The Badgers landed in Champaign, Illinois Saturday and spent the afternoon practicing at Assembly Hall. Head coach Bo Ryan put the team through an extended shooting session before running possessions and working on how the team will attack Illinois Sunday.
Scout team point guard Wquinton Smith did his best Demetri McCamey impression zig-zagging off the dribble and finding shooters. Jason Bohannon seemed to match him step for step, keeping up his torrid shooting streak.
If you think the guys just go through the motions the day before a game, you should have seen Jordan Taylor go after a loose ball during the middle of practice. He saved the ball, then launched himself off one of the courtside chairs and came crashing down next to me on one of the media tables.
Coach Ryan turned to me and said, "Check to make sure he didn't damage the table. I know he's alright."
The table and chairs were unharmed. Here is a re-creation of the scene:
The Badgers didn't have Jon Leuer in the season's first match-up with Illinois. He had 15 points, six rebounds and two blocks the last time he faced the Illini. Think he might be a difference-maker Sunday?
When the team arrived at Assembly Hall the scoreboard had been lowered to eye-level on the court and the lights were all off. Not to worry, they raised it (sort of) and turned the lights on. Only one long cord hung down low. Good thing the team's half-court shooting contests start from the sidelines.