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Scanning the national buzz from Wisconsin's win

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The Kohl Center - and particularly Jordan Taylor - was the center of the college basketball universe on Saturday after Wisconsin's 71-67 win over No. 1 Ohio State. Here is a sampling of some of the praise being heaped on Badger basketball:

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4516977_sm.jpgAndy Katz of ESPN: (Taylor) proved that he is not only a top-10 point guard, but the best in the Big Ten and a serious contender for Big Ten Player of the Year, along with Ohio State's Jared Sullinger and Purdue's JaJuan Johnson.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on Twitter: "Bo Ryan is the best coach in college basketball. Doesn't get enough credit for the job he does every year. Watch out for the badgers n march"

Pat Forde of ESPN: "Taylor went on a binge that might be the most impressive 13 minutes of basketball by any college player this season."

Bo Ryan: "What he did there, if people don't take that and frame it, for a one-game performance ... He's a pretty good player all through the season, but what he did right there, I don't know if there are too many players in the country that have ever done that. Not just this year, but at any time, against the No. 1 team in the country."

Gary Parrish of CBS: "It's disappointing that there can't be a revote next week on that silly Cousy Award so Taylor can be one of the 10 finalists for an honor that he would otherwise now arguably be the favorite to win."

Gary Parrish of CBS: "I'm not dropping Ohio State even after Saturday's 71-67 loss at Wisconsin because, I mean, who wouldn't -- and doesn't -- lose at Wisconsin? If we're gonna start punishing teams for that, we might as well start punishing teams for wearing baggy shorts. Or chest-bumping. Or doing all the things all college teams do -- like lose at Wisconsin."

Jordan Taylor on the court storming: "It was unbelievable. I was at a loss for words and it's something we'll never forget. I would say it's a once-in-a-career type of thing, but we had the same thing last year against Duke. We're just blessed to be here at Wisconsin, at a great program like this and playing for Coach Ryan."

Jared Sullinger of Ohio State: ""We've never faced somebody like Jordan Taylor. He's a big, physical guard who can shoot, who can move the ball, who can do whatever you want to help your team win. He's a great basketball player."

"It was so loud (during the Badgers' game-changing run in the second half) that we couldn't hear on some of the ball screens. I think that's the deal with not really playing in an atmosphere like this (before). Me and Craft were kind of lost on a couple of ball screens they scored on (because) we couldn't hear each other."

Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated: "The biggest national story may have been that college basketball no longer has an undefeated team. Here, though, it was all about Taylor, who had offered proof: that he could pull off the most monumental of comebacks, that he could play near-perfectly against the country's last perfect team, and that in the fraternity of not just D-I point guards but the best D-I point guards, he certainly belongs."

Greg Anthony of CBS: "Jon Leuer has been an absolute phenomenon for this basketball team, but how about the surprising season that Jordan Taylor has had. He's been as improved a player year to year as any player in America."

Thad Matta of Ohio State: "They had to play for that stretch damn-near perfect to get us and they did."

Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News: "That is the entire point of Wisconsin basketball. It is not about playing slowly, but about playing correctly. In an ordinary game, if it takes 34 seconds to get a great shot, fine, so long as it doesn't take 36."

Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News: "He is one of those exceptional point guards who can make the game move at whatever pace he wishes, so strong is his control. Derrick Rose can do that. Chris Paul can. When he's got two good feet, certainly Duke's Kyrie Irving fits that description. Taylor comes in a smaller package -- listed at 6-1, perhaps generously so -- which is why he is not one of those guys being hunted down by agents' runners.
The game he played Saturday, though, might change a few minds."

Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News: "Wisconsin's defense throughout was superb, particularly against freshman star Jared Sullinger. His ability to dictate the game from the post was countermanded by the determined defense of Badgers senior Keaton Nankivil. One at a time, Nankivil, forward Jon Leuer and backup Jared Berggren fought to stay in front of Sullinger, and whatever weak-side defender was available cheated in behind him to discourage passes thrown over the top."

Benjamin Worgull of FoxSports.com: But while Wisconsin took its licks from Sullinger (19 points, 12 rebounds), Ohio State and Aaron Craft, the Buckeyes' best defensive weapon, simply couldn't not defend what Sullinger called the "undefendable."

Steve Megargee of Rivals.com/Yahoo: "If Taylor, a 6-foot-1 junior, wants to make his case that he's one of the nation's best players at his position, all he has to do is show someone a tape of his Saturday afternoon performance."

Dave Revsine of Big Ten Network: "In the half hour or so after the game, among the top 10 trending topics worldwide on Twitter was the name Jordan Taylor. What do you think of that?"

Jordan Taylor: "I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't think that was pretty cool."

Jordan Taylor spotlighted on tonight's BTN The Journey

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Think you know Wisconsin junior point guard Jordan Taylor? You've never seen him like this. Experience a day in his shoes on the latest episode of the Big Ten Network's "The Journey."

Taylor_Journey.jpgThe fourth episode of "The Journey" continues tonight, Sunday, at 7 p.m. (CT), immediately following the Indiana at Michigan State game. The award-winning, documentary-style program takes viewers deep inside Big Ten basketball programs, spending consecutive days with different Big Ten teams on a rotating basis during the 10-week march toward the Big Ten Tournament.

This week, the network features a "day in the life" of Jordan Taylor. Camera crews follow the engaging point guard from class, to lunch and to a workout with his teammates. See a side of Taylor that only his friends and teammates know.



New in 2011, fans of the show are invited to experience "The Journey" on Twitter (@BTNJourney) to get daily updates and bonus content from show producers and editors.

If you miss any episodes of "The Journey," check your cable or satellite system's On Demand channel for full episodes, or visit BigTenNetwork.com/Journey to watch clips from previous shows.

This Saturday at Penn State, Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin coaching staff will take part in Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend. The Badgers coaches and staff, along with basketball coaches nationwide, will wear sneakers with their suits to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Basketball fans are encouraged to also wear sneakers to games that weekend to show their support.

070210MBB-9063-Ryan.jpgCoaches vs. Cancer is a collaborative initiative of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers coaches, their teams and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

"Coaches vs. Cancer is a cause that is dear to my heart because each and every one of us has had our lives affected by this horrible disease," Ryan said. "Every dollar we can raise to aid cancer research, education and advocacy brings us one step closer to finding a cure and saving countless lives.

"One of my mottos in life has always been 'Next.' As in looking toward what the next challenge and obstacle is, rather than dwelling on the past. It is my hope, along with all of the coaches who get involved with this great cause, that our 'Next' in the fight against cancer will be survivorship."

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Join Coach Bo Ryan in the fight against cancer. Buy a Coaches vs. Cancer t-shirt to show your support at www.fightcancertogether.com. Visit www.coachesvscancerwisconsin.org for more information! Join in the fight today!
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By lacing up sneakers with their suits on the event's seventh annual awareness weekend, college and high school basketball coaches across the country will spotlight the fact that while cancer remains a major health concern, everyone can take daily steps to reduce their risk of the disease. For those who do not smoke, weight control, exercise and a healthy diet are the best ways to improve health and reduce cancer risk. In the U.S., overweight and obesity contribute to 14-to-20 percent of all cancer-related deaths.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of college and high school coaches and fans throughout the nation, Coaches vs. Cancer participants have raised more than $60 million since 1993 to help the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking cancer research, provide up-to-date cancer information and education, advocate for public health policies that benefit communities, and deliver services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Gasser reacts to UW's first triple-double

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Sunday's, 78-46, win over Northwestern was a day of historical significance for Wisconsin men's basketball program. Not only did the Badgers equal their most-lopsided Big Ten road win in school history, but UW freshman Josh Gasser notched the first triple-double in program history. Gasser finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Gasser was excited and humbled after the game.



Other notes about Gasser's achievement:

•    Gasser's triple-double is the first in the Big Ten this season and just the 11th among NCAA Div. I players. Gasser is the only freshman in the nation to have posted a triple-double this season.

•    Gasser becomes the first Big Ten freshman to record an official triple-double. Earvin "Magic" Johnson had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists in a 103-74 win on Dec. 21, 1977 at Detroit, but the NCAA did not recognize assists as an official statistical category until 1983-84.

•    Gasser became the first Big Ten player to record a triple-double since Ohio State's Evan Turner had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in an 84-64 win over Lipscomb on Nov. 24, 2009.

•    Gasser is also the first Big Ten player to reach that feat in a Big Ten conference game since Illinois' Sergio McClain had 10 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists vs. Michigan on Jan. 13, 2001.

•    Gasser posted the Big Ten's first triple-double in a road game since Northwestern's Evan Eschmeyer had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 81-78 loss to Indiana on Jan. 13, 1999.

•    Josh Gasser became the first freshman from a major conference to record a triple-double since Arkansas' Courtney Fortson did it in a home win against N.C. Central on Dec. 10, 2008. Fortson had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the Razorbacks' 98-70 home win.

•    Josh Gasser became the second Division I player to record a triple-double in a true road game this season. He joined Florida State's Chris Singleton, who had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals in a 97-73 win on Nov. 14 at North Carolina Greensboro.

Wisconsin featured on The Journey Sunday

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The Big Ten Network's critically acclaimed show 'The Journey' is back for season two and once again the Wisconsin's men's basketball team will be featured.

This week, the Journey continues Sunday at 7 p.m. (CT) and the show will spotlight Wisconsin senior Tim Jarmusz and his brother Adam, who serves as a platoon leader in the Army. Adam has been stationed in Afghanistan since February. While back on leave in December, Adam visited his brother in Madison and watched him compete for the Badgers against Coppin State.

Read more on Jarmusz's relationship with his brother.




Discovering Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Day one in Orlando for the Old Spice Classic. Lots of resting, reading (up on Manhattan), rehearsal and rides.

Wednesday, Nov. 25
9:00 a.m. ET -
Breakfast for the gang. Couple of bleary-eyed lads strolling into the Beach Club Convention Center for some fruit, eggs, pancakes, bacon and potatoes. Figuring that the players didn't get settled in until close to midnight and our body clocks think it's 8 a.m., it's not really a surprise.

9:30 a.m. - Noon ET - Free time. Activities varied from walking around the Disney Boardwalk outside of our hotel, to studying, to taking a dip in sand-bottomed pool and of course... more sleeping.

11:40 a.m. ET - While on a walk, Coach Ryan discovers there is a big waterslide at our hotel.

11:40:04 a.m. ET - Ryan hastily takes off his shirt, shoes and hat and takes the plunge on said slide.

12:30 p.m. ET - The Big Ten's best trainer Henry Perez-Guerra gets the players taped for practice. One-by-one they parade into Henry's room to get their ankles' taped. Much wise talk ensues... many of the world's problems are solved on that training table.

1:15 p.m. ET - Team bus rolls over to the Jostens Center for practice. Each team is allotted a two-hour practice window at this auxiliary gym next door to the HP Field House (formerly known as the Milkhouse) where games will be played.

1:30 p.m. ET - Practice begins with full-court passing drills. Same as every practice before it, and every one afterwards.

1:45 p.m. ET - Coach Ryan takes the Badger regulars and assistant Gary Close takes the scout team to do possessions against each other. The scout team will simulate Manhattan's system.

2:09 p.m. ET - Brett Valentyn continues his role of scout team marksman. He's been hot this year and has the green light on the scout team.

3:30 p.m. ET - Back to the hotel for a quick snack.

4:45 p.m. ET - Back to the Disney Wide World of Sports complex for the team's one-hour shoot-around in the HP Field House. Each team gets one hour to test the rims and get a feel for the new surroundings.

5:08 p.m. ET - Jon Leuer and Coach Ryan each do on-camera interviews with ESPN previewing the tournament and talking about all things Bucky. Coach Ryan opins that we were invited to this tournament because he uses Old Spice deodorant.

Our sources indicate that is coincidental.

6:05 p.m. ET - The giant Old Spice Classic decal at midcourt is bubbling and peeling up quite a bit. Coach Ryan secretly instructs freshman Ben Brust to trip and fall down over one of the big seams in the logo. Brust does his best acting job and draws laughs from his teammates. Hopefully the message was received by the Tourney and it will be fixed by tomorrow.

6:08 p.m. ET - Coach Ryan meets with the on-air talent from ESPN and ESPN 3D. They tell him that tomorrow's games will be the first-ever college basketball games done in 3D. Ryan mentions that he was also a part of Dick Vitale's first broadcast while an assistant coach at Wisconsin. He's can help be a part of history.

6:10 p.m. ET - Jordan Taylor goes on live with ESPN Radio Orlando. One of the hosts is a UW alum, so the chemistry is immediate. They talk everything from Old Spice Classic, to Badger hoops, to NFL football (Taylor is a die-hard Vikings fan), to NBA basketball (the Magic are hosting the Heat in town tonight).

6:20 p.m. ET - Bus heads back to the hotel where the team will have just enough to rest for a few minutes and get ready for the evening's reception.

8:25 p.m. ET - Team bus leaves for the Old Spice Classic welcoming reception at Disney's Hollywood Studios. They closed the park down for the teams and their families to have dinner and enjoy the theme park after hours.

8:50 p.m. ET - Thanksgiving feast! Sitting on the set for Disney's Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, the teams enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings: carved turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, dressing, yams, you name it. Not quite mom's home cooking, but the pilgrims would have been proud.

9:18 p.m. ET - Teams head to the front of the stage to take team photos with Disney's most famous resident... Mickey Mouse.

9:21 p.m. ET - Players box each other out as the desert rolls in. Giant cupcakes and pumpkin pie are the hot commodities.

9:30 p.m. ET - The teams and staffs are turned loose inside Hollywood Studios. That means no lines for Tower of Terror and Aerosmith's Rock and Roll Rollercoaster.

Go on the ride, nearly lose the Thanksgiving feast, jump the line and do it again.

A few highlights: 1.) the photos taken on the rides showing various stages of terror and glee.
The sheer terror in Wquinton Smith's eyes is priceless. 2.) The Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. 3.) Watching 6-foot-10 guys fold themselves into a roller coaster seat designed probably for a 6-footer. 4.) Seeing Coach Ryan free-fall 12 stories on the Tower of Terror. 5.) The Mickey Mouse ice cream bars

10:57 p.m. ET - Bus heads back to the hotel... game is about 15 hours away.

Operation Orlando: Badgers arrive at Old Spice

ORLANDO, Fla. - Ten years into his coaching regime at Wisconsin, you could understand if Bo Ryan is experiencing a little déjà vu.

Ryan's first road trip as the head coach of the Badgers in November of 2001 took him to UNLV for a difficult road loss and then straight out to Hawaii for a three-game holiday tournament.

Fast forward 10 seasons to November of 2010 and Ryan is hoping that his team is painting with the same brush. Just days after a bitter 68-65 loss at UNLV, Wisconsin was on a new court preparing for a three-game holiday tournament - the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

The 2001-02 team went 1-3 on its opening road swing and started the season 1-4 before rallying to win one of Ryan's three Big Ten regular season championships.

The Badgers are hoping that this year, the Magical Kingdom will provide a similar prophecy.

The trip began in Madison, where UW practiced at the Kohl Center Tuesday before catching a flight to Disney World.

Tuesday, Nov. 24
9:45 p.m. ET -
Touchdown Orlando International Airport. The airplane may not have been Bono's, but it was still a charter with oversized leather seats and a meal. Most importantly... it landed safely.

9:51 p.m. ET - First whiff of that warm, humid Florida air. The temperature in Madison was hovering around 35 degrees when we left. Here, it's about 74 degrees.

10:32 p.m. ET - Our date with Mickey Mouse begins as the team bus pulls up to the Disney World grounds. Sign greeting the people to the Old Spice Classic.

10:32:04 p.m. ET - First "I'm on a horse" joke.

10:37 p.m. ET - Club. It's dark, but looks nice. Big, sprawling and sandy.

10:51 p.m. ET - Bed time snack. Menu items include: salad, pizza, French dip sandwiches, ice cream sundae bar and some of the sweetest pecan pie you can imagine.

11:30 p.m. ET - Bed time... but who's kidding? Have you seen that Disney commercial where the little boy is restless in bed because he knows he's going to Disney World the next day? He turns to his parents and says, "I'm too excited the sleep." That's probably happening in rooms all over this hotel right now.

Badgers touch down in Vegas

Las Vegas trip photo gallery

Thumbnail image for Plane_LasVegas.jpgTaking in the first road trip of the season, the Wisconsin men's basketball team touched down at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas Friday afternoon. The Badgers will take on UNLV Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT).

The trip started on a high note as the Badgers were surprised to find out they would be flying on the plane used for U2's 360 Tour. A back injury to lead singer Bono has forced a postponement in the tour, making the plane available.

That meant extra leg room and comfort. Something UW's big men certainly appreciated.

After a 3.5-hour flight, UW held a two-hour practice at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV. Then it's back to the hotel for dinner and rest.

No trips to the Vegas Strip tonight... it's strictly a business trip for these guys.

Badgers touch down in Vegas

Las Vegas trip photo gallery

Plane_LasVegas.jpgTaking in the first road trip of the season, the Wisconsin men's basketball team touched down at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas Friday afternoon. The Badgers will take on UNLV Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT).

The trip started on a high note as the Badgers were surprised to find out they would be flying on the plane used for U2's 360 Tour. A back injury to lead singer Bono has forced a postponement in the tour, making the plane available.

That meant extra leg room and comfort. Something UW's big men certainly appreciated.

After a 3.5-hour flight, UW held a two-hour practice at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV. Then it's back to the hotel for dinner and rest.

No trips to the Vegas Strip tonight... it's strictly a business trip for these guys.

Men's hoops starts its 2010-11 climb

IMG_9785_sm.jpgThe 2010-11 school year has begun on the campus of UW-Madison, and with it, some action within the Badger basketball program. With workouts, The Hill and vacancies on the staff, it's been an eventful start.

Tuesday marked the first day of individual workouts for the players. NCAA rules allow for the student athletes to work with coaches on fundamentals in small groups. When I stopped by the Nicholas-Johnson Pavilion to see how things were going, senior Jon Leuer, sophomore Mike Bruesewitz and freshmen Duje Dukan and Josh Gasser were working on taking one dribble into a 10-foot jumper while assistant coach Gary Close whacked them across the arm and chest with a large foam club.

From what I saw, Leuer looked smooth (as always) and brushed off the "contact" from Close like a fly at a BBQ... shoo. Bruesewitz was still sporting the giant, red curly hair-do and the two freshmen were just trying not to screw up. Ah, the first day of school.

IMG_9780_sm.jpgAnother first this week was the inaugural running of The Hill for 2010 on Thursday. All 17 players ran eight repetitions up and down the Elver Park hill setting an impressive pace for this early in the season. The four freshmen (including 6-10 Evan Anderson and his size 20-something feet) seemed unfazed by the steep workout.

First day at The Hill photo gallery

I asked one of the newcomers, Ben Brust, how it went and he said, "Not too bad, but I came out over the summer and ran six reps just to test it out." Savvy freshmen this year, apparently.

Finally, Bo Ryan and his staff have been busy trying to replace a few valuable figures on the Badger bench. Assistant coach Howard Moore has moved on to be the head coach at Illinois-Chicago and Ryan could be close to hiring his replacement.

Wisconsin video coordinator Matt Ryan followed Moore to UIC to serve as the Director of Basketball Operations. Lastly, the Badgers' Director of Basketball Operations, Joe Robinson, moved on to explore different opportunities within the sporting world.

That's three integral pieces of a bench staff that consists of only six members to begin with. The potential influence of new blood is exciting, but the three newcomers will have big shoes to fill. Evan Anderson-sized shoes.
ON WISCONSIN