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ESPN Wisconsin Blogs - Zach Heilprin

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Badgers basketball: Dakich-Iowa dust-up doesn't interest UW

Jan 29, 2015 -- 11:48pm
Photo/screen grab via
MADISON - We’ve heard from Dan Dakich. It was the words used by the ESPN analyst in the University of Wisconsin’s 82-50 victory over Iowa on Jan. 20 that set off a chain of events that saw Iowa coach Fran McCaffery take Dakich to task publically. And we heard from the guy – Adam Woodbury – that Dakich called “gutless” and a “coward” as a result of the Iowa big man poking at the eyes of the Badgers Nigel Hayes and Frank Kaminsky, and putting a elbow into the back of Duje Dukan’s head. McCaffery called for an apology from Dakich, while Woodbury said he didn’t do anything intentionally but apologized anyway.
On Thursday, it was the No. 5 Badgers (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten) turn to talk about the incident and the subsequent fallout as they continued preparing for their trip to face the Hawkeyes (13-7, 4-3) on Saturday. The overwhelming sentiment is the spat was much ado about nothing.
“That’s just the way it is. It’s really nothing. I didn’t think it was bad at all, anything that happened,” guard Josh Gasser said about the small-scale controversy. “Maybe Dakich needed something to talk about. It’s a 30-point game. He was probably bored.”
Bored or not, the comments stoked the fire of McCaffery and the Iowa fan base. It’s the reason Iowa officials have added extra security for Dakich, who will call the game on ESPN.
“I don’t know if that’s necessary,” Gasser said. “Oh, well.”
As for the guys that were impacted by Woodbury’s antics, it was no big deal either.
“No, I don’t think so,” Nigel Hayes said. “I think it was just an accident. Two accidents in a row. I’m sure they just looked bad. There’s really nothing I can do but try to go out there and play.”
The poke of Hayes came in the first half and could easily be filed under the accident description. The one on Kaminsky in the second half, though, seemed much more deliberate, as Woodbury had his hand on the seniors head before scraping across his face. Following the first game, Kaminsky joked that he was blind before saying he didn’t have a problem with what occurred. And on Thursday, the preseason All-American told reporters he didn’t know much about the tiff between Iowa and Dakich.
“I didn’t dive into it,” he said.
While Kaminsky didn’t publically acknowledge following the back-and-forth between the two sides, it’s difficult to believe he didn’t hear about it a lot. He’s active on social media and it’s been nearly impossible to avoid the debate on Twitter. But his non-reaction to the story is a view held by most members of the team, including Sam Dekker.
“You see it on Twitter and people ask you about it. To be honest, within the two teams, we don’t care. Our job is to play basketball and not worry about the outside stuff,” Dekker said.
“The media’s job and the fans are supposed to get into that stuff, and for good [reason]. That’s what they are there for. They can make the headlines and the stories. We just have to go play and not worry about that stuff. Everyone’s got their role.
“That’s all I got to say about that. I was never mad. I’m over it. It’s basketball. You get hit in the eyes, you get punched, you get elbowed. It happens.”
What cut?
Sam Dekker is still trying to figure out how he managed to cut his hand on the rim following a big two-handed dunk against Michigan last Saturday.
“I’ve watched it since. I watched to see if there was a spot on the rim I hit,” Dekker said. “You guys have seen me dunk the ball many times but never had a rim cut me.”
Dekker said he didn’t actually notice the blood until he was lining up to shoot his free throw and complete the 3-point play.
“I didn’t feel it,” he said. “I did not know I cut myself that whole time until I looked down and there was blood on my shoes. I spun the ball and blood dripped on my shoe. I looked at it and was like, ‘How did this happen?’”
Dekker was taken to the locker room where trainers used a special glue to close the gash on his right hand, and he returned to the game with a bandage protecting it. He started the second half but down the stretch of a tight game, Dekker was on the bench. Afterwards, UW coach Bo Ryan said he saw Dekker grimacing when he was shooting and that was the reason for the junior’s absence, though he returned for the overtime period.
For Dekker’s part, he didn’t really feel impacted by the bandage or the injury.
“Maybe around the wrist a little bit with the tape but overall it was fine,” he said. “I just didn’t want it to open up again and start bleeding, so I was maybe trying to catch it a little differently but overall it was fine.”
Iowa injury report
Senior forward Aaron White is officially listed as questionable for Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury sustained in Iowa’s loss to Purdue last week. That’s according to McCaffery, who has maintained that he’s not sure if White will be able to play. However, they message apparently didn’t reach White.
“It’s kind of funny. I woke yesterday morning and read an article that said I’m doubtful,” White said Thursday according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “It’s just weird, because nobody’s talked to me. I’m just taking it day-by-day. That’s why I think Coach (Fran McCaffery) said day-to-day, and that’s how I’m taking it. Each day I’ve been feeling better so hopefully Saturday, I’ll be ready to go.”
All the Wisconsin players asked about White on Thursday said they expect him to play and are preparing as such.


Badgers football: Aydon headed to Oregon State

Jan 26, 2015 -- 11:43pm
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin has lost a fourth commitment in the class of 2015.
Defensive tackle Elu Aydon (Pago Pago, American Samoa) flipped his commitment to Oregon State on Monday, joining former Badgers coach Gary Andersen.
A three-star recruit according to ESPN, Aydon also had offers from Colorado, Hawaii and Nevada.
The 6-foot-2, 290-pound, Aydon was recruited by former UW defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a.
Aydon joins offensive lineman Sam Madden, cornerback T.J. Griffin and wide receiver Brandyn Lee as players to decommit since Andersen left.
Wisconsin still has 25 commitments in the class of 2015.
National Signing Day is Feb. 4.

Badgers football: UW adds Alabama RB

Jan 24, 2015 -- 9:58pm
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin went way down south to pick up a commitment from a three-star running back this weekend.
Bradrick Shaw (Birmingham, Alabama) tweeted the news on Saturday night.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound, Shaw chose the Badgers over claimed offers from South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Mississippi among others.
Rated the No. 36 running back in the country by the 247Sports composite, Shaw joins four-star running back Jordan Stevenson as the Badgers tailbacks in the class of 2015.

Badgers football: Another former Pitt commit switches to Wisconsin

Jan 24, 2015 -- 6:48pm
MADISON - Paul Chryst has taken a second verbal commitment away from his old stomping grounds.
Defensive tackle Kraig Howe (Dayton, Ohio) announced his commitment on Saturday afternoon while on his official visit to Madison.


Howe, a three-star recruit according to ESPN, orginially committed to Pittsburgh but reopened his recruitment after the departure of Chryst.
The 6-foot-3, 253-pound, Howe also had offers from Boston College, Minnesota, Illinois and others.
Howe is the second former Pittsburgh commitment to switch to the Badgers. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook also flipped to Wisconsin and enrolled last week.

Badgers football: Waunakee RB commits to UW

Jan 22, 2015 -- 11:45pm
Photo/La Crosse Tribune
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin added a local prospect to their class of 2015 on Thursday.
Waunakee running back Troy Laufenberg announced via Twitter that he had committed to the Badgers. reported that Laufenberg is committed as a preferred walk-on.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound, Laufenberg was a first-team all-state pick by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association in 2014 after rushing for 2,242 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior. He also ran for 1,400 yards as a junior.

Badgers football: Third player de-commits

Jan 22, 2015 -- 1:29am
MADISON - Make it three players in the class of 2015 that have de-commited from the University of Wisconsin.
Early Thursday morning, wide receiver Brandyn Lee tweeted that he had reopened his recruitment.


Lee, a three-star recruit from West Hills, California, committed to former UW coach Gary Andersen last June, but the coaching change saw both of his main recruiters – Chad Kauha’aha’a and Chris Beatty -- leave for other jobs.
The 6-foot, 172-pound Lee has offers from Fresno State, Nevada and Washington State.
In his senior season, Lee had 36 catches for 663 yards and four touchdowns.
His departure leaves UW with just one wide receiver in the class of 2015.
The other two players to de-commit are offensive lineman Sam Madden and cornerback T.J. Griffin.
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