MADISON, Wis. — Micah Potter scored 14 points, Tyler Wahl had 11 points and 15 rebounds, and No. 4 Wisconsin breezed to an 82-42 victory over Green Bay on Tuesday in Phoenix coach Will Ryan’s return to Madison.
Ryan is the son of former Badgers head coach Bo Ryan. Will Ryan and current Badgers coach Greg Gard worked together on Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin staff from 2002-07.
Bo Ryan coached Wisconsin from 2001-15 and posted a 364-130 record, making him the program’s career wins leader. There were no spectators Tuesday due to COVID-19 safety protocols, and Bo Ryan was expected to watch the game from his home in La Quinta, California.
Aleem Ford and Nate Reuvers each scored 13 points for the Badgers (3-0), and Brad Davison added 10 points. Josh Jefferson led Green Bay (0-2) with 12 points.
Wisconsin won its 11th straight, including its final eight games of the 2019-20 season to earn a share of the Big Ten title. The Badgers opened this season by defeating Eastern Illinois and Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Green Bay took a 4-2 lead but didn’t score again for over eight minutes. The Phoenix missed 13 straight shots as Wisconsin went on an 11-0 run to pull ahead for good.
Wisconsin’s own struggles on offense kept the game close for a while. The Badgers led 13-8 nearly 13 minutes into the game.
Once the Badgers finally started to heat up, they wasted no time putting the game out of reach.
After making just five of its first 16 field-goal attempts, Wisconsin shot 64.4% (29 of 45) the rest of the way. The Badgers also outrebounded Green Bay 45-25 and outscored the Phoenix 42-22 in the paint.
Wisconsin closed the first half on a 21-4 spurt to take a 34-12 lead into the locker room. That stretch underscored the work Will Ryan has ahead of him in his first season as a Division I head coach.
Green Bay hired Ryan after he went 14-13 in one season as head coach at Division II Wheeling (West Virginia). He previously worked as an assistant coach at Ohio and North Dakota State after serving as a video coordinator and director of basketball operations during his years at Wisconsin.
Green Bay: The Phoenix got blown out by another Big Ten team after opening the season with a 99-69 loss at Minnesota. That one-two punch should at least make Green Bay ready for whatever it might encounter the rest of the season. Green Bay will have to improve its outside shooting after going a combined 6 of 33 from 3-point range over its first two games.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have three straight double-digit victories over overmatched opponents to start the season. They’ll have a much better idea of where they stand over the next week as they visit Marquette and host Louisville in their next two games.
BADGERS’ McGRORY OUT INDEFINITELY
Wisconsin announced before the game that senior Walt McGrory had undergone hip surgery and will be out indefinitely. The reserve guard hadn’t appeared in either of the Badgers’ first two games. He has played in 36 career games, including 14 last season.
Green Bay hosts Eastern Illinois in its home opener Saturday.
Wisconsin visits Marquette on Friday.