MADISON, Wis. — Frank Kaminsky insists he isn’t trying to
instigate some sort of intrastate war of words between Wisconsin and Marquette
basketball fans. Tweeting “#BeatMarquette,” as Kaminsky did to his
more than 5,000 followers Thursday, is a good way to fan the flames of an
already hotly contested rivalry.
But Kaminsky instead was directing his tweet to Dylan Flood
— one of his best friends –who also happens to be a walk-on basketball player
at Marquette. He included an Instagram photo of the two of them wearing their
respective teams’ warm-up jackets.
The tweet read in full: “Lookin forward to seein my dude
@imdtf24 this weekend but #BeatMarquette”
Flood, keeping in the spirit of the good-natured banter,
replied: “Me 2 bro except #beatbucky”
“I’ve been texting him and talking some smack,”
Kaminsky said this week. “Obviously everyone from the state of Wisconsin
knows about the Wisconsin-Marquette rivalry, and it’s going to be a fun
Kaminsky’s relationship with Flood will create another
wrinkle of intrigue when No. 8 Wisconsin (9-0) plays host to Marquette (5-3) at
1:15 p.m. Saturday, even if Flood never sees the court. Flood, a junior, has
appeared in three games for a total of three minutes.
Flood and Kaminsky both played high school basketball in
Illinois at Benet Academy and led the program to great success. When Flood was
a senior and Kaminsky a junior, the two helped Benet Academy finish 26-4,
including 13-0 in league play, to win its first conference title since 1986.
The two have maintained their friendship in college, and the
Wisconsin-Marquette game is a constant source of conversation. A year ago,
Marquette beat Wisconsin 60-50, so Flood has held bragging rights.
“He talks about it all the time,” Kaminsky said.
“I give him crap. He scored his first basket this year. Me and him, we try
and have that joke friendship where we give each other crap about every little
thing. I hope we win this game so I can give him crap about it, too.”
As for whether tweeting “#BeatMarquette” was a
good idea, Kaminsky said: “I don’t know. It was more intended to take a
shot at him than anyone else. We’ll see.”
Mr. 300: With Wisconsin’s 48-38 victory against Virginia on
Wednesday, Bo Ryan became the ninth coach to win 300 games at a Big Ten school.
His .726 winning percentage is second only to Bobby Knight (.734) among those
nine coaches. Ryan is now 300-113 overall in his 13th season at Wisconsin.
“We congratulated him,” Badgers forward Sam Dekker
said. “That’s a great milestone for a great coach and a great man.
Congrats to him, but hopefully we can get him plenty more this year.”
Chasing history: A victory against Marquette would almost
assuredly place Wisconsin on track to set the school record for wins to begin a
season. The Badgers’ best start in program history was in 1993-94, when they
opened 11-0 under coach Stu Jackson.
Wisconsin closes the nonconference season with home games
against Marquette, Milwaukee, Eastern Kentucky and Prairie View A&M before
beginning Big Ten play Jan. 2 at Northwestern.
“You try to take it one game at a time,” Badgers
guard Josh Gasser said. “That’s really what our mindset is. But at the
same time, it’s hard to avoid that. You want to be accomplished. We’re proud of
what we accomplished so far. We just really want to keep it going.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time. All the
records and all that stuff, the rankings, that stuff doesn’t really matter.
It’s good to see, but at the same time it’s too early in the season to really
get caught up in that stuff.”