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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On the Stove Top: Media Day Edition

Edited 10/22 to include Media Day videos & additional content
Wednesday was Media Day, so folks got to ask Bo some questions after his first few practices of the season. We know what to expect Bo to give the media at this point: nothing specific. He said that practices have been very competitive though.

Two small things stood out after seeing video of the session. First, Bo was asked if he has been able to identify this early who the defensive stoppers might be on this year's team. He talked about Jordan Taylor and Tim Jarmusz specifically. No mention of Rob Wilson, which was slightly disappointing to me. Secondly, Bo said that the staff pointed out to both Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil that those players were not exactly where the team needed them to be physically last year. It seems the two guys have responded. The coach noted how Nankivil in particular "blew up" the Hill this off-season. Leuer says he has bulked up [video] to 228 lbs. (up from 190 as a freshman):

"I've put on about 15 pounds. Playing in the Big Ten, it's a physical league and there are a lot of guys that are bigger and stronger than you are, so you have to deal with that. If you haven't worked to get stronger, you're going to get pushed around. That was a major emphasis for us this offseason--getting stronger in our legs and core so we couldn't get bumped around, especially in the post."
Some early season previews have the Badgers falling well out of the Top 25 this season, but often still as a tournament team:
: : : has profiled the team's two redshirt freshmen, Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren, leading up to the new season. Nothing hard-hitting, but it's still twice as much as you've heard from either of them so far.

The Sports Bubbler also posted video interviews with all the non-seniors from Media Day and I picked out a few in addition to Leuer's that were interesting. Berggren was named the player to watch by most of his teammates. To see the whole video series, visit

: : :

Illinois Wolves director Mike Mullins spoke with Talking Illini yesterday and they discussed the Diamond Taylor situation for about three minutes or so [audio: start at 38-min mark]. The comments from Mullins reinforced that Taylor's dismissal was handed down from above Bo Ryan and the Athletic Department. The interview covers Chasson Randle also, whom Mullins says is no longer accepting scholarship offers, so his decision is creeping closer. Wisconsin is not expected to be a finalist for Randle's services at this point.

: : :

Speaking of the Class of 2011, a few of the high school juniors who have drawn interest from Bucky decided to verbal to other teams today. Luckily, nothing heartbreaking, but Villanova and Penn State will both be getting nice players.

Removed the following prospects from the recruiting sidebar:
: : : Class of 2011
SG Achraf Yacoubou, New York [s] [+] [+] {Villanova}
PG Trey Burke, Columbus OH {Penn State}

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