UW Health Sports Medicine 

Final climb = First hurdle

Standing at the top of the Elver Park hill on a crisp, but calm October day it seems as though anything is possible. From this exact spot, Big Ten title campaigns have been launched and the building blocks for runs to the Elite Eight have been set.
Standing at the top of the Elver Park hill on a crisp, but calm October day it seems as though anything is possible. From this exact spot, Big Ten title campaigns have been launched and the building blocks for runs to the Elite Eight have been set.

On Monday afternoon in the waning moments of sun, head coach Bo Ryan ceremoniously called an end to the autumn conditioning ritual known as running the hill. After an hour of running up and down, Wisconsin's players were joined by the entire basketball support staff - check that - basketball family on the 21st and final trip up the hill. Even the legendary Otto Puls reached the apex, albeit with a boost from big-men Jon Leuer and Jared Berggren carrying him the final 20 feet.

Calling the team in close from his bird's eye peak, Ryan couldn't help but gush over the team's hard work.

"In all my years, this is the best I've seen a team run the hill," Ryan said as the words hung like his visible breath. "From one to 15, you guys pushed through and attacked this hill."

Before the team was able to pat itself on its back, he would caution a group of UW fans just a few hours later.

"I don't know if these guys can play," Ryan said in seriousness but was received with laughter. "I'm serious, I don't. It's early yet and we'll start to figure that out when we get into drills and get into practice."

That's pretty much the way it goes around the men's basketball team at Wisconsin. One hurdle in the rearview mirror and another one staring you in the face.

Unfortunately, due to home hockey games over the weekend, there will be no "Night of the Grateful Red" to ring in the new season this year. Thus, practice will begin Friday for the Badgers with a lot less hoopla and even less dancing.

Don't fret, there might be a surprise or two in store for fans that come out to the Red-White Scrimmage on Oct. 25th.

Off-Season News and Notes
Keeping with the off-season training theme, strength and conditioning Scott Hettenbach helped a few of the Badgers set new Wisconsin basketball records this year.

Jared Berggren broke the post player record for fastest time in the 300-yard shuttle run. The 6-foot-10 redshirt freshman has added bulk to his lanky frame this off-season, but apparently hasn't lost any of his quickness. That bodes well him to be in a position to contribute to Coach Ryan's front line rotation this year. Berggren broke Paul Grant's record from 1996.

Wquinton Smith established Badger Basketball records for the guard position in both the bench press and back squat this summer. Freddie Owens set the previously high marks in 2003. Smith, a junior from Milwaukee, established records for the guard position, but he just might be the strongest player on the team, regardless of position.

Dan Fahey tied Devin Harris' school record for the 20-meter shuttle beep test. The beep test is an incremental timed running test, where the intervals of allowed time get shorter and shorter until the athlete can't cross the line in time. Fahey, a freshman guard, reached level 14.5, equaling the mark Harris set in Oct. of 2003.

UW Record Book
All the Wisconsin basketball information you could ever need (and plenty you don't need) can be found in the 2009-10 Wisconsin Men's Basketball Record book. You can download the PDF here.
ON WISCONSIN