MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Badgers no longer have one
go-to player -- they have several.
The Badgers (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today; No. 21 AP) began the post-Devin Harris era with a
77-44 rout of Penn on Saturday night behind a balanced attack led
by Mike Wilkinson's 19 points and Brian Butch's memorable debut.
All 10 players in coach Bo Ryan's deep rotation scored and all
10 grabbed at least one rebound.
"It really makes it difficult for a team to come in and focus
on one player," Wilkinson said. "This team is going to have good
After leading the Badgers to a school-record 25 wins and the
second round of the NCAA Tournament, Harris skipped his senior
season to go pro and now plays for the Dallas Mavericks.
Without their superstar, the Badgers know they'll have to share
the ball and the spotlight this season. Kammron Taylor, freshman
Michael Flowers and transfer Sharif Chambliss took turns running
"You just find ways," Ryan said. "That's what you got to do,
you just find ways."
Last year, when the Badgers needed a big bucket or a spark, they
invariably turned to Harris. This year, they all feel comfortable
making the play.
"You have nine, 10, 11 guys who can come in and score,"
Wilkinson said. "I think that's a big advantage, our depth and how
much talent we have on this team."
Wilkinson, the only returning starter, scored all but two of his
points in the second half and added 11 rebounds for a
double-double. Butch, a 6-foot-11 redshirt freshman who spent last
season bulking up, had 10 points and four rebounds.
Tim Begley led the Quakers (1-2) with 15 points, eight boards
and five assists.
The Badgers started off slowly, going nearly five minutes
without a field goal until Clayton Hanson's 3-pointer, but settled
down to post their 29th straight win at the Kohl Center -- the
third-longest home winning streak in the country.
It also took a while for the crowd to give the Badgers a boost.
The fans were likely downcast after the football team's Rose Bowl
hopes were dashed with 30-7 loss at Iowa earlier in the evening.
But they got into it after Alando Tucker's acrobatic bucket at
the nine-minute mark that sparked an 11-2 run, giving the Badgers a
Penn coach Fran Dunphy said the Badgers' balance was a beautiful
thing to behold.
"I think it's a great way to play basketball," Dunphy said.
"I'm so impressed with how Bo coaches and how he uses all of his
personnel to fit the system that he is working with. They didn't
force anything. They just have a solid basketball team and they'll
be an NCAA Tournament team again."