Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 19, 2024
Mike Bruesewitz

Saturday’s preseason game against UW-Stevens Point will be the final chance for players to make their case for a starting job.

Badgers set for last tune-up prior to season opener

While Saturday’s spotlight will certainly be on Camp Randall and the 6-2 UW football team, Wisconsin men’s basketball kicks off their season Saturday night at the Kohl Center with an exhibition matchup against UW-Stevens Point.

The Pointers, three-time defending WIAA Conference Tournament champions, ended last season with a 26-4 record. The team’s season came to an end with a defeat at the hands of St. Thomas University in the NCAA Division III Sweet 16.

Having lost three starters from last year’s Sweet 16 team, the Badgers will depend on this exhibition game to answer some of the personnel questions that linger as the season draws near.

The backcourt seems locked up, with senior All-American Jordan Taylor being joined by sophomore Josh Gasser as they were last season at the guard positions. Off the bench, sophomore Ben Brust will certainly see plenty of playing time, especially if he continues to show an ability to score as he did in last Sunday’s Red-White scrimmage, agame he finished with a game-high 22 points. 

Where the focus will be Saturday night is no doubt the frontcourt spots. Juniors Mike Bruesewitz and Jared Berggren seem to be locks for starting roles, with fellow junior Ryan Evans likely the final piece of the starting puzzle.

However, the these spots are not set in stone, and there is no doubt that head coach Bo Ryan will use Saturday’s exhibition as a measuring stick for those still in the hunt.

Sophomore Duje Dukan and freshman Jarod Uthoff seem to be the most likely candidates to overtake one of the aforementioned juniors at this point.

Dukan comes off of a freshman campaign in which he received little playing time but gained a tremendous amount of experience on the scout team, shaping his body in the process so that he may prepare for the physicality that comes with playing in the Big Ten.

Uthoff, the most highly touted addition to this year’s freshman class, seems to be a young Jon Leuer in the making. Wearing Leuer’s number 30, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native has already displayed his ability to play both on the interior and around the perimeter, s versatility Ryan will certainly hope to use.

Redshirt freshman Evan Anderson also figures to get a solid look this weekend, coming off a redshirt year in which he grew tremendously as a player, particularly with his footwork. The 6 foot 10 inch Stanley native has been impressive thus far in practice, and the Badgers are eager to see how that translates in game situations.

Although exhibitions do not show up on the record, they are certainly momentum builders heading into the regular season. With a talented Pointers team coming to the Kohl Center, the Badgers have to believe that Saturday will provide a solid gauge of where they stand as a team at this point.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal