October 29, 2008

Nankivil dominates, leads Cardinal to victory

MADISON, Wis. - For those that were unable to make it to the Kohl Center Wednesday evening for the annual Cardinal-White scrimmage, Keaton Nankivil's breakout performance may have been missed. Well, at least to this point. His 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting led the younger Cardinal squad to a 72-67 win.

"Well basically it was his coming out party," head coach Bo Ryan said following the event. "He was pretty much the difference maker."

The hometown kid from Madison Memorial, who also ripped down six rebounds, was impressive from start to finish, displaying a scoring knack and defensive presence on the new Kohl Center floor. He finished plays in every variety: hook shots, dunks, and fade-a-way jumpers before finishing as the game's high scorer.

On paper, the cardinal squad of Morris Cain, Jon Leuer, Jordan Taylor, Jason Bohannon Wquinton Smith, Brett Valentyn, Jared Berggren and Nankivil, had to be the underdogs.

But with newcomer Taylor (10 points) running the point, the Cardinal developed a flow and kept the turnovers to a minimum.

"Two things, the red had almost a five-to-one ratio, at least a four-to-one plus, assist-to turnovers," Ryan said. "The White wasn't bad, they were maybe like three-to-one or two-to-one, but that was the difference.

"Red took care of the ball a little bit better and Keaton just had his way."

On the other side of the ball, the White squad (Marcus Landry, Kevin Gullickson, Joe Krabbenhoft, Trevon Hughes, Tim Jarmusz, Ryan Evans, Rob Wilson, J.P. Gavinski and Ian Markolf) jumped out to the early lead and held a five point advantage, its largest, early on in the first half.

Landry led his team with a quiet 20-point, two-rebound performance while Krabbenhoft had his typical 13-point, 11-rebound output and Hughes chipped in 12. But in the end, it was too much Nankivil and Bohanan, who finished with 13 points and eight assists, for the White to overcome.

"We didn't run very many specials, just the ball screens or the swing," Ryan said. "Just getting them used to what it's going to be like when the lights are on and they're keeping score."

Every player saw significant playing time with nobody receiving less than 15 minutes of action. The Cardinal dished out 21 assists compared to only six turnovers while White had 18 to go along with 13 miscues.

"What we take is when we sit down with them and go over it and what they digest of it," Ryan said. "It's one thing what they'll remember from it, but the main thing is after we show them the clips that they can see things a little bit better. Then you go to the next practice and pick it up from there."

THe Badgers open their exhibition slate when they host Augustana Saturday night at the Kohl Center.

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