Talk hoops all year long in Luke Winn's blog, a journal of commentary, news and reader-driven discussions about the college game.
9/06/2006 12:36:00 PM
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM ... Wisconsin's European Vacation
Guard Michael Flowers (bottom, right) and the Badgers visited Pisa in August.
The Badgers went 5-0 in a tour of Italy in late August (not Labor Day weekend).
1. Michael Flowers, the returning Badger guard who is not Chris Rock's doppelganger, could turn into a featured gunner in the swing offense ... as long as he maintains the shooting stroke he flashed in Italy. There, the junior guard shot 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from beyond the international arc. Thirteen shots and five games is a small sample size, but his accuracy should be regarded as a sign of improvement after shooting 39.1 percent (27-of-69) last year as a reserve.
2. Junior center Brian Butch is dangerous. Not like, criminally dangerous, but one would be wise to stay away from the Polar Bear's elbows. Badger associate SID Brian Lucasblogged the tour at uwbadgers.com, describing a rough-and-tumble game against MPV Virtus Siena on Aug. 22 that featured 89 free throws, two technicals and one ejection. In that contest, Butch's flying elbow apparently connected with an MPV player's mouth. The next day, against Pool Firenze, Butch accidentally poked former Pitt (and current Firenze) player Brian Shorter in the eye. Later in the game, Shorter retaliated by punching the Badgers' Greg Stiemsma during a scramble for a rebound. Good to hear you're alive and well in Italia, Brian. (For a pic of the Badgers at work -- in what appears to be a nine-row gym, click here.)