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Xavier Wisconsin Basketball

Xavier's Naji Marshall, fouls Wisconsin's Brad Davison (34) during the first half of of the Musketeers' 80-70 win on Thursday in Madison. 

Signs say it all

With a sign-making station available to students before the game Thursday night, there was no shortage of clever comments on display. BMO Harris Bank sponsored the sign-making station and students could vote on social media for the best sign, with the winner receiving a $100 gift card.

One of the better signs read: “NCAA leader in steals: UCLA 3, Rest of country: 0.” The sign was referencing the shoplifting incident involving Bruins players LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley. President Donald Trump, who was in China as part of a pre-planned Asian tour, helped with diplomatic efforts to allow the players to avoid criminal prosecution in China and leave the country to return to the United States, where they were suspended indefinitely by the university on Wednesday.

Some of the other signs had more to do with the game against Xavier, with one saying “Never forget” followed by the score 66-63. In the last meeting between the Badgers and Musketeers, Bronson Koenig hit back-to-back 3-pointers to help UW comeback to beat Xavier 66-63 on March 20, 2016, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Not all of the signs were quite so clever, with one sign making the shocking statement at the Kohl Center: “I like Wisconsin more than Xavier.”

Former Badgers in attendance 

The Badgers introduced former UW men’s basketball coach Stu Jackson and ex-players Rashard Griffith and Tracy Webster midway through the first half on Thursday night.

Jackson, who served as UW head coach in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons, had a 32-25 record at Wisconsin, leading the Badgers to the 1994 NCAA Tournament and ending the school’s 47-year drought. Jackson also served as head coach of the New York Knicks and Vancouver Grizzlies before going on to work as executive vice president of basketball operations in the NBA.

Griffith played two seasons for UW from 1993-95, averaging 15.6 points and 9.7 rebounds in 51 games. He struggled with his role in Jackson’s system as a freshman, but would stay on to average a double-double in his sophomore year, putting up 17.2 points and 10.8 rebounds a game. Griffith played 17 seasons overseas before retiring in 2010.

Webster, the Badgers’ starting point guard from 1991-94, averaged 14.4 points, 5.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 88 games over his three seasons in Madison, compiling 501 assists in that time. Webster, also part of the squad that ended the NCAA tournament drought in 1994, was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame in September.

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