On the road with Ryan Evans

The following appeared in the Jan. 9th edition of the Wisconsin Men's Basketball Gameday Program as part of the CDW Badger Chronicles series.

Freshman Ryan Evans, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., has carved out a big role on the Badgers in his second year with the program. The 6-foot-6 guard/forward is averaging 14.9 minutes per game and contributing 4.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Evans scored 10 points off the bench in UW's win at Penn State earlier this month.

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Since we've been on the road for these last two games and have two more coming up, I thought this would be a good time to tell you about what our road trips are like.

Even though the opponents and cities are different, the schedule and itinerary of the trips are usually always the same.

The trip starts at the Kohl Center where we usually have a pre-trip meal. We eat breakfast and pack up. Gary Poels, our equipment manager, helps us get our uniform and things together like mouthguard, ankle braces, etc. Then we load up the bus and drive to the airport. The bus takes us right up to the side of the plane which is nice, especially when it's so cold outside.

We have a sandwich waiting for us when we board the plane. I sit in the back of the plane by coach Howard Moore. We don't have assigned seats, but everybody sits in the same spot each trip. I usually share a few laughs with Coach Moore, listen to some music and maybe nap a little on the flight.

Once we land, we get on another bus that's waiting next to the plane. They take our bags straight off the plane and move them under the bus.

Once we arrive at the hotel, Joe Robinson hands out everybody's room keys in the lobby. I room with Ian Markolf this season.

There is usually a little time before practice, so guys will watch some TV, take a nap or do some homework during the semester. We also use this time to visit our trainer Henry Perez-Guerra so he can tape our ankles for practice.

Up next, we get on the bus and head over to the arena we're going to play in for practice. We go through a pretty typical practice on the road. We don't do quite as many possessions since we play the next day, but we go against the scout team and we try to get up some shots to get a feel for the space.

Then it's back to the hotel for dinner and a movie. They always have a nice meal waiting for us with steaks, potatoes, salad bar and ice cream. A lot of times guys will gather in one of the rooms to watch a movie after dinner. Some of us watched "Law Abiding Citizen" before the Penn State game. Tuesday night before the Michigan State game I played cards with some of the guys.

The next morning we will have a wake-up call from one of the managers before we go to our shoot-around. If we play at night we'll shoot-around in the morning and if it's an afternoon game sometimes we'll skip it. It just gives us another opportunity to get comfortable with the opposing team's gym and wakes us up a little bit.

We'll have breakfast once we get back to the hotel and then a little down time again. I usually take another nap during this time. I have to make sure I'm well rested!

Usually five hours before the game we'll have scouting report in one of the hotel banquet rooms. The coach assigned to scouting that opponent will walk us through the team's plays and tendencies.

After that is the pregame meal. The menu is always the same for that: salad bar, soup, burgers, lasagna, etc. Then back to Henry's room to get taped up and off to the game.

Everyone has different pre-game routines, I like to listen to music. I usually listen to R&B and then a little hip-hop right before the game to get me going.

After we win (hopefully) we'll shower and get dressed in the locker room and head home. The road trips are pretty quick and we treat them like business trips. We try to enjoy ourselves a little, but we know we're going on the road to win a game, and that's the primary focus.
ON WISCONSIN