November 16, 2010

Notes: Back following short rest

MADISON - As a Badger fan, could you imagine getting up at five in the morning in order to get to the Kohl Center for an early morning tip?

Or what about staying up late for a tip at 11:00 pm like Memphis and Miami did Monday night?

If there are any reservations about the thought of that, you're not the only one.

"It's not really something for the fans," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. "I don't think for our fans, who have been so loyal."

Come Tuesday night, the Wisconsin men's basketball team (1-0) hosts North Dakota as part of ESPN's annual 24-hour college basketball marathon. But the Badgers received a pretty favorable time slot.

UW welcomes the Fighting Sioux in for a 7:00 pm tip-off.

Ryan, who pointed back to Sunday's game against Prairie View A&M being a somewhat interesting time slot, was impressed with the turnout even though it coincided with everything else going on during a Sunday afternoon.

"A five o'clock Sunday game and to get quite a few in there," Ryan said. "That was a tough call. A lot of people have dinner at a certain time on Sunday's and there's a lot of family rituals or family obligations transportation wise. You never know.

"I really appreciate the crowd we had for a Sunday at five o'clock."

But that doesn't mean the 10-year Badger head coach is going to petition for a crazy start time during this annual event anytime soon.

"I wouldn't want to do that to our fans," Ryan said. "Would our fans be sitting in their lounge chair or on the couch watching the game? Sure. There are a lot of diehard basketball fans around here. But would I want to be one of those teams out there playing at the tough hours?

"Mainly because of the fans you don't want to do that."

Scouting North Dakota:

It's not too often that the Badgers play two games in a span of a little more than 48 hours, particularly during the first week of the season. But that's exactly the case for UW.

Having just defeated Prairie View A&M 99-55 Sunday evening, the Badgers return to the Kohl Center to face North Dakota. It's almost a tournament feel in the middle of November.

And Wisconsin hasn't even gotten to the early-season tournament portion of its schedule. Needless to say, the quick turn around provides little time to scout the Fighting Sioux.

"They can shoot it," Ryan said. "They redshirted a lot of guys. They've got some guys that have been around a little bit. They move the ball well and they can shoot it. We'll see what they can get when they get in here.

"That's all we know. In a one-day turnaround that's what you get."

Odds and ends:

-North Dakota has two players from Wisconsin on its roster. Troy Huff (Milwaukee) and Dan Stockdale (Sheboygan) will return to their home state to play the Badgers.

-Huff is an interesting story. His mother, Theresa Huff, is UW's all-time leading rebounder (1,201) and ranks fifth on the career scoring charts with 1,879 points. She is also a member of UW's Athletic Hall of Fame. Huff is anticipating as many as 25 friends and family members to attend the game.

-Junior Patrick Mitchell is the Fighting Sioux's leading scorer and returns for his junior season as a preseason All-Great West selection. In the season opener, Mitchell scored 18 points (along with Huff) on 7-of-8 shooting. He also hit all four of his shots from distance.

-When Jon Leuer (24), Josh Gasser (21) and Jordan Taylor (20) each scored 20 points against Prairie View A&M, they became the first trio of Badger players to record at least 20 points in a game since 1995.

-A season ago, UW's highest offensive rebounding output was 17. Well, the Badgers had that many in the first half Sunday evening against the Panthers. By the end, UW finished with 24 rebounds, the most in the Ryan era.

-No Wisconsin team has lost a game at home in the month of November since Ryan took over as head coach.

-Leuer has been named to the Naismith Player of the Year preseason watch list. The senior forward is also on the watch list for the Wooden Player of the year and Senior CLASS awards in addition to being named preseason First-Team All-Big Ten. Leuer is one of 10 Big Ten players to be named on the initial Naismith watch list.

-Tuesday's game against North Dakota will tip-off at 7:00 pm (central time). It can be seen live on ESPN3.com with Jim Barbar and Dickey Simpkins on the call. As always, BadgerBlitz.com will be blogging from the Kohl Center. Feel free to chime in with any thoughts or questions.

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