The Wisconsin Badgers host the Michigan Wolverines in an intense game on Tuesday night at the Kohl Center, marking the first matchup between the two teams in Madison since the Juwan Howard-Greg Gard incident nearly a year ago.
While Gard put to rest any bad blood between the two head coaches on Monday, there still is some blood boiling, as Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson called the Badgers “scumbags” on a podcast a few months ago.
“Wisconsin, I mean [they’re] scumbags, it’s what it is,” Dickinson said. “I’m sorry, they’re just scumbags. Like, nothing I can say about Wisconsin is going to fire up the matchup even more, so it’s like, it already is what it is; they’re scumbags.”
Are the Badgers players biting into Dickinson’s fiery comments ahead of Tuesday’s matchup? Nope.
Forward Tyler Wahl spoke with the media on Monday, laughing off Dickinson’s words, and leaving interpretations to the outside world.
“We’ve got to keep it in between the lines. We’ll leave that [talk] for you guys.”
While Wahl acknowledged that he’s heard what Dickinson said, the comments don’t faze him.
“I’ve heard, but it’s no big deal. When we get in between the lines, it’s a basketball game. You’re gonna hear things that aren’t the best, and you’re gonna hear things that are great. So when we’re in between lines of basketball, that’s what it’s gonna come down to.
Steven Crowl doubled down on Wahl’s sentiment of blocking out the noise, pointing to his lack of social media presence, as well as Gard’s message to the team that it’s just like another game.
“I don’t really have any social media talent or any of that stuff. So it doesn’t affect me. We’re going out there to play like any other game. I’m sure the fans and you guys [might think more of it]. But, as coach has told us out there, it’s any other game.”
Will there be trash-talking going on? According to Wahl, he’s going to let his play do the talking.
”I got nothing. Usually, I’m pretty quiet out there and I’m just focused on doing me.”
It all comes down to Tuesday night, which is the first of two matchups between the Badgers and the Wolverines, and it’s a crucial one, as both teams are fighting to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.