Exhibition Preview: Badgers Host UW-Oshkosh Titans

Michael Ivins-US PRESSWIRE

Wisconsin plays host to UW-Oshkosh on Wednesday night, the second year in a row that the Badgers have tuned up only once before the first regular season game. The 2012-13 season officially tips off Sunday afternoon versus Southeastern Louisiana.

The Badgers traveled to DePaul's campus in Chicago for a closed scrimmage against the Blue Demons on Oct. 28 in lieu of a second exhibition.

Ever since Bo Ryan's fourth season in Madison, the Badgers have played a preseason game against a team from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC), which consists of nine schools competing at the Division III level. This contest with UW-Oshkosh completes the nine-team "tour."

The Titans do not figure to offer much resistance to the Badgers at the Kohl Center after going winless in conference play (0-16) last season and finishing 4-21 overall. Oshkosh returns two senior letter winners from that squad, and no one taller than 6'7". In addition, new head coach Pat Juckem takes over for retired Ted Van Dellem.

With that in mind, you will not necessarily be able to project Ryan's substitution pattern during the exhibition down the line to real games. How long can you really play Jared Berggren and Frank Kaminsky together against a team like this? Not long. However, fans should get a slightly extended look at how comfortable the big starting forwards are chasing around smaller players when they play side-by-side -- because one of them is going to have to.

A pair of junior guards are the leading returning scorers for the Titans. Dylan Wurtz averaged 8.5 ppg last season, while Cory Nickel brings back 7.7 ppg.

For Wisconsin, it might be more valuable to watch how minutes are distributed in the backcourt, as well as who the first sub off the bench may be. George Marshall and Ben Brust are expected to start at the guard spots.

Wednesday night's game is a great chance to see guys like Zak Showalter and Duje Dukan in action even though they will see limited minutes during the year. Which is why even though the game doesn't count, it feels good just to get college basketball back.

Injury updates

Mike Bruesewitz was moving around well in his return to shooting drills on Tuesday. He's not ready to face UW-Oshkosh and even making the home opener would be a stretch. But he's making good progress as he passed the four-week mark since his surgery.

Also on Tuesday, Josh Gasser underwent surgery on his torn ACL.

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For more Wisconsin basketball coverage, follow Phil on Twitter @hoopsmarinara.

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