Badgers Not Smelling This Flower

By Josh Herwitt - October 18, 2007

After losing his two best scorers from last season in Big Ten Player of the Year Alando Tucker and Chris Rock look-alike Kammron Taylor, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan knew that there would need to be some adjustments made for the 2007-08 season.

But not having Michael Flowers wasn't one of those adjustments he was originally planning for.

After starting in all 36 games last season, the senior guard will be taking a temporary leave of absence for medical reasons, according to school officials Thursday.

Flowers, who would not comment any further on his decision, led the Badgers in assists (105) and steals (56) while averaging 7.2 points per game as a member of last year's Big Ten all-defensive team.

"The important thing is that Michael knows he has the support of his coaches and teammates," Ryan said. "We hope that everyone will respect Michael's privacy."

But with Flowers' return now uncertain, Ryan will be searching frantically for offense this season.

And with Wisconsin's starting lineup not featuring a double-digit scorer from last year, the seventh-year coach will now have to rely even more on senior center Brian Butch to carry the load offensively and keep the Badgers afloat in the Big Ten.

Butch, who dislocated his right elbow last February and was forced to miss the rest of the 2006-07 season, returns as Wisconsin's leading scorer and rebounder at 8.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per game last season.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 09:38 PM on October 18, 2007

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