Badger basketball finally, officially, arrives.
The Badgers begin life without Jordan Taylor and Josh Gasser this Saturday with a matchup against Southland Conference foe Southeastern Louisiana. Freshmen George Marshall and Sam Dekker get their first official NCAA floor time, with Marshall stepping into the vast shoes of Jordan Taylor as the starting point guard. The full starting lineup is as follows:
Traevon Jackson, Sam Dekker, Mike Bruesewitz and Zach Bohannon look to be the next four off the bench. The Badgers lost just two players from the 2011-12 squad to graduation -- Taylor and Rob Wilson -- but the injury to Gasser leaves the Badgers lacking some of the depth they were expected to bring into the season.
Guard Brandon Fortenberry is the star power for the Lions, averaging 17.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals last season. Forward Roosevelt Johnson was the only other Lion starter to average over 10 points per game last season, putting in 11.5 points to go with 7.9 rebounds per game.
The game isn't expected to be close -- KenPom.com projects the Badgers with a 23-point victory and 99 percent victory odds -- but it presents observers with the first real chance to learn about Bo Ryan's rotation and lineups for the 2012-13 season.
Today's game is televised on ESPN3. Please join us in the comments, and On Wisconsin!