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16 Wisconsin
Stephen Cannella
November 24, 2003
After two Big Ten titles the Badgers have something new to deal with: high expectations
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November 24, 2003

16 Wisconsin

After two Big Ten titles the Badgers have something new to deal with: high expectations

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STARTING LINEUP

POS.

PLAYER

HT.

CL.

KEY STAT

SF

Alando Tucker#

6'5"

Soph.

12.0 ppg

PF

Mike Wilkinson#

6'8"

Jr.

6.8 rpg

C

Dave Mader

6'11"

Sr.

2.1 rpg

SG

Freddie Owens#

6'2"

Sr.

82.0 FT%

PG

Devin Harris#

6'3"

Jr.

12.7 ppg

#RETURNING STARTER

Devin Harris admits that when he was growing up in Milwaukee, Badgers basketball didn't exactly get his heart thumping. " Marquette was the big thing," says the junior point guard. "I didn't know much about Wisconsin until they went to the Final Four."

That was in March 2000, during Harris's junior year at Wauwatosa East High, and it was Wisconsin's first Final Four appearance in 59 years. A similar drought ended in 2001-02, when Bo Ryan took over as coach: Harris started every game at shooting guard as a freshman and the Badgers became Big Ten titlists for the first time since 1947, sharing the championship with Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State. Last season Wisconsin won the conference outright and set a school record with 24 wins. With every starter but leading scorer Kirk Penney returning, expectations have never been higher in Madison. For the first time in the six-year history of the Kohl Center, every ticket for every home game was gone before the season started.

That enthusiasm may be slightly dampened by preseason injuries that have cut into the Badgers' front-court depth. Athletic forward Alando Tucker is out until at least mid-December with a fractured right foot, and 6'10" forward Jason Chappell is sidelined until late December with the same injury. Brian Butch, a 6'11" freshman and the program's first Parade first-team All-America, has a good outside touch for a big man but he's a rail-thin 215 pounds and will likely redshirt.

As a freshman Harris averaged 12.3 points and led the team in steals and blocked shots. While learning the point on the fly last season, he averaged 12.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and a conference-high 2.0 steals and directed one of the country's most efficient offenses. "There are so many good guards in the conference that if you don't have one like Devin, you'll get buried," Ryan says. "He's finding out that he's a natural for the point position."

With Harris running the show, the Badgers are feeling similarly comfortable atop the Big Ten.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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