UW Basketball to take Summer trip to Canada

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MADISON, Wis. — For the first time since 2006, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team will be participating in an international trip when it ventures to Canada this summer. The Badgers will play five exhibition games during the eight-day August trip, visiting Ottawa and Toronto.

 Wisconsin will travel to Ottawa on Aug. 20 and begin a rugged competition schedule with an Aug. 21 exhibition contest against Canadian powerhouse Carleton University. Following a game with the University of Ottawa on Aug. 22, the Badgers will travel to Toronto for three games in three days against the Canadian Junior National Team (Aug. 24), Ryerson University (Aug. 25) and senior men’s select team A-Game Hoops (Aug. 26).

 With six incoming freshmen and redshirt junior Josh Gasser returning from a knee injury, the Badgers will be able to get valuable practice and competition prior to the start of the season. Wisconsin will bring all 17 players on its roster and be permitted 10 practices throughout the summer, which is in addition to the two-hour instructional time allowed each week during the offseason.

 

“We’re really looking forward to this trip and the opportunities it presents for preparing us for next season,” head coach Bo Ryan said. “Taking this trip allows us 10 practices and five games, which is a great luxury. One aspect that is different from our 2006 trip to Italy is that incoming freshmen are now permitted to practice and play. So for a team with as many new faces as we will have, this gives us a head start on the season.

“A week-long trip like this is also great for team camaraderie and the chemistry it builds,” Ryan continued. “We’ll get good competition, including the opportunity to play two national teams, both the Juniors and a men’s select team. Those games will be extremely beneficial regardless of the outcomes. We’ll use lots of lineups and work on a variety of things. It gives us the chance to throw our freshmen into the fire and help our returning players adjust to changing roles. Hopefully this expedites the process looking ahead to the 2013-14 season.”

 Television and web streaming information for Wisconsin’s Canadian exhibition games will be released later this summer.

 Aug. 21 – Carleton University:

The Badgers will take on three teams from Ontario University Athletics, beginning with the class of the OUA, Carleton University. The Ravens have won 13 straight OUA titles and nine of the last 11 Canadian national championships. Carleton led the OUA in scoring offense, averaging 91.0 points per game and are led by Phillip Scrubb, who returns for his fourth season after averaging 18.6 ppg in 2012-13.

Aug. 22 – University of Ottawa:

UW will visit the University of Ottawa before traveling to Toronto. The Ottawa Gee Gees went 15-5 in 2012-13, finishing in a tie for second place in the East Division of the OUA. Ottawa averaged 83.2 points per game, and will return half of the one of the league’s top scoring duos in fourth-year guard Johnny Berhanemeskel (18.9 ppg).

Aug. 24 – Canadian Junior National Tm:

The Badgers’ first game in Toronto will come against the 2013 Canadian Junior National Team, which is comprised of the country’s top prep players. The 2012 team finished third in the FIBA World Championships and was full of Div. I signees like Andrew Wiggins (Kansas), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) and Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Florida State).

Aug. 25 – Ryerson University:

The Ryerson Rams went 15-5 last season, finishing third in the OUA, a year after advancing to the Wilson Cup Championship Game in 2012. Led by Canadian National team head coach Roy Rana, the Rams return a pair of OUA All-Stars in Aaron Best (15.3 ppg) and Jahmal Jones (15.4 ppg).

Aug. 26 – A-Game Hoops:

A-Game Hoops is a men’s select team comprised mainly of Canadians who are playing professionally overseas. A-Game Hoops has played 10 NCAA Division I teams over the last three summers, owning a 6-4 record. That includes win over Tulsa, Austin Peay and the College of Charleston last year.

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Four Badgers Selected in NHL Draft Saturday

SELDEN, N.Y. —  One current and three incoming Badgers earned selection on Saturday at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, which was held at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Wisconsin’s four selected student-athletes were split among the fourth and seventh rounds of the

Michael Mersch

draft.

Joseph LaBate went highest, going 101st to the Stanley Cup runner-up Vancouver Canucks. The fourth-round pick arrives this fall in Madison from Academy of Holy Angels in Minnesota. An Eagan, Minn., native, the 6-4 forward was one of 10 finalists for the 2011 Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award. He posted 27 goals and 49 points in 25 games this past season.

Just nine picks later, sophomore forward Michael Mersch went 110th to the Los Angeles Kings. A Park Ridge, Ill., native and a product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, he scored eight goals and 19 points in 41 games at Wisconsin last season.

The second two Badgers selected came eight picks apart in the seventh round as defenseman Patrick Daly and forward Brad Navin went 189th to the New Jersey Devils and 197th to the Buffalo Sabres, respectively.

Daly, another 2011 Minnesota Mr. Hockey finalist, attended Benilde-St. Margaret’s in Richfield, Minn., this past season, collecting 40 points and going plus-52 in 27 games as a team co-captain. The Victoria, Minn., native also excelled at baseball during his high school career.

Navin, a Waupaca, Wis., native, led all juniors in Wisconsin in scoring with 53 goals and 92 points in 25 games played, then followed that up with 29 goals and 52 points in an injury-shortened 14-game senior season. He was named Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association First-Team All-State for both campaigns.

Navin attended the Sabres combine in Buffalo earlier this month and spoke to Sabres.com about the experience. 

“Everybody I met was awesome,” Navin said. “All the coaches that ran drills and interviewed me were awesome. I really enjoyed it.”

Leuer Selected in 2nd Round by Milwaukee

Bucks select Jon Leuer with the 40th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft

MADISON, Wis. – Former Wisconsin men’s basketball player Jon Leuer had his boyhood dream realized on Thursday night as he was chosen in the 2011 NBA Draft.  Leuer was selected in the second round with the 40th overall selection by the Milwaukee Bucks to become  the 35th player in school history, and the third in the last seven years, to be drafted.

The Orono, Minn., native is the fifth Badger to be chosen by the Bucks and the first since Rashard Griffith in 1995.  In fact, with Leuer’s selection, three of the past seven Badgers to be drafted have been chosen by Milwaukee.

An honorable mention All-American in 2010-11, Leuer was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and led the Badgers  with 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season. With 1,376 career points, Leuer finished 12th in school  history, while his 621 points last season ranked as the third-highest single-season total in UW history.  Prior to  Leuer, the last Badger to be drafted was Alando Tucker who was chosen 29th overall by Phoenix in 2007.

Jon Leuer posted on Twitter after being selected by the Bucks: “Wow! I’ve Poured my heart and soul into this game and it feels unbelievable to be rewarded.  Feels great to be a Buck”

Wisconsin Basketball Set to Play in Chicago over Thanksgiving

MADISON, Wis. – A trip to Chicago over Thanksgiving weekend is on the line for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team as the Badgers headline the field for the sixth annual Chicago Invitational Challenge, Nov. 25-26, at the Sears Centre Arena.

The eight-team tournament will begin with opening-round games at Wisconsin as well as fellow-Sweet 16 participant Brigham Young (32-5 in 2010-11), Bradley (12-20) and Nevada (13-19). Final round games then take place Nov. 25-26 at the Sears Centre Arena.

Wofford (21-13), Missouri-Kansas City (16-14), Longwood (12-19) and Prairie View A&M (10-22) round out the field.

Opening-round dates and exact matchups are still to be determined.

The Badgers return 11 players from last year’s Sweet 16 squad, including a starting backcourt of All-American senior guard Jordan Taylor and sophomore Josh Gasser. Finishing with a 25-9 record, Wisconsin took third place in the Big Ten and reached the NCAA tournament for the 13th-straight season.

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