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Bruesewitz checks in from Estonia

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I heard from Mike Bruesewitz over in Estonia. Sounds like his team (the East Coast All-Stars) made it safely to Tallinn and did a little sight-seeing before practice.

Here is what Bruiser had to say:

"The first day was good and the food isn't too bad. However, the day's worth of airplane food didn't end well. Estonia is a pretty cool place. Tallinn is right on the coast line with all kinds of neat shops and restaurants in Old Town. The Old Town area is really cool with cobble stone streets and old buildings. It reminds me of a medieval state street on steroids. We have our first exhibition game (Wednesday) afternoon, but first we have a sight seeing tour."

Duje Dukan Travel Blog - No. 4 (Final)

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UW sophomore Duje Dukan is overseas playing with the Croatian National Team in the U-20 European Championships in Bilbao, Spain. He is checking in periodically with UWBadgers.com with stories from the road.

To read Dukan's earlier entries click her: No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3

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Hey Badger Fans,

Well, the European Championships tournament ended and unfortunately we did not do as well as we wanted (or should have done), but it was a great learning experience for me getting to compete at a very high level in European basketball. It also gave me a great opportunity to get actual game experience that I didn't have much of this past year.

{3C3360C1-B327-4098-812E-FB26DC8FC2BC}flexible.jpgSpain ended up winning the tournament and the MVP was Nikola Mirotic who the Chicago Bulls took with the 23rd pick in this year's NBA Draft. This shows the wide variety of talent at this tournament.

Not only did I play against players who are playing professionally in Europe, but some are in fact at colleges in the U.S. which was good to see what my competition will look like for the next few years. Some of the colleges who were represented at the European Championships besides Wisconsin were UConn, Alabama, Florida, San Diego, Boston College, Davidson and many others.

Personally, I played a variety of positions during the last few weeks, from the 2 to the 4. I really spent a lot of time working on my versatility, so I'll be able to help the team in any way I can when I get back to Madison.

Now that the European Championships are over, I'm lifting and practicing on my own time to get ready for a very fun and exciting year of Badger basketball in 2011-2012.

Thanks everyone for reading these entries and coming along on my trip trip. I hope all is well back in Madison and I'm looking forward to joining the team again soon,

On Wisconsin!

Duje Dukan

BLOG: Bruesewitz heading to Estonia with all-star team

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Wisconsin junior Mike Bruesewitz has been selected to the East Coast All-Stars, a 10-man national team that will compete in the Four Nations Cup in Estonia from August 5-7.

Bruesewitz is one of five Big Ten players on the squad, joining Iowa's Matt Gatens and Bryce Cartwright, Purdue's Anthony Johnson and Minnesota's Elliott Eliason. Syracuse's Brandon Triche and Baye Mousa Keita, Pe'Shon Howard of Maryland, Rodney McGruder of Kansas State and Jack Cooley from Notre Dame complete the squad.

101106MBB-6077-31.jpg"I'm really excited for the trip," Bruesewitz said Monday from JFK International Airport. "I've never been out of the country, so it's going to be a whole new experience and I can't wait to be in that environment. Our team looks pretty good. It's going to be a lot of fun."

The team began with a short two-day training camp at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., before traveling overseas Monday for the international competition. Brueswitz and the East Coast All-Stars are scheduled to play an exhibition game vs. Viimsi Spordikeskuss before beginning the Four Nations Cup.

"We'll practice once in Estonia, then scrimmage the local club team," Bruesewitz added. "We'll have a day off, then play three games in three days. We'll be playing three national teams, so there is no age limit or anything; this is each country's top team.

"I think we're going to be able sightsee around Tallinn a little bit. Matt Gatens and I were doing a little research about Estonia and it looks like there are some neat things to see and cool historical sites."

During the tournament, the team will face Sweden on Aug. 5, Georgia on Aug. 6 and wrap up competition vs. host Estonia on Aug. 7.

Ryan Evans participated in a similar trip last August with a Global Sports Academy team that played five games in Belgium, Italy and England.

"I talked to Ryan a little bit about his trip last year and he said it'll be fun," Bruesewitz said. "He said, 'obviously you're trying to win, but you're also there to enjoy it, meet new people and share new things.'"

Roster
#     NAME                    HGT   CLASS    POS.      SCHOOL
01    Anthony Johnson    6-3     R-Fr.        Guard      Purdue
05    Matt Gatens           6-5     Sr.           Guard      Iowa
12    Baye Mousa Keita  6-10    So.         Forward    Syracuse
20    Brandon Triche       6-4      Jr.          Guard       Syracuse
21    Pe'Shon Howard     6-3     So.         Guard       Maryland
22    Rodney McGruder   6-4     So.         Forward    Kansas State
24    Bryce Cartwright     6-1     Sr.          Guard       Iowa
31    Mike Bruesewitz     6-6     Jr.           Forward    Wisconsin
45    Jack Cooley           6-9      Jr.          Center      Notre Dame
55    Elliott Eliason         6-11    R-Fr.       Center      Minnesota

Itinerary
July 31st - Training Camp (Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA)
August 1st - Training Camp (Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA)
August 2nd - Arrive in Tallinn, Estonia / Team Practice
August 3rd - Exhibition vs Viimsi Spordikeskuss
August 4th - Team Practice
August 5th - East Coast vs Sweden (10:45AM EST)
August 6th - East Coast vs Georgia (10:45AM EST)
August 7th - East Coast vs Estonia (1:00PM EST)
August 8th - Team returns to US

Duje Dukan Travel Blog - No. 3

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UW sophomore Duje Dukan is overseas playing with the Croatian National Team in the U-20 European Championships in Bilbao, Spain. He is checking in periodically with UWBadgers.com with stories from the road.

To read Dukan's earlier entries click her: No. 1 | No. 2

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Hey Badger Fans,

Checking in with you on Day 7 of the European Championships in Bilbao, Spain. The team has gone 2-4 since we have been here, with wins over Latvia and Lithuania and losses to Sweden, France, Austria and Serbia. The loss to Serbia was today's thriller... a one-point (80-79) heartbreaker.

I got hurt during one of our friendly games with the French, straining a muscle near my hip, so every movement of my hips like running or shooting would ignite the strain. As time went on it got better and thanks to our team trainer helping me out and cutting down the swelling, I was able to miss minimal time and keep playing in the games.

{D8425956-F409-4D2F-9218-8E9148AA703B}flexible.jpgThis is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I feel like I need to take advantage of it and not let anything ruin it or prevent me from playing and experiencing the European championships.

Our team was placed in a tough position at the start of the tournament when our main point guard left the team. That's a big loss considering he was on the All-Tournament team for the World Championships two years ago in New Zealand with the likes of Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack.

His leaving put us at a great disadvantage because we didn't really have a floor leader or anyone to organize the team. So with the extra roster spot we called a point guard who participated in the U19 World Championships this year but with our bad luck, he was injured in one of the last games in the tourney the same way I was and he opted out of joining the team.

So, essentially we were left without a true point guard that we were used to and comfortable with. This has brought some distress and questions to the team. In my opinion, this is one of the main reasons attributed to our poor performance the first couple games and why we haven't done as well this year. But we have adjusted as time has gone by and played better.

As far as me personally, I've been playing more and more getting back from the injury and getting back into the flow of things now. In the last game I played about 25 minutes and most of my time that I play is spent on the wing or at the 2. I have also played a little at the 4 spot also.

[Editor's note: Dukan had 6 points and 3 rebounds in a win over Lithuania and finished with 8 points (2-for-5 from 3-point range) and 3 rebounds in the loss to Serbia. Dukan's game-by-game stats]

There haven't really been many stories except that I've really come to see here what a bond basketball can create. I've met kids from France, Sweden, Montenegro and many other places that are in the United States playing basketball and we have shared our experiences and talked about the differences between Euro and U.S. ball. Everyone has agreed that it has taken them longer than expected to get adjusted and acclimated.

I guess one funny story is that I've been sort of a translator for the guys here because I studied Spanish for six years. So whenever they have questions they go get me and I have to ask and deliberate. It's really testing my Spanish ability.

On the one day we had off between games, the team went to the Bay of Biscay, which is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Spanish coastline. From there, it is open water so it's very windy as it is basically open ocean. It was truly a magnificent sight because the waves and water was so wild but it was right on the coast. For the 30 minutes that we were there walking around, it rained twice and the wind never stopped.

We walked around the city of Bilbao as well to get a feel for what Spain is like. Seeing the other teams walking around the city reminds me of Indianapolis during the Big Ten Tournament and how the tournament takes over the whole city.

We have three more games left against Serbia, Lithuania and Austria. Serbia and Lithuania both faced similar problems to us where they were expected to do well in the championships but the team didn't collaborate at the start of the tournament. We are now focused on what we have in front of us these next three games.

I'll write back soon to keep you updated. Hope everyone is handling the 100+ degree weather in Madison.

Duje

Duje Dukan Travel Blog - No. 2

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UW sophomore Duje Dukan is overseas preparing with the Croatian National Team for the U-20 European Championships in Bilbao, Spain, later this summer. He'll be checking in periodically with UWBadgers.com with stories from the road.

To read Dukan's first entry, click here

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Entry #2
July 9, 2011

Hey Badger fans, hope you're all enjoying your summer. Things are flying by overseas.

Just got to France today before our game with the French.

In the meantime we were in Italy for a tournament with Serbia, Finland and Italy which was a good tournament for us to get in game reps. It also gave us a chance to get used to playing with each other before the European championships so we can really hit our peak then.

Our first game was against Finland, who definitely surprised us as they shot the ball really well, which allowed them to beat us. It was a tough game but a good first game because it was a wake-up call, as our next opponent was our huge rival, Serbia. It's always a game of pride when you play them.

From the get-go we were really active and jumped on them early and they never recovered. Beating Serbia was very big because they are a very good team who many people believe will get a medal in Spain in the European Championships.

Our final game was versus Italy and it was interesting to see how hometown refs really value/side with the hometown team. But despite that, we were still in the game even though our coach got tossed and everything. In the end, we lost by 6 and overall the tournament went well because we were able to get acclimated to each other and beat a very good team.

I learned a lot in those 3 exhibition games about European basketball. One of the things was that languages come in very handy because your opponent has no idea what you're saying so you can call out plays and tell everyone exactly what to do and they won't know a thing. The border with referees is also a big one because they are generally from all over Europe and not all of them speak English well enough so it's hard to communicate with them.

The most common excuse or saying I've heard from them is, "I'm sorry I don't speak English." Another thing was how much skill is valued over strength because there are many kids who are weak here, but they are effective because they are smart and have good skills.

So, now we're in France for two "friendly" matches with the French prior to heading to Bilbao, Spain, for the European Championships. These two games against the French will be weird because they are also one of our opponents in group play of the Championships. So both teams will be hiding some of their sets, as well as giving everyone fair minutes so we don't get too familiar with each other.

Hope everything is well back home and everyone is doing great. Sorry for the long delay between journal entries, but internet access has been rare.

Until next time,

Duje

Leuer preps for tonight's NBA Draft

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The whirlwind preparation tour is over and now Jon Leuer begins the waiting game.

Auditioning for tonight's 2011 NBA Draft (6 p.m. CT on ESPN), Leuer has been to nearly every corner of the United States and racked up enough frequent flyer miles to follow Brad Paisley on his summer tour. In just the last six weeks, Leuer has had individual workouts with more than 15 teams, participated in the combine in Chicago and done private training in Los Angeles. (Not to mention sneaking off to South Dakota for Joe Krabbenhoft's wedding.)

That has all built up to tonight's draft where Leuer will learn his professional fate. The former All-Big Ten Badger is projected to be picked anywhere from late in the first round to the second round sometime.

"It's been a lot of travel, but it's been fun," Leuer said of the last few weeks. "I'll be watching at home in Minnesota with friends and family. Tim (Jarmusz), Brett (Valentyn) and J.P. (Gavinski) also drove up from Madison to be here."

Leuer's agent will be in a war room at his Chicago office.

Check back to UWBadgers.com later tonight for information when Leuer is drafted.

Duje Dukan Travel Blog - No. 1

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UW sophomore Duje Dukan is overseas preparing with the Croatian National Team for the U-20 European Championships in Bilbao, Spain later this summer. He'll be checking in periodically with UWBadgers.com with stories from the road.
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Greetings from Croatia! or Pozdrav iz Hrvatska!

We are now seven days into training camp in Daruvar, Croatia and have been having two-a-days on a daily basis. It has been a great experience thus far and I've learned something new every day.

We have no internet at my hotel so we have to go to the city to find a coffee shop during our breaks to get internet. All of the guys on the team are really nice and it seems like a great group. It's been really crazy communicating about each of our seasons since they are so different. These guys are busy playing in professional leagues and making an income while I'm off at college taking classes and playing for a university. Different worlds.

During our two-a-day, the schedule has looked like this:
8:15 - wake up
8:30 - breakfast
10:30 - depart hotel and walk about a mile to a local gym for practice
12:00 - finish skill work and go to the local school track and run sprints or whatever is decided
1:30 - lunch
3-5 - Mandatory rest time in your rooms
6:30 - depart for practice
8:30 - end practice
9:15 - dinner
12:00 am - lights out

It's a very hectic day. After a while of repeating that schedule, it starts to become a habit, but your body does become more tired. It takes a toll.

The thing that keeps me going is the notion of playing for a national team. I'm getting to represent a whole country and we're about to embark on a European competition against other top athletes our age. So, the motivation is that you train to get any type of advantage over them.

We started training camp with 17 guys on the roster and two just got cut, so we are down to 15. The final cut would trim the competition roster down to 12 men.

Hope all is well back in the States. I'm having fun and getting better and stronger over here.

Talk to you again soon,

Duje

JT11 going camping with CP3

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Jordan Taylor's final summer as a college student promises to be a busy one. I guess that's what happens when your junior season is filled with All-American talk, Worldwide Twitter trends and some of the most impressive games in UW hoops history.

USA Basketball announced earlier this week that Taylor will be trying out for the World University Games team. But first, Taylor is heading to North Carolina for the Chris Paul CP3 Elite Camp from June 10-12.

According to the camp website, the CP3 Elite Camp is "an invitation-only camp for the top high school and collegiate point guards from North Carolina and across the country."

"The camp should be a cool experience," Taylor said. "Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the game and I'm sure I can learn a lot from him. Plus, it will be a good chance to play against some other great guards."

Even though the camp is advertised as a point guard instructional, that doesn't mean combo guards aren't invited. This year, Taylor will be joined at the CP3 Camp by Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall (UNC), Brandon Triche and Scoop Jardine (Syracuse), Kenny Boynton (Florida), Seth Curry (Duke), Marcus Denmon (Missouri), Peyton Siva (Louisville), Will Barton (Memphis) and Andre Dawkins (Duke) among others.

Badgers and Beavers scheduled for 11 a.m. kickoff

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In just the second meeting all-time between the two schools, Wisconsin will host Oregon State at 11 a.m. (CT) on Sept. 10 at Camp Randall Stadium, it was announced on Tuesday.

The game will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2.

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Wisconsin and Oregon State have met only once prior, with UW coming away with a 23-20 victory on Oct. 14, 1961 in Madison.

The Beavers, who went 5-7 last season, including a 4-5 mark in the Pac-10, are led by junior quarterback Ryan Katz (2,401 yards and 17 TDs). Senior wide receiver James Rodgers also returns for Oregon State and enters the season with the second-most all-purpose yards for active players in the FBS with an OSU record 5,784.

The match-up will mark the third time in the last five seasons that the Badgers have faced an opponent from the Pac-10. Wisconsin beat Arizona State, 20-19, last season and opened the 2007 season with a 42-21 victory over Washington State.

Six of the Badgers' 12 games in 2011 now have kickoff times.

View the full schedule here.

Bruesewitz chomping at the bit

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For a UW student athlete, the sports calendar is nearly a 12-month commitment. With extra classes and workouts filling most of the summer, it's rare that guys like Mike Bruesewitz are ever off campus.

However, since the school year ended in mid-May, Bruesewitz and his teammates have been scattered to their hometowns and beyond. Most use the time to recharge their batteries and work out with friends and former high school teammates.

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The clock is ticking for their return to Madison as summer classes and workouts resume on Monday, June 13.

For Bruesewitz, that's not soon enough.

"I'm pretty anxious to get back to Madison," Bruesewitz said this week from his home in the St. Paul, Minn. area. "It will be nice to have a gym open any time we need it and not have to drive 30 minutes to work out like I'm doing now."

Since emerging as a media darling during the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Bruesewitz has backed off the workouts a bit to let his knee recover. You'll remember that the soon-to-be junior averaged 8.7 points and 6.3 rebounds off the bench during the tournament, but did so on a sprained knee, which he suffered during the Big Ten tournament.

Just recently Bruesewitz has ramped up the training again and has admitted that it's been a lot of work.

"After sitting out the last two months, it's been a struggle to get going again," he admitted. "My knee is completely fine, but my body just isn't used to the workouts yet. There is plenty of motivation for me and for our team, so we're all excited to get back to Madison and get going again."

ON WISCONSIN