MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Devin Harris showed up at the Kohl Center
Thursday night to watch Wisconsin set a school record with its 34th
straight home victory, 85-53 over UNC Greensboro.
"I almost felt like suiting up," Harris said.
The Badgers sure could have used their former star point guard
in the first half, when they struggled from the floor (34 percent)
and the free throw line (31 percent) before recovering to break the
school record of 33 straight home wins set between 1911-15.
Ricky Hickman led the Spartans (7-3) with 14 points, but UNC
Greensboro was outrebounded 50-23 by the Badgers, who extended the
nation's longest home winning streak.
Harris skipped his senior season to go pro and was taken fifth
in the NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks.
His heir apparent was Boo Wade, but he hasn't played yet after
taking a leave of absence to deal with personal issues. Wade
returned to practice this week but it isn't clear when he'll play
again. His return will bolster the Badgers as they prepare for the
start of the Big Ten season in January.
Harris, who is taking a few days' break for Christmas, said
he'll sit down with Wade, his backup for two years, for a chat
before he goes back.
"Hopefully he can hold it together because he's really what
this team needs right now," Harris said following an ugly first
half. "I'm just going to tell him what I've learned and how to run
the team because he's going to have to come into that position. I
mean, they lack so much a floor leader as I've seen out there right
now that will make everybody better on the floor and make passes
and penetration and all that stuff.
"He knows how to do it. He knows I've taught him for two years,
but just kind of reinforce it."
The Badgers led 27-22 at that half after missing their first
seven shots from the floor, their first seven from beyond the arc
and 10 of their first 11 from the stripe. They finished just
6-of-19 from the line in the first half.
Harris, who joined the Badgers' huddle during timeouts, had to
like how they responded after halftime, however.
Wisconsin used a 14-4 run to take a 43-26 lead on the strength
of three jumpers by Mike Wilkinson and then erased any doubt of an
upset with a 14-2 run that made it 59-35 with 10 minutes left.