Badgers hit court after Sunday scare

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoAfter struggling to beat Long Beach State Sunday afternoon, the No. 25 men’s basketball team will return to action tonight against SIU-Edwardsville at the Kohl Center.The Badgers were able to knock off the 49ers 68-61 in a game where senior forward Marcus Landry led the team with 23 points, including a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left the secure the game. Landry also came up with a big block to keep Long Beach State off the board at the end of the game.“He was the help guy on that [play], and he did a great job,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “His hands are big enough he could have grabbed that ball out of the air on that one.”Landry was also a contributor in the post. The Badgers were able to limit the 49ers to only 12 points in the paint and four second-chance points, giving them an edge in transition defense as well.“We needed [Landry] because he was the post presence and we were struggling,” Ryan said. “We were going a little bit with some of our other guys inside, and Marcus was the guy who delivered in the paint. That didn’t come easy. Long Beach [State] definitely had a plan of what they wanted to do, where they didn’t want the ball to go, and I just think that Marcus was the guy that, from his experience, figured some things out before anybody else did.”Sunday’s game will present new challenges to the Badgers. The Cougars are beginning their first season as a transition team into Division I. They just recorded their first D-I win against Western Michigan 83-72 in the Charleston Classic. As part of their transition, they will play 15 games against other D-I schools and eight against other teams in transition from lower divisions.Although still a young team, the Cougars are led by freshman forward Mark Yelovich. So far this season, Yelovich is averaging a team-high 15.3 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game. Against Western Michigan, Yelovich had 10 points and five rebounds in 33 minutes.On the Badgers’ side of the ball, they are going to look to even out the point distribution and rather than relying on Landry to carry them through the game. Against Long Beach State, there was a major drop-off between Landry’s 23 points to Jason Bohannon’s 12, which was the team’s second-highest point total.Wisconsin will increasingly look to their point guards, especially freshman Jordan Taylor, to help run the offense. Jordan played 15 minutes on Sunday, while accumulating four rebounds and two assists.“Jordan’s just a bulldog,” Landry said. “As a freshman, he’s coming in here and he’s able to contribute right away, and he’s a really smart freshman. He’s able to make plays and do the right thing. That’s why he’s on the floor and that’s why Coach likes him a lot.”Although it is early in the season, the Badgers still have a lot of work to do. Until they are able to spread the ball around, they might have to rely on their senior leaders, like Landry and forward Joe Krabbenhoft, to carry them through the first few games.“It’s a different story out there without Marcus playing the way he did today,” Krabbenhoft said. “I think everyone knows that. He was huge; getting the ball to the post is an easy job, and then he did all the work. I told him at halftime that I was just going to throw it in there, and you go get it and go to work.”last_img

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