MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Members of the Southeastern Louisiana men's basketball team will end up missing a week's worth of classes for their season-opening road trip.
In addition to study groups so they can keep up with their classwork, coach Jim Yarbrough hopes his team learns on the court, too.
The Lions were overwhelmed by No. 23 Wisconsin in their opener Sunday afternoon, going scoreless for the opening 7:21 and losing to the Badgers 87-47 at the Kohl Center.
"I think sometimes you would like to have a little different opponent to ease you into the season and get your feet under you," Yarbrough said. "I think we have a pretty good ball club in there somewhere that just got overwhelmed by the tremendous performance by Wisconsin. They were just terrific in every way.
"I've been in a few blowouts before as a low-major program ... Sometimes you feel terrible. I actually feel our guys had a great approach and real freshness about them, but they ran into a very good opponent today. It's just about can we learn from these next couple games as they come down the pike?"
Redshirt freshman George Marshall, starting at point guard for Wisconsin with junior Josh Gasser out for the season with a torn ACL, hit a 3-pointer just 13 seconds in to set the tone for the day.
Badgers senior Jared Berggren then scored six of his game-high 19 points and junior Ben Brust added five of his 14 in a 19-0 run to open the game.
Southeastern Louisiana, meanwhile, missed its first five shots and committed four turnovers before finally getting on the board when Todd Nelson hit a 3-pointer from the right corner.
The Badgers (1-0) led by as many as 28 in the first half, and didn't allow the Lions to reach double figures until junior Dre Evans made two free throws to make it 35-11 with 5:36 remaining before halftime.
Senior Roosevelt Johnson added nine points for Southeast Louisiana (0-1), which shot 46 percent from the floor in the second half after making just 7 of 28 shots (25 percent) in the first half. Senior standout Brandon Fortenberry was 1-for-8 and scored two points in his first game since last December, when he suffered a season-ending broken foot.
Things don't get much easier for Southeastern Louisiana, which plays at Marquette on Tuesday and at New Mexico State on Thursday.
"It's a tough road trip, but it's just going to get us better," said Evans, who led the Lions with 13 points. "We just want to see how great teams play and match their intensity.
"We're going to get better as the season continues. We're looking at this stretch of games as getting us ready for our conference schedule."