Busy day for Kohl Center trainers

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s basketball team has been pretty fortunate avoiding injuries the past couple of years. Tuesday night, the Badgers dodged a bullet once again.Starters Alando Tucker and Michael Flowers both went down with what seemed to be serious injuries — Tucker left the game with 9:44 remaining in the first half after getting poked in the eye by Florida State’s Jason Rich, and Flowers limped off the court with 16:24 left in the second half after rolling his ankle on Seminoles guard Toney Douglas’ foot.Both Tucker and Flowers headed to the locker room for an extended period of time, but luckily for Wisconsin, they both returned later in the game and appeared to be fine.Tucker’s injury seemed especially serious, as blood was seen dripping from his right eye, but his return was somewhat expected from his teammates.”That’s [Tucker],” senior guard Kammron Taylor said. “He goes out there and plays hard every day, every game no matter what.”When Tucker returned, he was visibly squinting his eyes, and a couple of his shots were off.”I think the trainer told him to, ‘As soon as you get the ball, take a long shot and see how your vision is,'” UW head coach Bo Ryan joked about Tucker taking a three-point shot right when he returned.Sophomore forward Kevin Gullikson and freshman guard Trevon Hughes saw some extra minutes in Tucker and Flower’s absence as the Badgers continued to play on, not worrying about their fallen teammates.And Wisconsin’s depth is something that will allow it to fight through injuries this season, including small scares like Tuesday’s.”We’re deep this year,” Taylor said. “If somebody goes down, we have people on the bench to help pick people up, and that’s a good thing to have.”We don’t get too rattled; we don’t get frustrated about [injuries] because we still have other players out there who are willing and ready to step up when their name is called,” Taylor added.The Florida State Seminoles, on the other hand, suffered an injury that did hurt them in Tuesday night’s game.FSU senior forward Al Thornton hobbled off the court with 15:36 remaining in the second half and headed to the locker room with cramps.Thornton later returned, but after picking up his fourth foul with just under eight minutes left in the game and experiencing some dehydration, the star forward sat out the rest of the game for good.”Sometimes you get dehydrated early in the game, and [Thornton] was not really as explosive and active as he normally has been,” FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. “It’s just one of those things that happened. I don’t think it’s anything serious.”While Florida State may have dug itself a hole in the first half, down by 11 at halftime, Thornton’s absence for most of the second certainly affected the Seminoles.”I’m sure that we would’ve been better had we had [Thornton] at full strength,” Hamilton said.”[Thornton’s] a guy that can do a lot of things,” Ryan said. “We had a couple guys get banged up for some minutes, too, but you could tell that his effectiveness wasn’t the same.”Big Guys, Big GamesWisconsin’s big men — Brian Butch, Jason Chappell, Greg Stiemsma and Marcus Landry — teamed up for a solid game up front for the Badgers.The Badger big men helped UW control the boards 36 to 31 and chipped in by combining for eight assists, something that thoroughly impressed Hamilton of Florida State.”The most impressive thing about [Wisconsin’s] big guys is that they’ve totally bought into the system,” Hamilton said. “They execute, they don’t force things, they play within themselves, and they allow the offense to come to them.”And Ryan would totally agree.”Our big guys do listen,” he said. “They executed pretty well. We got some guys who can take the minutes that they’re getting and make the most out of them. They have bought into the system.”Dressed to impressBefore tip-off, UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez presented Ryan with a basketball commemorating the head coach’s 500th career win from over the past weekend.For the honor, Ryan wore a flashy red suit jacket — an unfamiliar top in his wardrobe reminiscent of Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl.However, Ryan said the commemoration wasn’t the reason why he was wearing the top.”The price was right,” he said. “The W Club got it for me. And it fit.”I don’t even know what the material is. Some people are guessing camel, some people are guessing cashmere, some people are guessing llama … I just know it’s red.”last_img

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