Josh Gasser's season is over before it even began. The junior guard tore his ACL in practice Saturday morning, and according to a UW news release, he will miss the entire 2012-13 season.
Gasser will still have two years of eligibility remaining after this year because he had not yet used his redshirt season. Gasser is to be re-evaluated later this week and then will undergo surgery shortly thereafter.
Gasser, the Port Washington, Wis. native, was set to be the team's starting point guard this year, taking over for the departed Jordan Taylor. Instead, it looks like redshirt freshman George Marshall will be thrust into that role. Guards Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson will both be in the mix for increased playing time in the backcourt.
The Badgers will feel Josh's absence more than the statistics might indicate. He averaged only 7.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last season, but he shot an absurdly high 45.2 percent from three-point range. And really, it is Gasser's toughness, experience, and defensive prowess that will be most missed. Losing both Taylor and Gasser in the same offseason is certainly not ideal, and Wisconsin's depth at guard wasn't all that strong to begin with.
We can take some solace in Taylor's quote praising Marshall: "I think the sky is the limit for George. You probably won't even remember I was here by the time he gets done." Still, there will be growing pains for Marshall, who hasn't even taken the court for Wisconsin in a regular season game yet in his career.
The bottom line is that Wisconsin will have to trot out a completely new starting backcourt this year, and the Badgers just won't be as good without Josh. Combine this with the loss by the football team to the Spartans and a possible serious injury to quarterback Joel Stave, and it really turned out to be one disappointing Homecoming. It was certainly one of those days where you wish you could push a reset button. Best wishes on your recovery, Josh.