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Redshirting would be the smart move for Bruesewitz

With Joe Krabbenhoft now graduated, it's hard to imagine an incoming recruit in the mold of the former UW "bruiser" would redshirt this season, but that's exactly what might happen.

True freshman Mike Bruesewitz not only shares a slight resemblance to Krabbenhoft, but he also shares a similar skill set and basketball I.Q. Krabbenhoft was never the scoring type for the Badgers, but he made up for it with his hustle and determination, ultimately leading UW in rebounds and assists in his senior season. Never afraid of physical contact, Krabbenhoft came away from some games with bruises and stitches on his face, earning the respect of coaches all over the country.

Ironically, Bruesewitz is referred to as "Bruiser" by his teammates and head coach Bo Ryan has raved about his practice habits and physical abilities. Considered a better shooter, it's likely Bruesewitz will provide the scoring Krabbenhoft often lacked. And with the former Badger out of the picture, it seemed likely Bruesewitz would get 10 or so minutes a game, similar to what Krabbenhoft got as a freshman.

So why is he contemplating redshirting?

"I'm still thinking it over, talking to my family, talking to my coaches and figuring out what I'm going to do,'' he told "`The coaches aren't pressuring me or anything. I'm just taking my time so I make the right decision for myself."

The reality is that redshirting is good idea. UW's rotation already includes nine players and while it's very possible Bruesewitz's practice habits could earn him some minutes in the rotation, it appears redshirt freshman Ryan Evans is more than capable of being a reliable spark plug off the bench, grabbing a few rebounds and creating turnovers, while also contributing a few buckets.

That's all Bruesewitz would be doing this season anyway. Why not save a year of eligibility, get accustomed to Ryan's system and come back next year after Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes graduate?

Just take a look at junior Keaton Nankivil for evidence that redshirting could be the right move. The 6'8 forward elected not to redshirt his freshman season when UW had a very crowded front court that included Brian Butch, Greg Steimsma, Marcus Landry and fellow true freshman Jon Leuer. Nankivil only played 46 minutes that season and essentially wasted a year of eligibility. His numbers last year were OK sophomore numbers, but they would have been great freshman numbers.

Bruesewitz has the talent to contribute this season, but the rotation is too crowded to make those contributions matter. He should redshirt and let UW unleash the "Brusier" next season when he can have a greater impact.