Notes: Hooked by the Boards

After getting out rebounded by Wisconsin last year in their one-point loss, the Longhorns made sure that the Badgers wouldn't outwork them two years in a row. Thanks to 15 rebounds by Damion Jones and 17 offensive rebounds, Texas made good on its promise, which was a big factor in its five-point win.

MADISON – Leading the Big Ten in rebound defense, allowing opponents only 27.3 rebounds per game, the Badgers are 8-0 when UW out rebounds its opponents.

That stat is still intact after the Longhorns destroyed Wisconsin on the glass.

Thanks in large part to Damion James's 15 total and 12 defensive rebounds, the Longhorns grabbed 40 rebounds and out rebounded the Badgers by 15 boards, a big factor in leading No.9 Texas to a 74-69 win Tuesday night.

The 40 rebounds given up by the Badgers is a season high and most against Wisconsin since Indiana grabbed 41 boards last January in Madison.

"We wanted to focus on rebounding," Texas guard A.J. Abrams said. "We didn't want to come in here and let them out tough us. We did a good job of cleaning up the glass and focused on running (off the rebounds) and getting easy buckets off that."

Mission accomplished for the Longhorns, as the speed of their guards gave Texas eight fast break points while the size inside gave the Longhorns 18 second chance points off 17 offensive rebounds. The Badgers came in averaging 2.8 more offensive rebounds than their opponents per game.

"Not only do they have the size, but they are pretty quick off the floor, they have good wing spans—the whole thing," Ryan said. "They are pretty active on the glass. We have to do a better job. They beat us to the ball. It was a dogfight in there."

With former Badger Brian Butch watching from the stands, Wisconsin probably wishes he had one more year of eligibility left. In their three losses, all against teams with speedy guards that use tons of ball pressure, the Badgers have been out rebounded by smaller, quicker teams that are simply more aggressive getting to the basketball.

"Those guys go to the glass so hard and we knew it," senior Joe Krabbenhoft said. "We had to check them out collectively as a team and we didn't. It really played a big role in the outcome of the game. There's no doubt that winning the boards by that margin on the offensive glass and the total rebounds were big reasons for their victory."

Hughes Brings Stamina

Last season, with a crutch under each arm, all Trevon Hughes could do was watch.

Twisting his ankle mere hours before Wisconsin tip off against Texas, Hughes sat at the end of the bench, his right foot in a walking cast, and was nothing but a cheerleader for the Badgers' upset win in Austin.

One year later, Hughes was far from stagnant.

Drawing the assignment of Texas' leading scorer A.J. Abrams, Hughes was able to limit the senior scorer to 8-for-21 shooting and made the senior, who averaged 19.7 points per game, work for all his points.

"It was a challenge," Hughes said. "I tried my best on him and they ended up on the left hand side. He was in and out like he was speeding through traffic. I kept telling him to slow down before he gets a ticket. He's a good player."

At the same time, Hughes was active offensively. He led the Badgers with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, and made all four of his free throws.

In the first half, Hughes was the motor for Wisconsin, scoring 13 of Wisconsin's 37 points while shooting 83 percent from the floor, causing the Longhorns to take notice.

"Hughes was having a terrific night and we tried as much as we could to prevent him from getting the ball," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We tried to get someone else to start their offense, which I think they (UW) are OK with. We tried to run into the backcourt to get it out of his hands and to make him work really hard to get it back.

"He was terrific in the first half, he really was."

Learning Lessons

After the Badgers stunned Texas last year, a loss that Barnes admitted was a killer, the Longhorns went 20-4, ascended to fifth in both polls and made it to the Big XII Championship game.

Wisconsin, on the other hand, went 22-2, ascended as high as fifth in the country and won the Big Ten regular season and tournament champions.

Both coaches admitted that playing each other before their respective conference seasons has been a huge benefit.

"I told Bo before the game that's it's been great playing you guys," Barnes said. "Going into conference play after playing a team like Wisconsin, they are going to make you better. We told our guys that there's no team anywhere in the country that screens better than Wisconsin or goes at the boards harder than Wisconsin. When you play a Wisconsin team that's extremely well coached, you've got to beat them because they aren't going to beat themselves."

"Athletically and the way Texas plays, they can beat you in so many different ways so you're playing a complete team," Ryan added. "They are defensively this year, stronger and better with their feet. You can see the difference in James, Abrams and Pittman. They certainly didn't leave any energy here in Madison. There are going to be a lot of teams in our league that are going to present as many problems as they do."

Stat of the Night

Picking up his second foul at 8:07 of the first half, senior Marcus Landry was forced to watch the remainder of the first half from the bench. Picking up his third foul at the 14 minute mark, Landry sat until he re-entered the game at ten minutes, 32 seconds, only to pick up his fourth foul 39 seconds later, forcing him to head back to bench until he played the final four minutes, 51 seconds.

Playing only 22 minutes, Landry scored eight points, his lowest output since scoring five points against Marquette, another game where fouls played a factor.

"You get fouls," Ryan said. "You got to bench. It's been apart of the game for the beginning. Our last two losses, Marcus has been on the bench quite a bit with fouls. That's just the way it is."


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