MADISON -- For a few early minutes, the Wisconsin Badgers came out rusty and playing the kind of basketball you'd expect from an early-season exhibition. The UW-Oshkosh Titans built a 7-0 lead, and a lightly filled Kohl Center crowd wondered how long it would take for the Badgers to heat up.
Turns out, the 16,488 fans in attendance didn't have to wait long. Wisconsin quickly built a 16-0 run to establish a double-digit lead and eventually ran away with a 96-44 win.
Oshkosh built a very early 7-0 lead, thanks to some white-hot shooting and lousy play from Wisconsin. But with freshman point guard George Marshall leading the charge, the Badgers surged to a 16-0 run to build a double-digit lead. At halftime, the Badgers led, 44-18.
In these early-season contests -- tonight's doesn't even count toward the standings -- the most interesting bits of information come in the unveiling of head coach Bo Ryan's rotation. After the starting lineup of George Marshall, Ben Brust, Frank Kaminsky, Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans, freshman Sam Dekker and sophomore Traevon Jackson were the first Badgers off the bench. Dekker even got some looks at the 5, if you can call it that, when he was the largest UW player on the court alongside Evans, Jackson, Brust and Marshall.
Marshall finished with 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting and one assist in his first game action as Wisconsin's starting point guard. He and Sam Dekker (five points, five rebounds, three assists), the other freshman expected to see significant time this season, faired well in their debuts.
Yet it was the Badgers' veteran leaders that paced the scoring, as senior forward/center Jared Berggren led all scorers with 16 points and added six rebounds, while senior forward Ryan Evans scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Other Badgers in double figures included sophomore forward Frank Kaminsky (12 points, three rebounds) and junior guard Ben Brust (12 points, three rebounds, three assists) with Marshall.
One other interesting note: every healthy Badger saw action -- including seldom used Evan Anderson, J.D. Wise and Jordan Smith. In somewhat of a surprise, Zach Bohannon was the last of Wisconsin's newcomers to see the court. Even freshman guard Zak Showalter, who was tabbed for a redshirt before the injury to Josh Gasser, saw action before Bohannon, a junior transfer forward from Air Force.
Nevertheless, Bohannon might've had the best game among Badgers' newcomers not named George Marshall. In 15 minutes, Bohannon scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds (six offensive). Though he was just 1-for-4 from the field, Bohannon got to the foul line four times and sunk each free throw.