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Badger Bits: Solid Backcourt Play Vital In Gainesville

Starting guards George Marshall and Ben Brust have just one combined start between them. How will the inexperienced guards handle a highly ranked Florida team?

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Joe Robbins

Under head coach Billy Donovan's tutelage, the Florida Gators are known for putting heavy defensive pressure on their opponents. Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a piece yesterday about this very topic. Potrykus points out how the Gators forced an average of 12.5 turnovers per game last season, and with Jordan Taylor's incredibly low turnover rate in the history books, UW's young backcourt will surely be tested.

Potrykus spoke with some of the guards to get their perspective on the game.

"They probably think we can't dribble," Traevon Jackson said. "That Wisconsin is just slow white dudes. That is the stigma the program has."

You have to love Jackson's classic Wisconsin underdog mentality.

The Gators also feature a strong home-court advantage. It's not quite Bo Ryan at the Kohl Center (.917), but in the past five seasons Florida owns a .837 win percentage at home.

The combination of losing Josh Gasser, taking on a top 10 opponent in just the season's second game and playing in a hostile environment in Gainesville makes this a tough task for the Badgers. It will be exciting to get some sort of gauge of where this team sits this early in the season, but the backcourt in particular will have its hands full. Wisconsin's defense has been notorious for keeping UW in these type of games, but it will take another classic hard-nosed defensive effort to keep the Badgers in tonight's contest.

Wednesday's Links:

Sam Dekker will be reunited with Billy Donovan tonight. Donovan was his USA Basketball Men's U18 National team coach over the summer, and Dekker had nothing but good things to say about the Gators' coach.

Similar to what I wrote in yesterday's Badger Bits, Tom Oates lists many reasons why the Badgers need to play to win these last two games. I'm 100 percent behind Oates on this one.

UW's O-line play will be one of the, if not the biggest, keys to the Ohio State game this weekend. And the offensive line understands the task that lies ahead.

Great article here by Tom Mulhern. Something I've been preaching all season. Mulhern says why you can't just lineup against defenses and expect to run all over them anymore. The presnap motions and shifts have been key to UW's running success this season.

Dave Heller sits down with Travis Prentice -- the record holder for NCAA TD's that Ball is chasing -- in a Q&A about most likely surrendering the record to Montee Ball.

And here's a scouting report on Ohio State for this weekend.