Basketball is a simple game when your starting guards average 14 assists to just three turnovers per game.
After an impressive opener in which seniors Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon tallied 13 assists and four turnovers, the backcourt duo one-upped themselves Wednesday night.
Bohannon scored 14 points to go along with six assists, four steals and just two turnovers. But it was Hughes who really stole the show.
The 6-foot guard from Queens, N.Y., controlled the game for the Badgers, putting up nine points while dishing out nine assists and recording 10 steals. More importantly, though, Hughes did not turn the ball over against UW-Superior.
“He proved why he’s one of the better point guards in the nation,” UW-Superior head coach Logan Flora said. “He was very good; he locked up our point guard who I feel has held his own against Division I players in the past.”
One reason for Hughes’ and Bohannon’s play has been relentless effort from start to finish in each of the Badgers’ first two games. If you ask head coach Bo Ryan, he would tell you that’s the only way to play the game.
According to Hughes, though, it has a lot to do with the makeup of this year’s team as well.
With the ability of the Badgers to score from deep and in the paint, Hughes and Bohannon have found a lot of open targets to the feed the ball to, both inside and outside.
“Just having shooters on the court with me to open up the court when I get to the lane makes things a whole lot easier,” Hughes said. “And their guys on the wing have to help and collapse because there’s no easy buckets, so I just kick it out and I get most of my assists from there in the transition game this year.”
According to junior forward Jon Leuer, the Badgers have put a lot of emphasis on pushing the ball in transition during the offseason, something that was not necessarily one of their strong points a year ago.
“That’s definitely something that’s going to be one of our strengths this year,” Leuer said. “That’s one of the things we’re trying to focus on is just trying to beat your man down the court, because you can obviously get easy points that way.”
Badgers sign three for 2010 class
Before Wisconsin took the court Wednesday night, the Badgers announced the addition of three players to their 2010 recruiting class: Evan Anderson, Josh Gasser and Duje Dukan.
When asked about the three following the Badgers’ victory over UW-Superior, Ryan admitted he was excited about the signing.
“We’re ecstatic,” he said. “They’re basketball players.”
Anderson, a 6-foot-11-inch, 240-pound center from Eau Claire, Wis., is a big guy who Ryan said is better moving his feet now than he was when they began recruiting him two years ago.
Despite an injury-shortened junior season, Anderson earned all-state honorable mention honors from the Associated Press after averaging eight points and six rebounds per game.
As a sophomore, he was named to the second-team All-Cloverbelt Conference and as a freshman, Anderson set the school single-season record at Stanley-Boyd High School with 98 blocks.
“He was hedging screens this summer in Vegas,” Ryan said. “I was so happy that he got healthy.”
Gasser, a 6-foot-4-inch, 190-pound guard from Port Washington, Wis., is another guy who Ryan has seen a lot of improvement in over his three years at Port Washington High School.
He averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds and three assists per game last season as a junior, en route to being named conference MVP.
According to Ryan, Gasser is an excellent all-around player, as evidenced by the fact he already is Port Washington’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder after just three years.
“Josh can see the floor, he can shoot it, he can put it on the floor and he can defend,” Ryan said. “And he’s just one of those guys that just plays. He wasn’t looking to find out where he was ranked. … He’s just (thinking), ‘Hey, I want to be a Badger.’ ‘OK, Josh, let’s go.”
Finally, Dukan, a 6-foot-8-inch, 190-pound forward from Deerfield, Ill., is the son of Ivica Dukan, who played professional basketball in Europe for 15 years and is the current director of international scouting for the Chicago Bulls.
Dukan averaged 16 points and eight rebounds per game last season, earning All-Central Suburban League honors. He also is a player Ryan has high hopes for when he joins UW.
“The sky could be the limit for him,” Ryan said. “He plays basketball against some of the best players around every summer. … He’s been exposed to a lot of things basketball-wise.”