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Gard turning to bench more frequently as Badgers get deeper into Big Ten play

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MADISON, Wis. (WKOW) -- Greg Gard picked up his first win in the Big Ten as a head coach, three players hit double digits, and nearly everyone saw time on the floor as the Badgers defeated Rutgers 79-57 on Saturday afternoon. 

A total of 10 players saw meaningful minutes before Gard called in mop-up duty in their second conference match-up.

Since Bo Ryan's departure nearly three weeks ago, interim head coach Greg Gard is giving more players a chance to prove what they can bring to the table.
Sophomore guard Jordan Hill played 25 minutes in 11 games as a true freshman before red-shirting last season. 
In the two games since Gard took over, Hill has played a total of 45 minutes, putting up 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. 
A Hill is not alone; Alex Illikainen, Khalil Iverson, and Charlie Thomas are also finding more opportunities with Gard in control. 

Freshman forward Ethan Happ put up his fifth double-double of the season and speak highly of the bench. 

"Not to knock on Coach Ryan at all, of course, but I think they're getting more of an opportunity. I mean we have guys that are capable to come off the bench and score and defend but they're getting more of a chance now."

Nigel Hayes, who averages 15.7 points per game, had a much quieter night against Rutgers, scoring 8 points.

"I guess what a better time than now to start in the Big Ten....and for Bronson and I to not really impact offensively, but for the other guys to pick us up...When you see things like that its definitely good for the teams confidence and then individually for the players as well."

The Badgers continue Big Ten play when they travel to Indiana on Tuesday. 

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