to tone it down, rather than have guys that aren't committed."

Finals Frenzy

With just one game in the next 13 days, Ryan said he's going to tone things down for the Badgers.

"Maintain the legs and lungs. ‘L and L' time," Ryan said. "There's not a lot of contact these first few days of the week. Maybe Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to get ready for Saturday (against Valparaiso)."

The mini-break couldn't come at a better time, academically. With the players just finishing the final week of classes, and entering the dreaded finals week, Ryan said there's a lot of pressure put on student-athletes to keep going during the season.

"It isn't like guys put stuff off until this week," Ryan said. "But there's a lot of stuff that takes place academically, the week before finals. And it isn't like, you've got a paper due and you were told three months ago. It's just there's a lot of stuff that starts to catch up."

Junior forward Marcus Landry agreed that each player starts to get drained physically in late December, with the fall semester wrapping up.

"No one really understands it but the players," Landry said. "The coaches say, yeah, we have exams, but it's a lot of pressure, just being able to balance so many things. Hopefully, it doesn't really take away from our performance.

"But there are nights where guys stay up to 12:00, 1:00 studying," Landry added. "It's just a part of basketball, you've got to be able to juggle it all."

Game Notes: Five minutes into the game, play was stopped when Wisconsin guard Michael Flowers went down holding his leg. He got up on his own and continued playing with no obvious effects, but only played 17 minutes

ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt, in town to deliver the keynote speech at UW's graduation ceremonies Sunday, was in attendance

The loudest ovation of the game had nothing to do with the Badgers. The crowd erupted during a timeout when the Kohl Center videoboard showed a few highlights of UW-Whitewater's 31-21 victory over Mount Union in the Division III football championship game.

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