The good vibes just couldn't proceed uninterrupted, could they?
The severity is unknown, but Ryan Evans left Thursday's practice with a right knee injury. Evans was reportedly escorted off the court by trainer Henry Perez-Guerra during a portion of practice that was closed to media, though reporters were able to hear Evans scream from the adjacent hallway. Per a team spokesman, Evans is being evaluated and is day-to-day.
Wisconsin plays Purdue on Sunday for its last home game of the regular season, naturally making the game Senior Day. Of course, it would be a terrible end to Evans' Kohl Center tenure to spend the afternoon on the sideline. But from a basketball perspective, it would be especially stunning considering Evans has started 64 consecutive games, leads the Badgers in rebounding (7.6 per game) and is third in scoring (10.5 points per game). Wisconsin has also made a late charge for the Big Ten title, stringing together three consecutive wins while Indiana and Michigan have endured shocking losses of their own. At 11-4, the Badgers stand one game behind the Hoosiers.
In Evans' place, Sam Dekker joined the No. 1 unit. The freshman sensation is coming off arguably his best game, having scored 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting while adding four assists and two rebounds. Dekker is averaging 9.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists this season, and he has scored in double-digits each of his last five games.