Wisconsin point guard expects to return from foot injury Thursday night

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LOS ANGELES — No. 1 Wisconsin’s 67-62 loss at Rutgers in mid-January was a notable result for multiple reasons. First, there was the matter that the Scarlet Knights didn’t win a single conference game from that point forward. Also of note from that Sunday night in New Jersey was the fact that Bo Ryan’s team was hit hard by the injury bug.

Frank Kaminsky was sidelined due to a concussion, and senior point guard Traevon Jackson broke a bone in his right foot in the second half due to an awkward landing after challenging a shot. Jackson hasn’t played since that game, and on Wednesday he stated that he’s going to return to the court Thursday night when the Badgers take on No. 4 North Carolina in Los Angeles.

“I’m sure there will be some nerves,” Jackson said. “Other than that, it should be fine. I’ve been playing this game for too long to have nervousness on the court. It’s a joy to be back on the court.”

Since Jackson went down with the injury sophomore point guard Bronson Koenig’s moved into the starting role and has played well for the Badgers. In the 19 games Wisconsin’s played since Jackson injured his foot (team record: 18-1), Koenig’s averaged 12.0 points, 2.6 assists and 1.2 turnovers per contest. With Wisconsin having multiple players capable of setting up teammates within their offense via the pass, the assists tend to be spread out rather evenly.

Jackson averages a team-high 2.9 assists per game, with three other players (Koenig, Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes) averaging at least 2.1 per contest. The question ahead of Thursday’s contest is just how much Jackson will play, and whether or not it will be as a starter or reserve.

Jackson did participate in the team’s open practice, but head coach Bo Ryan said it remains to be seen what his senior guard would be capable of in a full contact situation before knowing how much he’ll play. And he didn’t sound too worried about Jackson either.

“We’ll see what he gets in today, but you don’t see me agonizing over it,” Ryan said during his press conference. “But if he’s physically capable of being on the court, he deserves some time because I’m going to reward him for working so hard in the rehab and getting back because he deserves it.

“Now how many possessions or how many trips up and down the court, that remains to be seen. But no one is agonizing about it over here.”

Wisconsin senior point guard cleared to play, may return to practice next week

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CHICAGO — Wisconsin senior guard Traevon Jackson has been cleared to play and could return to practice on Monday, he told NBCSports.com on Friday.

The 6-foot-2 guard has been out since Jan. 12 with a fractured right foot, which Jackson suffered during the Badgers’ Big Ten loss to Rutgers.

“I’m going to practice on Monday unless I decide not to,” Jackson told NBCSports.com “The only reason I wouldn’t is if things are bothering me. We’ll see. It’s a daily type of thing.”

Jackson said he’s turned a corner in the last two weeks of his rehabilitation, as he’s been running and jumping with Wisconsin’s trainers trying to get back into shape. The point guard is also participating in pregame warmups with the team, but still isn’t ready for game action.

“In the last two weeks, it’s been great. We’ve been really amping it up, doing a lot more activity. A lot of running, a lot of jumping and stuff. Now it’s just about getting to 100 percent,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to be one of those guys that comes back and hobbles around. I want to be completely where I was at [before the injury].”

Although he’s improving from a physical standpoint, Jackson stressed that the mental part of the comeback will also play a factor in when he returns.

“Physically I’m about 90 percent. I definitely have a ways to go on some things. I feel good mentally. I just want to make sure everything with my body feels good,” Jackson said. “Making sure the bones and the ligaments around my foot are strong. With so much cutting as a guard, you have to make sure that’s strong enough.”

The starting point guard on last season’s Final Four team, Jackson has seen sophomore Bronson Koenig fill in admirably for him in his absence. Wisconsin has only lost one time since Jackson injured his foot and the senior is okay with whatever role is asked of him if he returns.

“If I came back, I wouldn’t see a reason to shuffle things up with the way we’ve been playing,” Jackson said. “I’ll just try to come back and help the team as much as possible and help the team win.”

Wisconsin guard Traevon Jackson still hasn’t been cleared for practice

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Traevon Jackson has missed the last 11 games for No. 5 Wisconsin.

On Sunday, the Badgers host Michigan State, in what will be the last game inside the Kohl Center for seniors Jackson, Frank Kaminsky and Duje Dukan. However, Jackson has yet to be cleared to practice, according to Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Jackson has been out since Jan. 12 with a fractured right foot, suffered in Wisconsin’s loss to Rutgers. With Jackson out of the lineup, sophomore guard Bronson Koenig has been inserted into the starting lineup, averaging 12.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game during that stretch. Jackson was posted averages of 9.4 points and 2.9 assists a night prior to his injury.

In his absence the Badgers are 10-1 with that lone loss coming this past Tuesday against No. 14 Maryland. The Badgers are currently projected as a No. 2 seed in College Basketball Talk‘s latest bracket.

Wisconsin point guard out six weeks with fractured foot

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source: AP

Wisconsin is expected to be without starting senior guard Traevon Jackson for likely the next six weeks as he has a fractured right foot. The school announced the injury in a release and said that Jackson will undergo surgery on Thursday.

The 6-foot-2 Jackson is playing 27.4 minutes a game this season and shooting 45 percent from the field. The senior is averaging 9.4 points, 2.9 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game and is a loss for the Badgers because of his steady play with the ball in his hands.

“I’m just trying to enjoy the process, learn from this and trust in Christ,” Jackson said in the release. “I know my teammates will come together and be stronger because of this. I’m looking forward to coming back mentally stronger than ever and more prepared to win championships and finish off the year and the seniors’ careers the right way.”

Without Jackson, Wisconsin will likely turn to sophomore point guard Bronson Koenig to start. Koenig is talented and can make plays with the ball in his hands, but he is far more prone to making bad decisions.

Either way, as long as Jackson is healthy for a postseason run, Wisconsin should be fine. The Badgers lost to Rutgers on Sunday, but they’ll likely get Frank Kaminsky back next game and be on the right track again.

No updates on injuries to Wisconsin starters Trae Jackson, Frank Kaminsky

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On Monday’s Big Ten conference call, Bo Ryan addressed the injuries that starters Trae Jackson and Frank Kaminsky are dealing with.

Jackson suffered an injury to his right foot or ankle in the second half of Sunday’s loss at Rutgers. He sat out the rest of the game. “It’s pretty severe,” Ryan said. “How severe, what’s next, we’re not sure.”

Ryan was also without an update on Kaminsky, his all-american center. Kaminsky suffered a concussion and sat out the loss to Rutgers.

Jackson is Wisconsin’s point guard, averaging 9.2 points and 2.9 assists, while Kaminsky is posting 16.9 points and 8.2 boards. The Badgers lost 67-62 to Rutgers, who are one of the worst teams in this year’s Big 10.

Wisconsin wins 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis with 69-56 win over Oklahoma

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Wisconsin, ranked No. 2 in the country, captured the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis title, pulling away in the second half from Oklahoma en route to a 69-56 victory.

Two early fouls saddled Frank Kaminsky on the bench for the majority of the first half. The absence of their 7-foot All American didn’t stop the Badgers from heading into the locker room with a 34-33 halftime lead. With its starting five back on the floor to start the second, Wisconsin went on a 20-6 run to open up a double-digit lead. The Sooners would cut the lead to single digits, but never got it closer than nine.

Friday night’s Battle 4 Atlantis championship win shows just how difficult it is to beat an experienced, fundamentally-sound team like Wisconsin, which returns four starters from the Final Four team this season. Think about this for a second: Oklahoma is a trendy, darkhorse Final Four pick entering the season given the returners led by Buddy Hield and the addition of Houston transfer TaShawn Thomas. And, Wisconsin was without its star player for most of the first half, managed to keep the lead into halftime, and then quickly got out to a double-digit lead, which it almost held for the entire second half.

Foul trouble. Players struggling from the field. Those issues occurred during this three-game trip, and Wisconsin was able to respond with contributions from other players in Bo Ryan’s seven-man rotation. On Thursday, Wisconsin staved off Georgetown, 68-65, thanks in large part to the contributions of key reserves Bronson Koenig and Duje Dukan. With Kaminsky out with two fouls, Dukan against stepped up with 11 points in the first half with Traevon Jackson scoring seven points and dishing five assists.

Jackson led the ball movement with eight assists, tying a career high. Wisconsin assisted on 12 of 14 field goals in the first half and 19 of 27 for the game led by Jackson who tied a career-high with eight assists.

The unselfish passing led to another balanced scoring effort with five Badgers in double figures. Kaminsky scored 14 of his game-high 17 after halftime. That was followed by Jackson and Dukan with 13 points apiece, Sam Dekker with 11 and Nigel Hayes added 10.

Defensively, Wisconsin forced 21 turnovers, but more importantly limited Hield, the native of the Bahamas, to 2-of-11 shooting for nine points.

The Sooners have Missouri next Friday at home. Wisconsin’s non-conference schedule doesn’t get any easier after it left the loaded field unbeaten, as the Badges host No. 4 Duke and Jahlil Okafor in the marquee game of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m. EST.