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January 17, 2011MADISON - Whenever Bo Ryan says practice stops - even for just a five second blip - chances are something monumental happened.
No, Jordan Taylor didn't get ridiculously hot from downtown. No, Jon Leuer didn't injure himself. No, Mike Bruesewitz didn't roll into practice with a fresh haircut.
Instead, senior forward Keaton Nankivil did exactly the same thing he did last Saturday against Illinois. He pump faked at the top of the key, put the ball on the deck and drove in for an easy dunk.
And yes, he made that one.
"If I just could have had Sharif Chambliss (video coordinator) zero in on the faces of Evan Anderson and J.P. Gavinski as he blew by those guys and shocked us all," Ryan said. "Practice stopped for five seconds, but it seemed like an hour.
"I was actually speechless for five seconds."
That was just in practice. Imagine what must have been running through the minds of Ryan, as well as the 17,000-plus in attendance when the senior forward did the same thing in a game.
And a must win at that.
"To think that Keaton is going to get five of those a game," Ryan quipped. "No. But it has to be in the Guinness Book of Records for a guy in the regular season to dunk the ball twice and to have it come back out of the basket, that is really strange."
But for a guy that is hitting 57 percent of his 3-point shots and averaging 13.2 points per game so far in conference play, the old pump fake and go is something that could get some decent mileage. As Ryan likes to put it, Nankivil now has a "counter move" that will make him even more dangerous as the season progresses.
"When you developed a curve ball how much better of a pitcher did that make you," Ryan said. "You had a fast ball and now you have a curve ball. In any sport, if you improve in an area it always and should make it more effective. You've got a counter. If you've got a good forehand and a bad backhand you've better get a backhand.
"It makes him a better team player, too."
Jarmusz's first turnover:
It went unnoticed in many circles, but senior forward Tim Jarmusz committed his first turnover in Big Ten play last Saturday against Illinois. Considering the amount of minutes he had been playing even his head coach was pretty surprised when he found out about that number.
"How come he's giving me numbers that I don't know," Ryan joked when a reporter brought up the statistic. "He did?"
It happened when Jarmusz tried to make a pass towards the top of the key, but an Illinois defender jumped the route and easily intercepted the pass. That's one turnover in 142 minutes of action.
"I know you get tired of hearing it, but he cares," Ryan said. "There is a difference when you watch some players, or maybe even some teams, it's not that they don't care but there's levels of caring for the basketball. Tim is a guy that knows the value of it.
"But I'll have to get on him today."
Though the Badgers split Big Ten contests over the past week, including a gut-wrenching 64-61-overtime loss at Michigan State, Wisconsin still moved up in each major poll Monday afternoon. UW now ranks No. 17 (up from No. 21) in the Coaches Poll and No. 18 (up from No. 20) in the Associated Press Poll.
Ohio State, one of five undefeated teams left in division one, ranks No. 1 in both polls. Purdue (13/14), Michigan State (18/17), Minnesota (19/15) and Illinois (22/23) are the other Big Ten teams within the top 25.
Because the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are set to kick off what promises to be a historic NFC Championship tilt at Soldier Field Sunday afternoon, school and Big Ten officials have decided to push the start of the UW-Northwestern game up a half hour.
Now, instead of starting at noon (ct) the contest will start at 11:30 a.m. It will still be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
The following is the audio file from the Kohl Center's media room.
Bo Ryan, 1/17/11
Mississippi State NEWS