What does that mean for the Badgers? Leuer averages 14.5 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 50.8 percent from the field.
He wasn't close to that level in his first game back, a loss at Minnesota last week. He was 2-for-12 from the field for four points in 26 minutes. Three days later, during a win against Northwestern, Leuer went 3-for-5 for 11 points in 22 minutes.
“He was better the second time than the first time,” coach Bo Ryan said. “When a guy comes back from injury like that, you worry about him trying to do too much, trying to make up for lost time. It's a blending process.
“The first game was about getting some of the rust knocked off. He was the difference maker against Northwestern.”
The No. 17 Badgers (20-7 overall, 10-5 in the Big Ten) have had lots of difference makers against IU recently.
They have won five straight games against the Hoosiers, including a 28-point win earlier this month in Madison. That came without Leuer.
IU (9-17) has plenty of worries besides Leuer. It has lost eight straight games, most by double-digit margins. Coaches are focused on rebuilding the program rather than ending the losing streak.
“This team is all about improvement,” assistant coach Tim Buckley said. “We know where we're at in terms of age and experience. We have to look at everything we do, from practice to film sessions to shoot-arounds as ways to improve.
“Sometimes, as coaches, you get to see more of the team and the improvement than people do on the outside. We can see where we're getting better and see where we have to continue to get better.
“We have to improve our ball movement and get better on the defensive end. It's not only guarding your own man, but become a better help defender and get rebounds. We've proven we can rebound. We've got to get those stops to get those rebounds.”
IU also should be healthier now that Verdell Jones and Christian Watford are over the flu that limited them in Saturday's Minnesota loss. Jones was 2-for-8 from the field for 10 points, plus five rebounds. Watford was 1-for-12 for three points and nine rebounds.
“Where it affected them the most,” Buckley said, “was probably just energy. It's one of the things they have to play through. They have to be sharper mentally.
“Physically (the flu) can hold you back. They did a good job of fighting through it. Now it's a matter of fighting through it and having some production.”
Up nextTipoff: Wisconsin at Indiana, 9 p.m. Thursday
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