Quite the Exhibition

Finally able to go against a team with a different color jersey, Wisconsin had no problem setting the tempo from the start, as four different Badgers reach double figures in a dominant 90-54 victory over Division II Bemidji State Wednesday.

MADISON – It was easy to tell that senior guard Trevon Hughes was a little out of sync to beginning his final season.

Not only did he make his way out to center court out of order, getting halfway through the line before he realized it was fellow senior Jason Bohannon that was being introduced, Hughes didn't wait for his name to be announced by the public addressed announcer, causing him to hesitate once again.

Once he got onto the court though, Hughes seemed to be in his element.

One half of a solid backcourt that is expected to be a key component during Wisconsin's 2009-10 season, Hughes finished with only eight points, but chipped in with seven assists, three rebounds, two steals and only two turnovers in 21 minutes of work, production UW used to turn in a 90-54 victory over Division II Bemidji State Wednesday in its exhibition opener.

"We got a lot of team chemistry, played against someone different than what we are usually accustomed to this time of year, we did some good things out there tonight, but there are a lot of things we can improve upon also," said senior Jason Bohannon. "For the majority, we played a very good basketball game and did some good things."

Every player on the roster got some minutes for Wisconsin, but it was the senior guards in Hughes and Bohannon that filled up the stat sheet. Combined, the duo had 22 points, shot 3-of-7 from three-point range, had seven rebounds, five steals and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 13-4.

"We had some good passes tonight, we had some good reads and that led to some assists," Bohannon said. "We look more towards the turnovers we had. I felt like a couple of those I probably shouldn't have thrown that pass … and Trevon probably feels the same way. I think we have a good squad this year and I think that will be a high point for us, moving the ball around the perimeter and down to the post."

The Badgers had four players in double figures, including junior Jon Leuer, who led all scores with 15. After shooting 53.1 percent in the opening half, the Badgers didn't trail off after halftime, finishing the game shooting 52.4 percent (33-of-63) from the floor while holding the Beavers to 40 percent.

"It never really matters who you are playing right now, it's what you are looking for," said head coach Bo Ryan, who went with a nine-man rotation in the first half. "We touched the post a number of times. When we had the combinations in the first half of the guys that know the system better and have been around a little bit, those guys did OK reading what the other team was doing defensively."

Wisconsin's biggest task entering the 2009 season is finding a throng of contributors to replace its leading scorer – Marcus Landry – and all the intangibles Joe Krabbenhoft brought to the table.

Bringing back only 64 percent of its scoring, 60 percent of its rebounding and 63 percent of its assists from a season ago, the Badgers started to get a clear indicator of which role players are ready to step in.

A year after his minutes tailed off as the season wore on, sophomore Rob Wilson chipped in with 12 points, showing good penetration on drives to the basket and good touch on his jump shot.

"It's a lot of maturity and going through a lot more repetitions made me a lot more comfortable this year than I was last year," Wilson said. "I look for (my shot) a lot more, but still just let it come to me. A lot of my points came today was off second chances and letting the game come to me, not force things like I did a lot last year."

Redshirt freshmen Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans showed that they can provide adequate depth on the bench. Berggren scored seven and had a team-high seven rebounds while Evans provided five blocks, two steals and a thunderous dunk.

"His timing is pretty good," Ryan said of Evans. "He has that eye for knowing when a guy is going to take that shot. He's does that to our guys in practice, where he seems to come out of nowhere. He's been our leading rebounder by far in practice."

"He never asked how many minutes he was going to get, never asked if I was going to start him," Ryan added. "All Ryan Evans has said is, ‘Man, I would love a chance to play at Wisconsin. I think I can do that.' And he's trying to prove that. Coaching those kinds of guys is so much fun. I just hope he keeps getting better."

The only true scholarship freshman on the floor, Mike Bruesewitz struggled with his shot (1-of-5) but showed good timing with his pump fakes, vision and movement in the post.

In the end, Wisconsin out scored Bemidji State 48-22 in the paint, 16-5 in second-chance points and scored 24 points off 19 Beavers turnovers.

"I wish we could have given Wisconsin a better game," said BSU coach Matt Bowen before his team's eight-hour bus ride back home to Bemidji, Minnesota. "We did not play up to par, and Wisconsin did what they do well."

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