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Wisconsin's Josh Gasser expected to see minutes on preseason trip

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Josh Gasser missed all of last season after suffering a left knee injury in late October. (USATSI)
Josh Gasser missed all of last season after suffering a left knee injury in late October. (USATSI)

Wisconsin's preseason expectations for the 2012-13 season took a hit last October, when projected starting point guard Josh Gasser suffered a season-ending knee injury. Naturally, the Badgers still won 23 games and received a No. 5 seed because that's what Bo Ryan does, but the point guard position was still a work in progress.

Traevon Jackson and George Marshall did a solid job manning it, but Gasser was recently cleared for contact and should be a factor when the season tips off.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Gasser is going to see minutes on Wisconsin's preseason trip to Canada.

Badgers coach Bo Ryan said Sunday that Gasser, who missed the entire 2012-13 season after injuring his left knee, could play between 8-12 minutes per game in Canada. The Badgers will play five exhibition games during the trip, beginning Wednesday with a game against Carleton University in Ottawa.

“If we can get that,” Ryan said, “that'd be great.”

Now, how does Gasser fit into the backcourt equation? Jackson took over the starting role after six games last season, and had his moments, averaging 6.9 points and 2.8 assists. He also made some clutch plays down the stretch of games against Indiana and Minnesota. Marshall saw his minutes dip in conference play, but was a serviceable backup.

Gasser started 66 games his first two seasons before missing the entire 2012-13 campaign. He can play both guard positions, and shot 45.2 percent from behind the 3-point line as a sophomore.

Leading scorer Ben Brust also returns on the perimeter for the Badgers, after starting all 35 games last season.

The bigger question for Wisconsin lies in the frontcourt, where Ryan has to replace all three starters. Sophomore Sam Dekker is poised for a breakout season, while Frank Kaminsky needs to take on a bigger role down low.

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