Wisconsin Badgers

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 12.17.07 PM

Report: CBE Hall of Fame Classic headliners set

Leave a comment

The headliners for the 2017 CBE Hall of Fame Classic have been set.

UCLA, Baylor, Wisconsin and Creighton will highlight the bill for the annual event in Kansas City, according to a report from CBS Sports.

The CBE Hall of Fame Classic historically has included on-campus games and a flagship four-team championship round at the Sprint Center. This year’s headliners include Kansas, Georgia, George Washington and UAB.

Certainly securing four high-majors is a significant get for the event, which will also likely coincide with the induction of the 2017 class of the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The 2016 class is highlighted by Mark Aguirre, Doug Collins, Dominique Wilson, Jamal Wilkes and Mike Montgomery.

Hayes returning to Wisconsin for senior season

Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes celebrates with fans after an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. Wisconsin won 67-59. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Leave a comment

Wisconsin has cemented itself as one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten for the 2016-17 season.

Forward Nigel Hayes, the Badgers’ leading scorer and assist man, is withdrawing his name from NBA Draft consideration to return to Madison for his senior season, he told the Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesday evening.

Hayes declared for the draft last month, but did not hire an agent, taking advantage of new NCAA legislation that allowed him to attend the NBA Draft combine and workout for pro franchises. He was largely regarded as a fringe first-round prospect by draft observers.

His decision is a major boon for Greg Gard, who may have the Big Ten’s best team in his first full season at the helm after taking over for Bo Ryan in the middle of last season. Wisconsin had a major turnaround under Gard, which ultimately resulted in him moving from interim to full time. The Badgers were 7-5 when Ryan stepped down, but recovered by going 13-4 to end the season and make the Sweet 16. 

Now, the entirety of that team, headlined by Hayes, is returning for another year and almost assuredly will be a top-15 (or better) preseason pick. Michigan State will welcome in a dynamite recruiting class that features five-stars Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston, and Indiana should remain strong, but the Badgers, with some players having the experience of  playing in two Final Fours, could very well have the best roster on paper with its blend of talent and experience. Whichever team is pegged as the favorite, the top of the Big Ten is shaping up to be a fantastic race.

Coach K comments on Bo Ryan’s sudden decision to retire

Associated Press
4 Comments

Duke and Wisconsin battled for the national championship last season and it was apparent how much respect there was between Mike Krzyzewski and Bo Ryan.

While Ryan started to mention thoughts on retirement this summer, it still caught many in the college basketball world by surprise, including Coach K.

[RELATED: Did Bo Ryan quit on his team?]

Krzyzewski commented on Ryan’s retirement during his show, “Basketball and Beyond” on SiriusXM. You can read text of what he said below.

“It’s a surprise when it happened.  It’s not a surprise that it did happen because Bo had said that this would be his last year and then was kind of going back and forth well maybe it wouldn’t be.  But once you say it is going to be your last year, man, that means you’ve been thinking about it for at least a little bit.  From what I understand there are no health issues.  That’s the very first thing I think about when something happens during the year, but he did not say that.  He was very positive and very complimentary about his administration – Barry Alvarez, the athletic director, one of the really esteemed people in college sports, and his president, and the whole University of Wisconsin community, the good people that would understand that the time has come.”

The move also caused Coach K to reflect on Ryan’s career a bit, including the recent back-to-back Wisconsin Final Four teams.

“The time that he spent there he’s really built Wisconsin to be one of the nation’s best programs.  Going to these two straight Final Fours the last two seasons and winning over 70 games in those two years.  Really established Wisconsin, and it had never been established really.  They had some success but Bo was able to give them sustained success.  I want to congratulate him on a great, great career.  He was also a Division III national championship coach.  He’s a lifer and someone who has always given good stuff to the game.  We’re going to miss him.”

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan announces retirement

5 Comments

During the offseason Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan announced that this would be his final season at the helm, only to go back on those comments shortly thereafter.

[RELATED: Bo didn’t quit on Wisconsin]

And after much uncertainty regarding Ryan’s future at Wisconsin, he announced following the team’s win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Tuesday night that he will retire effective immediately.

Associate head coach Greg Gard, who has been an assistant on Ryan’s staffs at three different stops since 1993 (Wisconsin-Platteville, Milwaukee and Wisconsin), will be interim head coach until season’s end. This move gives Gard the opportunity to essentially interview for the full-time position on the job, working with a team led by guard Bronson Koenig and forward Nigel Hayes.

[PODCAST: What were Ryan’s motives?]

“After months of conversation with (Wisconsin athletic director) Barry Alvarez and his administrative staff, as well as my wife, Kelly, I have decided that now is the right time to step down from the head coaching position here at Wisconsin,” Ryan said.

“This was a decision months in the making. I brought this up to Barry back in April. He advised me to take some time to think it over and I appreciated that. But in recent weeks, I have come to the conclusion that now is the right time for me to retire and for Greg Gard to have the opportunity to coach the team for the remainder of the season. I discussed this with Barry and I appreciate him giving me the space to make this decision.”

During the press conference both Ryan and Alvarez stated that the end of the semester was viewed as a good time to make the transition, with Tuesday’s game being the Badgers’ last before finals. Wisconsin now has a week before their next game, December 23 against Green Bay, and they’ll open Big Ten play December 29 against a Purdue team that has proven to be one of the nation’s best to this point in the season.

Ryan leaves Madison as the program’s all-time wins leader with 364 victories, and that is just one of his many accomplishments while at the helm.

In 14-plus seasons at Wisconsin, Ryan led the Badgers to two Final Fours, 14 NCAA tournament appearances and seven Big Ten titles. During Ryan’s tenure the Badgers never finished worse than fourth in the Big Ten in any season. Given their early struggles this season, having lost three home games already, and the strength of the Big Ten that streak was viewed to be in jeopardy.

The timing of the move gives Gard the opportunity to run the program in hopes of doing enough to have the interim tag removed. But there’s a lot of work to be done, and not just with regards to this current team. Wisconsin doesn’t have a commitment in the Class of 2016, and recruiting as an interim coach can be tough. The good news here is that the Badgers don’t have a scholarship senior on the roster, with six of their scholarship players being freshmen.

This makes the 2017 class that much more important, with guard Kobe King being their lone commitment at this time. Will it be Gard filling those scholarships, or will it be another coach? A lot of that depends upon the next four months, with Gard having the opportunity to show Alvarez that he’s the man for the job.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 3 Michigan State comes back, No. 7 Duke rolls

Brandon Ingram
Associated Press
3 Comments

GAME OF THE DAY: Butler 78, No. 24 Cincinnati 76

Roosevelt Jones’ basket with one tenth of a second remaining proved to be the difference in a very competitive game in Cincinnati. His game-winner followed up an Octavius Ellis three-point play with 4.7 seconds remaining that tied the score at 76. Kellen Dunham led the way for Butler with 24 points, while Ellis was one of two Bearcats to score 16 points.

Video of Jones’ game-winning basket can be seen here.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 3 Michigan State 71, No. 24 Louisville 67: Denzel Valentine scored 25 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out seven assists as the Spartans moved to 8-0 on the season. But another key for Michigan State was Bryn Forbes, who scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half. The Cardinals were disruptive defensively for most of the first half, and senior guard Damion Lee hit some big shots on the other end. In their first significant test of the season, Rick Pitino’s team looked good despite the final result.

This would be one of the Big Ten’s four Big Ten/ACC Challenge wins on Wednesday, meaning that they win the event by a final tally of eight wins to six.

Wisconsin 66, No. 14 Syracuse 58 (OT): If the Badgers find themselves on the bubble come March, their overtime win at the Carrier Dome could come in handy. Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes both posted double-doubles, with Happ going for 18 points and 15 rebounds and Hayes added 15 and 12. Michael Gbinije scored 19 points to lead the way for the Orange, who went cold and scored just five points in the extra session.

No. 7 Duke 94, Indiana 74: The Blue Devils were clicking on all cylinders offensively, which was to be expected against an Indiana team that has struggled on defense. Brandon Ingram scored 24 points and Matt Jones added 23, with Amile Jefferson accounting for eight points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Troy Williams led the Hoosiers with 17 points.

Our Rob Dauster was in Durham, and he wrote more on this game here.

STARRED

Ben Simmons, LSU: Simmons racked up 43 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, three blocks and just two turnovers in the Tigers’ 119-108 win over North Florida.

Kris Dunn, Providence: 16 points, ten rebounds and 14 assists in the Friars’ convincing win over Hartford. Dunn tallied 11 of those assists before the first half under-4 media timeout.

Pascal Siakam, New Mexico State: 23 points, 24 rebounds and five blocks in the Aggies’ 73-59 win over I-10 rival UTEP.

STRUGGLED

Indiana’s defense: The Hoosiers allowed No. 7 Duke to average a staggering 1.492 points per possession, losing 94-74.

Jaire Grayer, George Mason: Grayer shot -for-11 from the field in the Patriots’ 75-54 loss at Towson.

Cane Broome, Sacred Heart: One of the NEC’s best players had a tough night in the Pioneers’ loss at UConn, shooting 3-for-16 from the field and finishing with seven points and two assists.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Kyle Wiltjer scored 20 points in the first ten minutes of the game and was quiet from that point on, but others stepped forward in No. 13 Gonzaga’s 69-60 win at Washington State. Guards Silas Melson and Josh Perkins combined to score 28 points and grab 11 rebounds, and Domas Sabonis added nine points and 14 rebounds.
  • Wade Baldwin IV scored 20 points to lead No. 16 Vanderbilt to a 102-52 win over Detroit. The Commodores reached the 100-point mark for the first time since February 2012.
  • No. 18 Texas A&M moved to 7-1 on the season with a ten-point win over FGCU. Jalen Jones led the way with 22 points and seven rebounds.
  • Nic Moore scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half to lead No. 22 to a 75-70 win at TCU. Moore also accounted for three rebounds and six assists.
  • In addition to Kris Dunn’s triple-double, Ben Bentil scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds and Jalen Lindsey added 15, eight rebounds and three assists in No. 23 Providence’s 89-66 win over Hartford.

OTHER NOTABLE OUTCOMES

  • Tyler Harris led six Tigers in double figures with 21 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds as Auburn held on to win 81-78 at Coastal Carolina.
  • Tyler Cavanaugh and Joe McDonald scored 16 apiece as George Washington beat Seton Hall 72-64 in D.C. Khadeen Carrington led the Pirates with 21, but no other Seton Hall player scored in double figures.
  • Rodney Purvis scored 19 points and Daniel Hamilton racked up 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists as UConn rebounded from a slow start to beat Sacred Heart 82-49.
  • Ryan Rhoomes scored 26 as Fordham beat St. John’s 73-57, giving the Rams their first five-game win streak since the 2006-07 season. And their 5-1 start is the program’s best since 2001.
  • Shep Garner went off in Penn State’s 67-58 win at Boston College, scoring 30 on 10-for-16 shooting (8-for-12 3PT).
  • Jordan Price scored 37 points but it wasn’t enough for La Salle, which lost 84-80 to Hofstra in Philadelphia. Brian Bernardi led six Hofstra players in double figures with 22 points.
  • Morehead State won 60-46 at Saint Louis, a game they led 38-15 at the halftime break. The Billikens shot just 37.8 percent from the field.
  • Tulsa went on the road and beat Oklahoma State by ten (66-56) in Stillwater, with James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison combining to score 29 points.
  • Once again playing without forward Quinton Chievous, Hampton won 98-94 in double overtime at Northern Arizona. Reginald Johnson scored 36 points for the victorious Pirates.
  • Arizona State picked up a 79-77 win at Creighton, becoming the first team to beat the Bluejays in a game in which they scored 75 points or more at home. Creighton is now 89-1 all-time in such games.
  • Notre Dame became the eighth Division I program to win 1,800 games, as they beat Illinois 84-79 in Champaign.
  • A Peter Jok corner three gave Iowa the lead for good late in overtime as they beat Florida State 78-75. The Hawkeye victory means that the Big Ten wins the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and they’ve either won or tied each of the last seven Challenges.
  • Utah scored 51 first-half points and held on for a 83-75 win over rival BYU. Jakob Poeltl led the way for the Runnin’ Utes with 26 points and 13 rebounds, and BYU’s Nick Emery was ejected for a flagrant 2 foul committed on Utah’s Brandon Taylor.

NCAA ruling sidelines Wisconsin’s Van Vliet for 2015-16 season

Bo Ryan
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Tuesday evening it was announced by the Wisconsin basketball program that head coach Bo Ryan will have one less front court option to call upon this season.

The school’s appeal of an NCAA ruling that declared 6-foot-11 forward Andy Van Vliet ineligible for the 2015-16 season was denied by an NCAA appeals committee, meaning that the Belgian will not be allowed to play this season. Student-athletes have one year after graduation from high school (or expected graduation date) to enroll in college. According to the release, the fact that Van Vliet played amateur basketball within this window means that he not only loses a season of eligibility but has to sit as well.

Van Vliet didn’t get to play in Wisconsin’s exhibition game against Wisconsin-River Falls as a result of his eligibility situation but he did participate in their annual Red/White Scrimmage, accounting for eight points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Even with this disappointing news, the Badgers won’t lack for bodies in the front court as they look to account for the losses of Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker from last season’s front court rotation.

Nigel Hayes and Vitto Brown have been their most productive options through two games, with Ethan Happ, Khalil Iverson and Charlie Thomas averaging five rebounds per game apiece. Van Vliet’s presence would have given Wisconsin additional size in the post, especially with the 6-foot-9 Happ being the tallest member of their current rotation.