6:45 p.m. - Welcome to the best seat in the house... the scorer's table for the Wisconsin men's basketball Red/White scrimmage.
The fellas are warming up right now and it's a big of an odd sight. They're all wearing red adidas shooting shirts, but half have white shorts on and half are wearing red shorts. Looks kind of like the equipment guy messed. (I know you didn't Gary!)
This is the first opportunity to see the 2008-09 team in live action. Although it's just a scrimmage, the format will be similar to a game - two, 20-minute halves with a 5 minute halftime.
6:52 p.m. - Here are tonight's rosters:
RED: Coach Gary Close
Wquinton Smith, Jordan Taylor, Jason Bohannon, Brett Valentyn, Morris Cain, Jon Leuer, Jared Berggren, and Keaton Nankivil
WHITE: Coach Howard Moore
Marcus Landry, Trevon Hughes, Ryan Evans, Tim Jarmusz, Rob Wilson, Kevin Gullikson, J.P. Gavinski, Joe Krabbenhoft, Ian Markolf
6:58 p.m. - I'm excited to see how our freshmen hold up tonight. They've been banging on each other in practice for over a week now, but a game atmosphere with bodies in the seats is a bit different. With five scholarship freshmen on this team there will be plenty to follow.
7:00 p.m. - The coaches seem a bit nervous. Would it be wrong to tell them that they can relax, there is a great chance Wisconsin will win tonight?
7:01 p.m. - Interesting that Coach Ryan elected to put all three returning starters on the same team (Landry, Krabbenhoft and Hughes). Not sure if he wants to get them working together early or if he wants to see how some of the other guys respond to playing veterans. Maybe both.
7:04 p.m. - Follow the live stats here.
7:06 p.m. - We just got done with introductions and the ball is tipped. White wins the tip... and off we go.
7:10 p.m. - So Coach Ryan decided to sit next to me at the scorers table. That makes for interesting chatter. Not sure how much I can put in the blog.
Nice fastbreak Hughes to Krabbenhoft and Landry with the finish. Who says the Badgers don't run!
Nankivil knocks down a 16-footer... showing off his range.
7:12 p.m. - Jarmusz for three! White is up 7-2 early. Freshmen Jordan Taylor gets fouled in the act and he'll go to the line for Red. Swish, swish for Taylor... good start for the frosh.
First subs enter, Gavinski and Rob Wilson for White and Smith for Red.
7:14 p.m. - J-Bo with a nice bounce pass to Valentyn on the break annd Red storms back 8-7. Krabbenhoft answers with a three. Fresh off winning the three-point contest at Night of the Grateful Red, he says hot.
7:15 p.m. - There are no media timeouts, but Coach Ryan just yelled for a TO just under the 16 minute mark... basically a media timeout anyway. Then Coach just asked me if we have any timeout entertainment. He said he could put his granddaughter out there. He didn't offer to dance though. Shame.
7:18 p.m. - JP Gavinski just stonewalled Leuer on a dunk attempt. That brought an oooh from the coach and a smile from Coach Ryan. He said, "JP says not in my house." J-Bo knocked down a three though, so Red got the last laugh.
Pop hits a three on the other end. That extra foot on the three-point line doesn't seem to be affecting the guys thus far.
7:20 p.m. - Three freshmen on the floor right now for white: Ian, Evans and Rob Wilson.
Jon Leuer with a nice turnaround in the lane... 17-14 Red leads. Make that 17-16 as Rob lays on in.
7:22 p.m. - Big play from J-Bo... with the shot clock winding down he came over a high screen, drove the lane and dumped it off the Nankivil for a dunk. That was pretty.
7:23 p.m. - Time out on the floor... Red leads White, 19-16.
7:25 p.m. - Leading scorers so far: Nankivil leads all with 6 for red. His teammate J-Bo has 5 and Hughes has 5 for white.
7:27 p.m. - Ball out under the hoop and Coach just told me he only put one out of bounds play in for tonight, so they'll be running that over and over. Don't want to give anything away in the preseason. Could be scouts here... you never know.
7:28 p.m. - Leuer flops on a move from Landry and Coach Close wants a foul. No dice from the refs. Landry scores two.
7:30 p.m. - Mo Cain with a finish on a nice assist from Jordan Taylor. He has rep of being a very unselfish floor leader... looked like it there.
7:31 p.m. - I'm starting to wonder if Coach is sitting next to me because I have a computer with internet access. You know the Phillies are supposed to start at 7:30 tonight. He hasn't asked for a score yet, but I'll be ready in case.
7:34 p.m. - Keaton seals off the block, catches a nice lob from Valentyn and lays it in plus the foul. Chance for three... mised the free throw.
Landry answers with a pretty finger-roll... the Iceman would have been proud.
7:36 p.m. - Taylor gets a charlie horse and Pop takes advantage hitting a three on him. Nankivil flushes one on the other end and gets a rise from the crowd. Red opens up a 29-25 lead.
Nankivil has 10 early points.
Rob Wilson gets into the 3-point act, but J-Bo answers. Nope foot on the line, only a two for J-Bo. Nankivil swats Jarmusz... he's all over the floor right now.
7:37 p.m. - J-Bo drains another 3... this time from about five feet behind the line. One measly foot doesn't bother him.
7:39 p.m. - It's interesting to be in earshot of the coaches because with every positive play it means we also had a negative play. A basket means a defensive lapse and a steal means a turnover. Coach Ryan is a glass case of emotion.
7:40 p.m. - Couple buzzer-beaters just before the half. Berggren knocks down a jumper as the shot clock goes off and Landry nails a three at the buzzer. Halftime
Red 38 - White 33
7:42 p.m. - Couple notes... Nankivil is the show early. Showing inside and outside game, he has 12 pts (6-of-8), 2 rebs and a block. White is 6-for-10 from 3-point land right and Red is 2-of-4. J-Bo and Hughes each have a pair of 3-pointers.
7:43 p.m. - Landry opens the second half with a steal and breakaway dunk. That's the preseason All-Big Ten player we love.
7:46 p.m. - Couple misses in a row now and the two teams have cooled off. Red shot 64% and White shot 48% in the first half, so it's only fitting they would cool a bit.
7:47 p.m. - Nankivil with a three-point play. Red is really making a point to get him involved in the offense. Touching the post.
7:48 p.m. - Phillies 3, Rays 2... Coach is pleased.
7:50 p.m. - Pop slices the lane and lays it in. Nice penetration, but again... defense needs to collapse the lane.
7:51 p.m. - Brett Valentyn knocks down a three from Verona. Swish. Berggren answers with a nice jumphook near the basket. Good strong move from the freshman.
7:52 p.m. - Ice Berg with another nice play... lobbing it in to Leuer for an easy hoop. Not too many freshmen big men who know how to pass to the post like that. Classic swing right there.
7:55 p.m. - Landry is heating up. He's got 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
Q. Smith drives and kicks as the shot clock is running down. He kicks to Taylor who splashes a three!
7:58 p.m. - Big Ian finishes around the rim for two. Red comes back the other way and runs some clock... Keaton misses from 16 feet.
Krabby with a nice lob pass down low to Gullikson down low for two points. White trails though 55-47.
8:00 p.m. - I feel like I keep writing about Nankivil more than anyone, but that's becuase he's filling it up. This time he does a nice drop step around the defender and finished with a scoop.
After a bucket from Gullikson, Nankivil at it again, this time on a nice pass from J-Bo. Three-point no less after the free throw swishes.
Jarmusz with a steal, but White can't convert. Red 60, White 49 with 8:00 left.
8:03 p.m. - Krabby cleans up a miss from Pop. Offensive board and put back. The crowd likes the effort... Joe's a fan favorite.
8:05 p.m. - Krabby knocks down one of two free throws to cut the deficit to 8.
A turnover by Red and White has a chance to cut into it even more. Pop misses and JP Gaviniski rebounds. He's fouled after a pump fake but makes just one of two.
8:06 p.m. - Then on defense JP blocks two of Leuer's shots in a row. He's got Leuer's number.
8:08 p.m. - Nankivil makes a nice catch on the run in a fast break situation. He's really showing off his athleticism tonight. Gavinski gets the two points back with an offense putback.
8:09 p.m. - Pop runs the break and stops at 8 feet and knocks down a short jumper. White is down just 5 now.
Meanwhile in Philly, the Rays tied it up 3-3.
8:12 p.m. - Under three minutes left now and Red leads 64-59. Red runs some clock before Q makes a nice drive and score. Great possession, milking clock and scoring.
Keaton comes out to a big applause... fans recognize his big night. There are lots of minutes up for grabs tonight and it sure seems like Nankivil is snatching his fair share. Perhaps a spot in the starting lineup? Who knows?
8:14 p.m. - Landry misses for White and Red runs more time. Leuer attacks the basket as time runs down and draws a foul from Krabbenhoft. Leuer hits one of two and pushes Red to a 67-59 lead with 1:20 left.
Landry nails a much need three for White and White puts on the full-court press. They catch Red off-guard and force a timeout from Coach Close.
Red 67, White 62 with 1:04 left in the game.
8:16 p.m. - Berggren is fouled while breaking the press. Makes the first of the bonus... and misses the second but Red gets the offensive board... guess who? Keaton Nankivil.
8:17 p.m. - Red runs more clock before J-Bo draws the foul from Rob Wilson. These as good as in with J-Bo on the line. No... he misses the second! Rarity.
Red 69, White 62 with 40.7 left.
8:18 p.m. - Krabby hits a quick three on the other end.
Taylor gets fouled now... pressure spot for the freshmen. A few kids under the hoop are trying to distract him. It works he hits one of two.
8:20 p.m. - Rob Wilson misses a three for White but Landry tips it in. White cuts it to 3.
Taylor back on the line... gotta have these. He hits both and puts Red up 5.
8:21 p.m. - It's over... Red wins 72 - 67.