Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW hosts high-scoring MSU

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When Tim Jarmusz came off the bench for the final three minutes of Wisconsin?s 79-32 blowout of Savannah State Nov. 15, it shocked many who thought the freshman from Oshkosh would take a redshirt year to acclimate to the college game.

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan, who allows all his players to make such decisions at their own discretion, stood by the move, saying Jarmusz believed he would be ready to contribute this season.


It took a while, but it looks as if Jarmusz was right.

After playing only sparingly and only after the outcome of the game had been determined for the first two-thirds of the season, the freshman came off the bench for 13 solid minutes a week ago in Wisconsin?s 71-57 win over Illinois. The next game, a 58-53 victory at Ohio State, it was 12 meaningful minutes and three points for Jarmusz.

?This isn?t an all-of-a-sudden thing where I reached in a hat and pulled out a rabbit that had Tim?s name on it,? Ryan said. ?It?s been building.?

?He does a lot of good things in practice day-in and day-out,? guard Jason Bohannon said. ?That shows by his playing time increasing the last couple of games.?

Jarmusz has looked best on the defensive end where he has gotten his hands on several passes and played solid positional defense.

?It?s given guys a couple minutes? rest, and the play out on the court doesn?t drop off at all when he?s out there,? Krabbenhoft said. ?It even goes up at times, especially on the defensive end.?

Given that, it wouldn?t be much of a surprise at all if Jarmusz sees more action tonight, when Wisconsin hosts 19th-ranked Michigan State.

The Spartans enter the game as one of the Big Ten?s highest-scoring teams, averaging nearly 73 points per game on the season, second only to Indiana.

Not only does Michigan State score a lot, it is efficient in doing so. No one in the conference boasts a better shooting percentage from the field than MSU?s 48.7 mark, one of the main reasons the Spartans convert at a rate of 1.16 points per possession.

Drawing most of the attention ? especially that of Wisconsin stopper Michael Flowers ? will be Drew Neitzel, both the media and coaches? selection as preseason conference Player of the Year. Neitzel, who burned the Badgers a year ago in a game that knocked UW from its national No. 1 perch, has seen his scoring decrease this season but is still an incredibly dangerous offensive threat.

?He?s as tough as it gets,? UW assistant coach Gary Close said. ?They do a good job of getting the ball where he can score. They do a great job of screening. He?s very fast and can get the ball out very quickly.

?You can?t give him much time, or he?ll bury us as we found out last year in the game there.?

Defending the Spartan senior will require a full defensive effort, with the other four players on the court helping Neitzel?s cover by hedging on screens and forcing difficult passes.

?They set so many screens that Michael or [Trevon Hughes] are going to be going over those, and they?ve got to get some help,? Close said. ?There?s no way they?re going to get clean through those with as many as they set.?

Unlike last season, when Neitzel was nearly a one-man offensive attack, the Spartans are more diversified this year.

Sophomore forward Raymar Morgan has emerged as MSU?s leading scorer ? averaging 15.2 points per game ? and has turned heads with all-around play that combines a mid-range game, an ability to slash to the hoop and bang with big bodies under the basket.

?There?s a lot of those type of guys in this league, and Raymar Morgan?s probably the best of them,? UW forward Joe Krabbenhoft said. ?Inside, outside, rebounding, defensively. He brings a lot of energy, so he?s just a great player overall.?

It will be Krabbenhoft who draws the initial assignment of marking Morgan, a job the Wisconsin junior knows will be a tall task.

?I?m going to go out there and try to hold him to as few points as possible,? Krabbenhoft said. ?I don?t know how that?s going to work out.?

If it works out well for Krabbenhoft and the Badgers, UW will be just two wins away from claiming a share of the Big Ten Championship.

?We?re just focusing on Michigan State right now, just trying to take it one game at a time,? Bohannon said.

And although the sophomore continued to insist the team is only thinking about tonight?s 8 p.m. tip-off, his fox-in-the-chicken-coop smile betrayed thoughts of something greater.

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