Chip Off the Old Block

A year older and wiser, senior forward Marcus Landry is ready to pick up his game and set the bar even higher for Wisconsin basketball.

MADISON - In some people's eyes, Marcus Landry's 2008 season could not have been much better. Named Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Tournament after averaging 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, Landry, who averaged 10.8 points per game last season, was one of the main key role players that led Wisconsin to its duel championship season.

Now heading into his season year, Landry views things differently, especially when it comes to be look at as the team's leader.

"To me, I have this chip on my shoulder that I am carrying around," Landry said. "I need to get things done as a player and to help my team out. Obviously, guys like Tucker have gotten the job done when he was here. I look at myself as someone that needs to push that."

One of the four senior on this year's team, Landry has his work cut out for him as a senior leader. The Badgers have 11 freshmen and sophomores on the roster, including a five-member freshman class, the largest under head coach Bo Ryan.

When he came to Madison as a freshman in 2005, Landry was mentored and guided by Alando Tucker. Four seasons later, the roles are reversed for Landry, who has started showing the freshmen the ropes of being a Wisconsin basketball player.

"I look at how guys like Alando took me in and embraced me when I came here," he said. "I am here to do the same for some of the younger guys that are in the same position I was in a couple years ago. I look at myself as a leader, whether I am leading vocally or by example. Hopefully I am showing these guys what it takes to be a player in this league."

Landry is the perfect person for a young player to model himself after, as the Milwaukee Vincent graduate has gone through more adversity over the course of his career that most student-athletes ever deal with.

After being ineligible by a hundredth of a point during the second-half of his freshman season, Landry spent the majority of his sophomore year traveling back and forth to Milwaukee where his wife, Efueko Osagie-Landry, and his children were living while Efueko played basketball for Marquette.

When her career was over at Marquette before last season, Landry's family moved up to Madison and has allowed his mind the past two years to be solely focused on school and basketball, which has been a huge burden off his shoulders.

"This year, I am more settled, calmer (and) I can just deal with things as they come," Landry said. "I can flip the switch really quick. When it's time for me to be a dad, I am a dad. When it's time for me to step on the court and be a player, I am being a player. When it's time for me to be a leader, I am a leader."

For Wisconsin fans, they hope Landry flips to switch from role player to dominant presence. With his points, blocks and rebounds increasing every season, head coach Bo Ryan knows what Landry needs to work on to become that player and knows what will happen when his senior forward flips that switch.

"(We need him) to just be a real consistent, solid, tough competitor (who's) solid on defense, stronger on finishing, using more pump fakes, which means he'll get to the free throw more," Ryan said candidly. "There's always areas where you can look for improvement. We can point people in the right direction, but it's a matter of him going and getting it. The sky is the limit for him. In our offense and the things that we do, Marcus has more opportunities to score than probably any other offense in the league because he can take advantage."

After being apart of back-to-back 30-win season and having been apart of teams that continue to set program records, Landry is far from complacent, as he wants to set the bar even higher in his final year.

"We've had some great years obviously and we have established great things. We've set some records and things like that, but records are made to be broken. That's what the guys to come are trying to do and while I'm still here, I am trying to do. I am trying to be better than we were last year and the years before."


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