Wisconsin Doesn’t Hide from ‘White Guys’ Reputation

USA Today, April 2, 2015

Frank Kaminsky, star center for the University of Wisconsin basketball team, sat on a dais with four of his teammates before last year’s Elite Eight matchup with Arizona and fielded questions from the news media.

In one or two words, a reporter said, how would you want Arizona’s starters to describe you?

“Resilent” and “disciplined,” replied two of the players. “Unselfish” and “tough,” answered two others.

Then came Kaminsky. “White guys,” he deadpanned.

When the Final Four is played Saturday in Indianapolis, all five starters for Kentucky, Duke and Michigan State will be African American. Wisconsin’s starting lineup, by contrast, includes one African American, forward Nigel Hayes. (Traevon Jackson, who also is African American, was a starter this season before he missed two months with a broken foot.)

It’s a racial makeup that has been noticed, says Jordan Taylor, an African-American point guard who starred for the Badgers from 2008 to 2012. He plays for Hapoel Holon in the Israeli professional league and says he was needled by a teammate this week about Wisconsin’s chances against undefeated Kentucky.

“He was just saying we’ve got too many white guys,” Taylor says with a chuckle. “I still get kind of poked at, teased about it, because it always seems like there are about four white guys and a black point guard all the time (in Wisconsin’s starting lineup).”

Taylor and Kaminsky were among current and former players, former assistant coaches, authorities on the African-American experience at the University of Wisconsin and the state and others who spoke to USA TODAY Sports to answer: Why is the Badgers’ roster predominantly white?

The average Division I men’s basketball team this season includes nine African-American players and four white players, according to data provided by the NCAA. At Wisconsin, the roster includes five African Americans, 10 whites and one Native American.

“It’s an interesting question,” says Alando Tucker, an African American who was a forward for Wisconsin between 2002 and 2007 before playing three years in the NBA and later overseas. “It is surprising.”

What has become familiar is the Badgers’ success under coach Bo Ryan, whose teams have made the NCAA tournament in each of his 14 seasons, reached the Sweet 16 seven times and are in Final Four for the second year in a row.

“White, black, whatever,” says Jackson, a point guard for the Badgers. “We all worked hard, and Coach Ryan is a tough-nosed coach who gets the most out of you. We’re in back-to-back Final Fours, and we’re looking for more.”


A number of factors contribute to Wisconsin’s predominantly white teams, including: state and university demographics; coaching at the lower levels; and Ryan’s system, which features a methodical, half-court offense that is key to his success but according to players and coaches can make it a challenge to recruit top African-American players.

Ryan, through a Wisconsin spokesman, declined to comment.

“I think the misconception is that Bo just likes to recruit the big, white kids,” says Howard Moore, who was an assistant coach under Ryan from 2005 to 2010, played at Wisconsin from 1990 to 1995 and is African American. “Those (assistant coaches at Wisconsin) have done a great job of recruiting to Bo’s system and staying true to what Bo believes in and going and getting the kids that believe in what they do. That’s the key.”



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  • superlloyd

    Who cares? This is just a sideshow.

    • listenupbub

      It is fun to see a bunch of country-strong white boys beat the most talented black players through sheer discipline and teamwork. That is exactly what they did to Kentucky, a formerly undefeated team.

      • It would be more fun to watch sports and not have to see ANY blacks anywhere. I am tired of looking at the race and have been for a long time.

        • Keep Honkin, I’m Reloading

          “It would be more fun to watch sports…”

          OR anything else on TV for that matter.

        • listenupbub

          That is why you get into golf.

          Though, TW brought the annoying bragging, animosity, etc. of black athletes into golf. The young white guys are almost as likely to scream and brag as he was. Eventually, I hope they will revert back to their genteel nature.

        • James Hamilton

          That’s why I generally stick to golf and tennis these days. And being almost all white means that the players are more civilised and better behaved for some strange reason. I don’t know how any American father could encourage his sons to take an interest in the negro sports.

          • nordicman

            A room full of sterioded white bodybuilders would be calmer and more civilized than a room with two or more young skinny black males

  • Chip Carver

    The best the media will say about kids like this is that they have a “strong work ethic”.

    • They will do that until someone says that suggests blacks are lazy, then they will back peddle again to try and not sound “culturally insensitive.”

  • TruthBeTold

    Was the reporter looking for an angle to report on this team?

    The average Division I men’s basketball team this season includes nine African-American players and four white players, according to data provided by the NCAA. At Wisconsin, the roster includes five African Americans, 10 whites and one Native American.

    Numbers don’t lie. It has to be racism. What else could it be?

  • IstvanIN

    There must be some sort of racism going on when the majority population of the US, black males, are not the majority on every sports team.

  • connorhus

    “I think the misconception is that Bo just likes to recruit the big,
    white kids,” says Howard Moore, who was an assistant coach under Ryan
    from 2005 to 2010, played at Wisconsin from 1990 to 1995 and is African

    Only in today’s America with Blacks screaming racism at the drop of the hat could a race make up less than 15% of the population yet have a majority of the positions in one particular sport across the country and still say it’s racism when one team has more of the majority race.

    The Multi-Cult thought process is simply so messed up I can’t even follow it.

    • Charles Martel

      “methodical, half-court offense ” Too complicated for blacks to understand

      • B.A_2014

        Mefedo, mifito…sorryz boss, iz Nat ablez 2 say big wordz.

    • Alden

      It is not blacks but another ethnic group that transformed the color if American sports teams to black

    • Liberal White Guilt, aka, Cultural Marxism, is the new prevailing dogma of Western society.

  • Katherine McChesney

    The term “African American” grates on my nerves. It’s sickening.

    • APaige

      Let me fix it. ‘Africans in America’

      • Whirlwinder


      • Seniorsquadldr

        Most of them hate America so much they would rather be called Africans. I calls dem, negros, just to be polite. When I do not fell so polite I b caln dem sumpin’ else.

    • Charles Martel

      When I heard someone from the UK use it I said ‘no wonder the word hates America if you think blacks come from there”

      • We have to educate those Brits and explain to them that what comes from our communist controlled media has nothing to do with how real Americans actually think. We are sort of like the former Soviet Union in that regard.

        • cyrusthevirus

          I think we have worked that out for ourselves !!Most of us hate marxism over here but many are just too timid/feeble to say it outright !

        • nordicman

          I love how Western European liberals chide us white americans for being ‘racists’ when they are getting swamped with Africans and other nonwhites. I’m like “Now you know what we’ve been dealing with.”

    • Alden

      Goes well with affirmative action though, AAAA moron

    • How about darkies? Porch monkeys? Pavement apes? Monkeys? Gorilla faces? Big lips? Hop azzed S.O.B.’s……I am trying to find the right culturally sensitive term, okay?

  • Ringo Lennon

    I recently watched a basketball game, Kentucky vs. West Virginia. These two states are all white and yet there were 10 blacks in 10 positions on the court. How crazy is that?

    • Jonathan Vere

      One word: recruiting.

    • Mangosteen, $1000 chair

      I thank God that WVU is in Morgantown, almost as far away from my hometown as possible! They can keep that up there, thanks.

  • DaveMed

    Any more than a couple of Whites is too many for the professional victims.

  • Caucasoid88

    Obviously this is an awful tragedy and the Badgers should be kicked out of the tournament.

  • Jonathan Vere

    On, Wisconsin!

    • APaige

      I know what team to root for now.

  • Truthseeker

    I don’t normally care about basketball, but suddenly I’m rooting for Wisconsin to win the title.

    • Cheri Rodriguez

      Just remember that it was a White guy who invented the game (along with most things in the modern world).

      • Whirlwinder

        He couldn’t jump either.

        • InAFreeCountry

          Back then it was about teamwork and fundamentals, not hot-dogging and dunking.

          • Whirlwinder

            great point. It was all about the sport and sportsmanship

        • Mangosteen, $1000 chair

          Haha, I remember when that movie came out, my mom used to always say “They need to make a sequel called “Black Men Can’t Read”.

        • belajadevotchka2

          White men can’t jump and blacks can’t swim.

          • Seniorsquadldr

            But excrement floats. I see BHO’s son every day, floating in my toilet.

    • Whirlwinder

      Ain’t gonna happen

  • John Smith

    I’m not a major sports fan, beyond racing and some hockey or rugby. I know others in the family who were much more interested before sports became mostly black and now never watch them.

    • phillyguy

      Hockey is a great sport dominated by men who can do two or more things at the same time.

      • John Smith

        Almost guaranteed to be white men, maybe a few natives.

        • bv

          Half a frozen negros are playing only one is a star.

  • LeonNJ

    The Fighting Irish had two white boys staring in games. Not too bad.

  • Jason Lewis

    The New England Patriots offensive line looked similar and they won the Superbowl.

    • Charles Martel

      “methodical, half-court offense “= Too complicated for blacks to understand

      • Jeff

        I know next to nothing about basketball. But I’m going to venture a guess that, “methodical, half court offense” means that there is no room in the philosophy allowing for self centered, self aggrandizing, looks at me type players.

        • listenupbub

          You are exactly right. They pass like heat lightning. It is beautiful, and Kentucky’s larger-than-NBA-sized team could not even defend.

      • Jason Lewis

        Just woke up to find out Wisconsin beat undefeated Duke. LMAO

  • InAFreeCountry

    The world should be more like sports as far as rewarding merit goes. I was watching hockey last night, and two players were black. Very unusual, but you have to figure that they’re good enough to be there, not promoted to the big time just because they’re diversity. The people with the talent should be allowed to gravitate to the top of what they’re good at.

    Why, oh why, can’t employment and government work that way?

    • Usually Much Calmer

      There is no pressure of government to be a meritocracy. The only pressure on government is to provide jobs.

  • Ringo Lennon

    I’d rather watch 10 white players playing than 10 blacks any day. Recruiters are shutting out white kids.

  • Ringo Lennon

    Wisconsin will have their hands full tonight. These Kentucky blacks can jump.

    • listenupbub

      UPDATE- Wisconsin took them down. Pretty much controlled the game, with a few slip-ups.

  • Anglokraut

    As a newly-admitted Wildcat, I’m not too sad that the team lost to Wisconsin, as I don’t care about basketball; however, I am worried that when the sports teams lose, the alumni support dries up, which tightens funding for academics.

  • NoMosqueHere

    Having mostly white guys on a top basketball team is rare and newsworthy. It’s almost like a top academic school having mostly black professors in its math department.

    • listenupbub

      Perhaps it should not be that newsworthy. Whites make up for their slowness by learning great moves, passing, shooting, and strategic defense and offense.

      They are late-bloomers who learn how to WIN. Wisconsin was a mature team. White guys on UNC and Duke tend to improve with age.

      On the other hand, black players almost never improve after age 18. They finish their development as players then. Sometimes they start scoring more, but usually because the coach helps them shoot more.

  • listenupbub

    They just won. They beat the ridiculously stacked Kentucky, which has 9 McDonald’s All Americans, all black. An undefeated team.

    The reason blacks do not like to play for Wisconsin is that the coach demands both discipline and selflessness. The team passes lightning-quick, and it passes a lot. Blacks are typically ball hogs who do not care about teamwork and strategy.

    And they are getting their arses handed to them by a team of white guys.

    • Robert Smith

      I don’t follow basketball, but I do follow white people. WTG boys WTG.

  • listenupbub

    Because whites are not lazy. Whites can be diligent, in certain situations.

    I think that covers every issue.

  • MikeofAges

    The reason why is because always different groups do better at different things. Blacks athletes have done great things, but not in every activity. Only blacks ceaselessly complain, however, that they are not equally represented in all endeavors Even though no else is. With all of the Jewish-American mathematicians and physicists, there aren’t quite so many Jewish engineers in most branches of the field. There was discrimination once, but there hasn’t been for decades. If you applied the same logic, you would blame the relative paucity of Jewish engineers on the cultural conditioning brought about by past discrimination. Only blacks demand incessant outreach directed at the things they historically have been the worst at. African Americans stink at entrepreneurship but the leaders and their white allies demand outreach in that area. Meanwhile, there is no clamor for what blacks have succeeded at, industrial jobs and service jobs. In fact, the whole agenda is abstraction entirely. If Martin Luther King’s “dream” was achieved tonight, Monday morning a lot of people would have to go to work in a lot of not very interesting jobs. Just today I saw a complaint on a black website that whites supported the abstraction of the “dream” but not the substance of King’s impetus toward economic justice. But isn’t economic justice exactly that for the millions of underemployed and rarely-to-never employed, a not very interesting job, but still a paycheck and a little dignity?

  • Oh, I wish we would stop with this “African American” B.S. They are BLACK. And, btw, that itself was started because the NEGROES wanted to be called something different during the “Black Pride” movement of the sixties. So, we Whites obliged (as usual, huh?). Then came “Black is beautiful.” Now, they don’t like that. So African American. I think I am being kind by calling them black.

    Now, furthermore, calling Indians, “Native Americans” is ridiculous. The “injuns” ARE NOT NATIVE AMERICANS. Throughout history, the European colonists never considered them part of the society. Up until, the twentieth century, they were treated as members of autonomous nations, not as Americans. The term “Native American” was used, up until the 1970’s to refer to a white person who lived in the country several generations and had no identifiable ethnic ancestry other than American. It is of interest to note that in Latin America, Indians are never referred to as natives. In Mexico they are “Los Indios.” This despite the fact that in Mexico, Indians were in fact, an integral part of the Spanish Empire from the beginning, and there WAS a Mexican Empire at the time of discovery by Europeans.

    Anyway, I had to get those points off my chest. Thank you for reading.

    • Keepin’itREALISTic

      “African American” is a cumbersome tongue twister that damn near leaves the speaker winded it’s so long.

      I’ve been convinced since it became PC mandatory that blacks have been insisting on use of the term just so they can get a laugh at the extreme to which they can push scared whites to do difficult, ridiculous things out of fear in an effort to avoid enraging blacks.

  • Late breaking news.


    Now let’s see how fast the University of Kentucky’s President moves at a suspension. I’m sure he or she will move just as fast as David Boren did at Oklahoma. Right?

  • Jon Doe

    all blacks starting not a problem, 4 white guys and 1 black starting, conspiracy…? “this is racist somehow, I just know it”
    Signed, Al Sharpton

  • rebelcelt

    Yeah, It was great seeing Calipari lose. Proud Memphis State (oops, University of Memphis grad).

  • MartelsGhost

    Go Badgers.

  • Seniorsquadldr

    Proof we do not need Africans on our school grounds. Let them have their own.

  • LiberalismFailed

    I understand your point, but the reality is that a team made mostly of locally recruited white players just trounced what some believed was the greatest college basketball team of all time, composed entirely of nationally recruited, black, five star recruits, future NBA all stars, Obama’s anointed bracket champions pick and the darlings of the liberal media sports establishment, and a team that Larry Brown claimed could beat some NBA teams.

    • John Smith

      Reminds me of “Hoosiers.” Milan, Indiana is just down the road a ways. It’s almost all white still, as is Japser, which is another big basketball town in Indiana, which demographics show has gotten even whiter as time goes by and is still almost a “sundown town.”

  • nordicman

    Yeah, but I noticed they don’t complain about whites “disproportionately’ paying all the taxes that support them.