Photo Courtesy UW Athletic Communications
When Bemidji State visits the Kohl Center Wednesday night it will mark the unofficial start to the UW men's basketball season.
The exhibition games are always fun because they provide a sneak peak of this year's team and they at least give us a few hints as to who will play a major role in the outcome of this season. There is no danger of losing redshirt eligibilty so anyone can play and since UW will be playing a far inferior opponent you can expect to see a lot of the players who you might not see once the regular season gets underway.
But because of that, be cautious when you watch the game tonight. Here are a couple of things NOT to look for tonight:
- The play of senior guards Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon. There's no question the growth and leadership of UW's oldest guards are huge for the Badgers this season, but Bemidji State does not provide the right canvas to judge whether or not Pop and J-Bo have made the neccessary strides.
- Playing time/the rotation. Everyone will play against Bemidji State and Bo Ryan will try every possible combination of players. If a guy like redshirt freshman Ryan Evans plays 30 minutes Wednesday night, don't just assume he will be a major part of UW's rotation this season.
With that said, there are plenty of things we can look at against Bemidji State. Here are five things to watch for Wednesday night at the Kohl Center
- The starting lineup - Bo Ryan always downplays the significance of his starting five and he does so with good reason. Often the first and second players off the bench play larger roles than a couple of the starters. Still, it's fun to speculate and we should see the starting five Bo Ryan envisions for the regular season when the tip-off comes tonight. I expect to see Hughes, Bohannon, Tim Jarmusz, Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil.
These are questions that certainly won't be answered Wednesday night, but we will at least get a chance to see these players in game-action and start to see the strides they have made since the spring.
Again, we can't go jumping to conclusions based on what we see Wednesday night, but we have hardly seen any of these guys play, so it's one of the top storylines to pay attention to tonight.