Comments Published on March 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: [email protected] | @mark_cooperjr BOSTON – Sitting in the middle of the Wisconsin trio at Wednesday’s press conference, Ryan Evans turned his head right and shared a laugh with Jordan Taylor. To Evans’ left, Jared Berggren stared ahead beaming as if he had just been told a joke.The thought that the Badgers, in an effort to puzzle Syracuse, would differentiate from their trademark man-to-man defense and go zone was comical to the UW veterans.‘I’ve never played a second of zone defense since I’ve been at Wisconsin,’ said Taylor, UW’s senior guard. ‘… I don’t think you’re going to see that tomorrow.’Wisconsin is the best in the nation defensively, allowing 52.9 points per game and deploying a physical, Big Ten-style man-to-man defense. Syracuse has been held to less than that number just once, in a 52-51 win over Louisville on Feb. 13. The top-seeded Orange (33-2) scored 50 points in the second half of its 75-59 win over Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament’s third round last Saturday, getting its offense back on track. But the No. 4 Badgers (26-9) defense is a difficult test standing in the way of Syracuse’s first Elite Eight appearance since 2003.The two teams play Thursday at 7:15 p.m. in the TD Garden in Boston. The winner will play against the victor of the No. 2 Ohio State and No. 6 Cincinnati matchup, a game played in the TD Garden after Syracuse’s matchup.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange’s success against KSU came against the Wildcats’ man-to-man defense. Before that, Syracuse displayed trouble in matchups with zone defenses.So the question of whether Wisconsin would consider breaking out a zone defense was not out of left field with regard to the matchup. But Taylor said he heard head coach Bo Ryan say he played it one possession, was scored on and never went back.Wisconsin plays a physical, tough man-to-man, and it plays it very well.‘They stay in front of you,’ guard Brandon Triche said. ‘They’re not a team that’s going to overplay too much, try to pressure you too much, but they almost keep you in front so much that it makes you want to speed up and makes you want to do things that you’re normally not accustomed to, just because there’s not going to be as many easy shots.’One of the strongest aspects of Wisconsin’s man-to-man is its help-side defense. Ryan said the Badgers call their help-side defense ‘policemen.’ Triche said the way UW helps on defense is similar to a zone.The support system Wisconsin’s players provide on defense allow UW to protect in the paint and on ball screens. Against Syracuse, it could also be a factor if the Orange guards try and beat the Badgers off the dribble.‘They’re not going to give you anything,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said in his press conference Wednesday. ‘You’re not going to get anything easy against them. You have to execute and play well on the offensive end of the court.’All season long, the Wisconsin players have forced teams into low-percentage shots near the end of the shot clock. The Badgers rank 10th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (38.5 percent) and fourth in 3-point shooting percentage defense (28.8 percent). UW has allowed its opponents to make just 3.54 3-pointers per game – tops in the country.Syracuse got past Kansas State thanks in part to a 6-of-9 shooting game from 3. But as Triche said, Wisconsin’s defense sticks with its assignments. If the Orange drives, UW is not likely to overcompensate and allow a Syracuse guard to kick the ball out for an open triple.Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins said the Badgers look even better on tape than they do on the score sheet. There’s a sense of the time Wisconsin commits to perfecting its defense, Hopkins said, and the players have high basketball IQs.‘You’re getting one shot, and it seems like you’re always taking a contested shot,’ he said, ‘and that’s what great defensive teams do.’Syracuse has been successful in matchups with man-to-man by utilizing its length, athleticism and ability to run. The Orange enters Thursday’s game against the Badgers with slight advantages in size and athleticism once again.But not many teams have attacked Ryan’s defense and succeeded. The Badgers have allowed 70-plus points in two of 35 games.Syracuse wants to be the third. And guard Scoop Jardine said it will be more about what the Orange does to execute on offense that determines the outcome.‘We’ve just got to run our sets, whatever defense the team is in,’ Jardine said. ‘We know they play like a soft man, where they’re going to help a lot, and they’re very grounded on defense. ‘They’re a very smart defensive (team). We know that, so we have to move the ball and help each other get open and get better shots, and I think if we do that, we should be fine.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+
DES MOINES — Farmers who are being financially hurt by international trade disputes will be able to apply for a second round of payments from the federal government starting Monday. Unlike last year, row-crop farmers will get payments based on their county, not the specific crop they planted.Former Iowa ag secretary, now an undersecretary with the USDA, Bill Northey says checks will start going out next month. “Payments we expect to start mid- to late-August and will be made to three groups of folks,” Northey says. “We have the non-specialty crops, that county payment rate, specialty crops, and then to our dairy and hog producers.”County rates reflect how much money the USDA calculated an area lost due to reduced exports and range from 15 to 150 dollars per acre. U-S Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the payments are meant to help, but won’t make anyone whole. Perdue says, “President Trump understands that these are the people who are producing and they are the disproportionate bearers of the trade disruption.”Pork and dairy farmers, and producers of specialty crops like fruits and nuts, will be paid separately. The USDA raised the amount a farmer can get from the payouts to $500,000, if they’re eligible for payments in two or three categories. Perdue says it’s all in keeping with President Trump’s promise. “His administration’s not going to stand by while our productive farmers are treated unfairly by countries acting in bad faith,” Perdue says. “These are the men and women, year after year, who put their equity on the line, assume the financial risk, and every time, they plant a new crop and keep going.”Iowa State University ag economist Chad Hart says the change from the 2018 payment program will eliminate complaints that soybeans got a much bigger payout than corn. “It’s still targeted by crop even though the crop does not directly factor into the mix of how big your payment is,” Hart says.Overall, the government plans to distribute more than 14-billion dollars in aid to farmers and ranchers through the Market Facilitation Program, or M-F-P. Sign-ups will be taken through December 6th.