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Badgers ready for recharged Gophers

Heading into tomorrow's match up against Minnesota, Head Coach Bo Ryan and Wisconsin will enter Williams Arena having won their last three road games and five of their last six away from the Kohl Center overall.

Jordan Taylor.

Oddly, over their last seven games, the Badgers are averaging 62.5 points per game on the road in Big Ten play, compared to just over 60 points per game in Madison.

"It's crazy," Ryan said about his team's ability to shoot better on the road. "And if there was an answer that was easily obtainable, I think we'd have had it by now.

In his 35 plus years of coaching at the collegiate level, Ryan says this year's Wisconsin team's shooting inconsistency is unlike any he's ever seen.

"I haven't, junior high, high school, Division III, at UW-M (Milwaukee), here, I've never had a team get into those kind of phases," he said. "It's just something in practice you just keep working on your shooting drills.

"Free throws, we weren't very good early, but you just, you can't yell somebody into shooting free throws better. We've shot the line better."

Wisconsin will be tested by a recharged Gopher squad, who found life after losing leading scorer Trevor Mbakwe.

After an 0-4 start to conference play, Minnesota has bounced back, winning five of their last seven.

"They've got some guys that aren't trying to do too much," Ryan said. "Rodney Williams was as good as any player in the country coming out of high school.

Ralph Sampson III

"Ralph Sampson III, those guys have been around, and then the other guys have come in and added what their, because defensively, they can get after you because of how athletic they are.

"They've got some depth worked into the lineup now. So it hasn't surprised any of us that they're doing well, especially in a league that you just don't know."

Minnesota and Wisconsin meet for the first time this season in what is a highly anticipated rivalry between the two schools.

The Badgers have three players in the starting lineup from the state of Minnesota, however Ryan won't put anymore hype into this game than he does any other.

"Well, if you've been around me long enough, here's recruiting," Ryan explained. "A young man has options, and we're an option.

"And if they decide to choose us, that's great. If they don't, that's an opportunity for someone else.

So in the recruiting process, I don't get territorial. I don't get to the point where you worry about what you don't have. With us, it's always what we do have.

"So whoever decides to come here, and, obviously, we have to offer them a scholarship in order to accept one, so we have guys here who wanted to be here.

"And they have players that wanted to be there, and there's a place for everybody. So I never, I don't get into that stuff. Never have."

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