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Badger Bits: Wisconsin Basketball is Bizarro Wisconsin Basketball

Wisconsin basketball waffles between the best and worst versions of itself, often without a moment's notice. The result is something truly bizarre.

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Wisconsin basketball is the evil, black-mustachioed bizarro version of itself. It's blatantly obvious now, and should have been obvious when we were all trying to decide whether this was seriously an NCAA tournament team. Mike Bruesewitz has been at times alive and lifeless. Jared Berggren can be a real inside presence when he isn't playing an ineffective 3-point shooter. Ryan Evans is defensive electricity and offensive Styrofoam. Traevon Jackson, come to think of it, may simply be bored most of the time.

Ben Brust and Sam Dekker are exceptions. Brust is at all times the most chaotic version of himself. Bizarro Brust wears scarves indoors, nurses Chianti and puts an umlaut over the "u", and he most certainly does not care for basketball. Dekker thinks all of these people are strange.

Wisconsin basketball is about to do something. What it is, you can't say, because to have any idea would suggest that the players know something, and there is no evidence that they even know who they are from moment to moment. But something will happen. Any time now, something. You'll wait and wait knowing that the thing is coming, except that maybe it won't come, maybe this team will fade out like normal teams, maybe this team will--HAHA NOPE.

When it happens, it might make you toss your laptop in joy or palm your face in incredulous despair. Whatever it is, it will be weird.


Jeff Potrykus' recap and last look. Quote Jackson on practicing late-game situations:

"In practice I'm really not good at it for some reason. Coach always yells at me and stuff."

View from the other side.

In case you missed it: The State Journal's piece on Bo Ryan's mother. Excerpt:

Ryan did not announce to the team that his mom had died and conducted practice as usual just hours after her death. That made an impression on Evans, the Badgers' fifth-year senior, who himself has endured the deaths of several friends and relatives. He knew how emotionally and physically spent Ryan must have felt.

After practice, Evans texted Ryan and thanked him for his consistent dedication and commitment to the team and his approach of always looking ahead.

"He asks us to do so much, but he doesn't ask us to do anything he can't do," Evans said of his coach. "That means a lot to me. It meant a lot to the team.

"That's why we've been successful, why we've accomplished what we have this season."

Practices under Gary Andersen have a new feel, including but not limited to piped-in country music.

More big changes, including option elements in the offense.

B1G Spring Football primer, courtesy of OTE.

Spring practice at Nebraska is off to a great start.