MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin forward Mike Bruesewitz is no stranger to the spotlight when it comes to his hairstyle. The red-headed senior has sported a mop-topped fro, worn cornrows and shaved his head to raise money for multiple sclerosis.
And now comes a new look, one seemingly inspired by the fictional character Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld. This week, Bruesewitz’s ‘do features hair shaved around the edges, while his curly red locks remain intact. He had been growing out his hair this season so his grandmother could recognize him on television during games.
It’s hard to know exactly what Bruesewitz intended with this cut because he refused to discuss any particulars following Sunday’s practice.
Reporter: Where did the idea for the haircut come from?
Bruesewitz: I’m not talking about my hair. I wanted a haircut.
Reporter: When are you going to get one?
Bruesewitz: I got one.
Reporter: Is there a name for that style?
Bruesewitz: (No answer)
And later . . .
Reporter: How much did you pay for that?
Bruesewitz: (No answer)
“We’re trying to figure out what that looks like,” Badgers associate coach Greg Gard said. “I said Seinfeld.”
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was asked Monday during his weekly news conference if there was money in the budget put aside for a team barber. Ryan said he had no issues with Bruesewitz’s hair choice.
“I’m a product of the ’60s when everybody expressed themselves,” Ryan said. “There were grooming issues then. Probably a lot tougher than now. The Beatles hit the scene. Some other things with Shaft. I think that was maybe a little later. Late 60s, early 70s. Different hairstyles with all different players. . . .
“They can express themselves that way. That’s fine. As long as they’re not doing anything with their hands that takes away from their concentration on the play, that’s the only rule I’ve ever had.”
Here’s guessing the visiting crowds at Michigan State and Penn State during Wisconsin’s final two regular season games will find a way to razz Bruesewitz for his choice of hairstyles.
Evans free throws: Badgers forward Ryan Evans said following Sunday’s practice that shooting jump shots as a free throw attempt would be “a game-time decision” for Wisconsin’s game against Nebraska on Tuesday. On Monday, his coach made it seem as though it was a done deal.
Bo Ryan again noted the success of former pro basketball player Hal Greer, who shot 80.1 percent from the foul line as a jump shooter during his 15-year career.
“Ryan’s tried that method and feels right now that’s the best way to make the free throw,” Ryan said. “It’s not that unusual to have a different style. A lot of guys have different styles. So whatever works. As long as he believes it.”
This season, Evans is shooting 40.5 percent from the foul line, down from his career accuracy rate of 71.1 percent.
Berggren excelling: Ryan praised Badgers center Jared Berggren on Monday for his consistent level of play this season. Statistically, Berggren has improved every season he’s been in the program. This season, he has developed into Wisconsin’s top scoring threat.
The Badgers’ 6-10 senior center is leading the team in scoring (11.9 points) and is second in rebounding (7.0 rebounds). He also is three blocks shy of passing Rashard Griffith for the school record. Berggren has 122 career blocks.
“I think he’s inspired our other guys that if you just stay consistent, just keep working, that things will pretty much even out,” Ryan said during Monday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference. “He’s always just ready for the next possession.
“I think that’s been a steadying influence, especially for our younger guys. Guys like Sam Dekker, George Marshall. I think Jared is just looked at as one of those guys, ‘Hey we can count on him.’ That’s a pretty good thing to have in life when you’ve got someone who is as consistent as he’s been.”