Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.
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12 // VARSITY April 10, 2014 BY MIKE LUCAS // UWBADGERS.COM LUCAS AT LARGE D uring last week's pep rally at the Milwaukee Theatre, Mike Kelley and Andy Kowske, starters on the Badgers' 2000 Final Four team, crossed paths with Ben Brust and Josh Gasser, starters on the 2014 Wisconsin team that wants to connect the dots between the past and present and write its own history. Throughout Wisconsin's inspi- rational run to the Final Four, one of Frank Kaminsky's biggest fans was literally one of his biggest fans in 6-foot-8, 327-pound Rob Haven- stein, a two-year starter at right tackle on the UW football team and a former high school hoops player of some renown. Actually, Havenstein's twin brother, Jeff, is more renowned for his basketball. Jeff Havenstein, a 6-8, 230-pound senior, started 27 games for the Longwood University (Farmville, Va.) Lancers of the Big South Conference, whose NCAA representative, No. 16 seed Coastal Carolina, almost upset Virginia. No one would ever confuse the Havenstein twins with the Harri- son twins, Aaron and Andrew, who helped lead Kentucky past Wiscon- sin in last Saturday's national semi- final game at AT&T Stadium in Ar- lington, Texas. But the Havensteins did play together at Linganore High School in Frederick, Md. Rob Havenstein was more of a screener, a block-out-the-sun screener for Jeff Havenstein, who earned a Division I basketball scholarship coming out of Mount Airy, Md., thereby following in the sneakers of their 6-foot-3 older sister, Holly Havenstein, who played collegiately at Colgate University. "I had more of a football body," conceded Rob Havenstein, who was in the 380 area code during his freshman redshirt season with the Badgers before trimming down. Every now and then, during the football offseason, he'll still look to get into a pick-up game of basket- ball on campus. "I thought if Coach Bo (Ryan) needed me at all, I was going to step in," Havenstein kidded. "Just kind of knowing the guys, Frank and everyone, it was cool seeing them playing at the caliber that they were playing (in the NCAA tournament) and thinking, 'I've hung out with that kid, Frank Kaminsky."' Frank the Tank might be able to say the same someday about Ha- venstein if he has the type of senior year that everyone expects and he plays his way into the first round of the NFL draft. For now, Havenstein was delighted to revel in the suc- cess of Kaminsky and his basketball teammates. "That's what all of our players wanted to talk about; they were fired up about the whole thing," said UW coach Gary Andersen, who had his staff over to his house for the Kentucky game. Had the Bad- gers advanced, he was planning on having the whole team watch Monday's title game together. It's that very togetherness ― between various student-athletes in different sports ― that has wowed Andersen. "The University of Wis- consin," he said, "is almost like an Olympic village. Do you know what I mean? The kids are so intertwined in life and within the general stu- dent population." At that, he's hoping to generate some campus support for Satur- day's spring game. "We need to play some football," he said. "It matters to these kids to get out there (Camp Randall Stadium) and have a little pressure on them to play. It makes you tougher. It forces you to get a little uncomfortable." Uncomfortable is good, he said, because "football becomes real uncomfortable sometimes." Like the first few spring practices were for freshman center Michael Deiter, an early enrollee from Genoa (Ohio) High School, 10 minutes from his home in Curtice, which is 12 miles outside of Toledo. "It's been tough, but it's what I expected. I expected it to be tough and it's been a really good oppor- tunity," said the 6-5, 310-pound Deiter, who admitted to getting rocked on some early snaps. "After the first few plays, it was like, 'OK, I need to change some things' and I adjusted to it." You can imagine the ongoing ad- justments for Deiter, who has taken over as the No. 1 center because of injuries to Dan Voltz and Dallas Lewallen. That's pretty heady stuff for someone who's only 17 years old ― he won't turn 18 until Sep- tember ― and is still going to his high school prom in May. "It's crazy," said Havenstein. "When he came in, he acted older than a lot of the guys on the O-line just because of the way he stepped in and picked up the offense. It's un- Young and old, O-line focused on improvement Continued on page 18