Badger Bits: Loss Of Gasser Leaves Major Question Marks In UW Backcourt

Kevin C. Cox

Josh Gasser's season-ending injury is a major blow to what looked to be another promising UW basketball team. So who is set to replace him?

After the Badgers fell just short of knocking off Syracuse in the Sweet 16 this winter and Jordan Taylor's illustrious career came to an end, followers of Wisconsin basketball were already curious who would be Taylor's successor at the point guard spot. Throughout the offseason, it seemed it'd be between Josh Gasser and George Marshall. Bo Ryan ultimately decided to move the experienced Gasser from shooting guard -- where he played his first two seasons -- to a greater leadership role as the Badgers' new point guard.

But now the outlook on the point guard position and backcourt as a whole has completely changed after Gasser suffered an ACL tear in practice last week, consequently ending his season before it even started.

A couple days ago, Mike DeCourcy of Sporting News wrote an article on Bo Ryan's options for replacing Gasser.

Despite his inexperience, Marshall appears to be the most logical fit. From what we've heard, the three-start recruit out of Chicago sounds like a promising athlete and his 5-11 frame is ideal for the position. Marshall also started at point guard for the Badgers in a scrimmage against DePaul on Sunday, according to DeCourcy's article. It appears Marshall is the frontrunner, so even if he does start at the point, I'd expect somewhat limited minutes because of his lack of experience.

As the article also points out, the other two contenders are Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson. I certainly don't want to see Brust run the point. Since coming to Wisconsin, he's been primarily a spot-up shooter and doesn't possess the greatest ball handling skills (evident from when we've seen him drive the lane). Brust has the most experience of these three candidates, but as a shooting guard and not as a leader running the point. I still want to see much more out of Brust as a shooting guard before we see him try to play point guard.

Jackson saw action in 17 of 36 games last season, but averaged just over five minutes of playing time in those contests. He's sort of the wild card in this whole thing. We were just able to see glimpses of him last season, and he'll at least be seeing increased minutes off the bench at the point guard spot, so it'll be interesting to see if he could eventually emerge as a candidate to start.

Wednesday's Links:

Zach Bohannon appears on CBS Sports website as a guest blogger for the first time, which will supposedly carry through the entire season. Pretty cool stuff. His first post talks about witnessing and handling the injury to Josh Gasser.

The defense of the Wisconsin football team has been more than solid this season, but Tom Mulhern says its trouble in the redzone somewhat overshadows the success of the unit.

With the Badgers on a bye this weekend, we check out the latest updates on recruiting for Badgers football.

BTN highlights one player from each Big Ten basketball squad who needs to step up this season.

Leading an undefeated Ohio State team and putting up impressive numbers, Braxton Miller is still in the thick of the Heisman race.

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