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Badger Bits: Freshmen adjust to new roles

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It's Monday; so let's get off on the right foot, shall we?

First of all, Mike Lucas of has a great blog on Wisconsin freshmen Ben Brust and Duje Dukan. Lucas explains how the pair transitioned from headline high school players to scout team college freshmen. Dukan spoke with Lucas about having a roommate who is going through the same transition:

"We talk about it on occasion, maybe when one of us has had a frustrating day or something like that,'' Dukan said. "It definitely helps with the process; the more we've aired it out to each other.''

According to Lucas, Dukan and Brust live a kind of double-life. They are part of the Badger's scout team, where they impersonate upcoming opponents to help the starters in practice, and they watch the starters from the Badger bench. Dukan also thinks he has been improving during his freshman season:

"I'm continuing to get stronger,'' Dukan said, adding that he also has been adjusting to the speed of the game. "I have a decent handle in practice but I have to get it to game-ready.''

However, the other freshmen are dealing with different challenges. Josh Gasser is starting games, and center Evan Anderson is redshirting. More Badger Bits after the jump!

Make sure to check out Rob Schultz's re-cap of the Badgers' 76-66 win over Penn State on Sunday.

Wisconsin men's basketball recruit Frank Kaminsky has a feature on the ESPN Chicago site, according to Schultz.

Schultz is really writing his heart out recently: he writes that Keaton Nankivil is eying a future in coaching.

Andy Baggot of recaps the Badgers' weekend hockey series with Minnesota. The Gophers *sigh* won on Friday night 5-2 and the Badgers skated to a 3-3 tie on Saturday.

Adam Rittenberg of takes a look at some spring issues for each team in the Big Ten Leaders division. And yes, it's still called the "Leaders" division. Don't remind me.

That didn't take long: Bret Bielema has hired a new football assistant. Also, get this: he was hired for his previous job at Purdue on Jan. 25. The Boilermakers might be a little upset at the Badgers right now.

Baggot also has a report on the UW Athletic Department's new budget for 2011-2012.

On a more serious note, former Wisconsin All-American goaltender Kirk Daubenspeck was seriously hurt in a car accident last Thursday. A fund has been set up to help Daubenspeck's family with his medical bills, and for more information you can go here, via Chuck Schwartz at Sixty Minutes.