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October 26, 2013

Guards lead Red to 67-65 win

MADISON, Wis. - Senior guard Ben Brust scored 16 points to lead the Red squad to a 67-65 win over the White squad in Wisconsin's annual Red and White Scrimmage.

Bo Ryan from Jon McNamara on Vimeo.

Brust and other experienced guards like Josh Gasser and George Marshall combined for 41 points on 16-for-25 shooting in the scrimmage, whereas a front-court heavy White squad relied on Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky to keep pace. Dekker led all scorers with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor, while Kaminsky score 16 points and led both teams with nine total rebounds.

All in all it was a successful scrimmage for the Badgers, since no players were seriously injured and incoming players got a chance to work in a game-like atmosphere in the Kohl Center. But head coach Bo Ryan said he'll get more out of Wisconsin's upcoming exhibition game on Wednesday night, when UW-Platteville will come in to test the Badgers one last time before the start of their regular season.

"If somebody makes a good play here it means somebody made a bad defensive play," Ryan said after the scrimmage. "I've been watching this since August … so it's hard for me to tell [how players performed], other than obviously the experienced guards kept the red team in the game and won the game for them."

Gasser said he was particularly excited to get back on to the Kohl Center court for a game, even if it was against his own team.

"I was actually pretty nervous," Gasser said after the scrimmage. "I wasn't expecting to be nervous but I really was. It was just really fun to get out there and play in front of everybody. I've been looking forward to this moment for 11 months now, so I'm glad it finally came and it was fun."

Gasser ended up taking himself out of the scrimmage with under five minutes to go in the game, just to make sure he didn't over work his knee early on in the season. Gasser finished the game shooting 4-of-6 from the field, including 2-of-4 on 3-pointers. Ryan said Gasser looked more comfortable on the court than he did when the team took their off-season exhibition trip to Canada, and Gasser said he feels "head and shoulders" better mentally now than he did a few weeks ago.

"I feel definitely like I'm up to pace," Gasser said. "I feel in Canada like I was a step behind everything, mentally and physically and now I'm keeping up just fine. I'm ready to go for the season."

Josh Gasser from Jon McNamara on Vimeo.

Ryan and the Badgers also used the scrimmage to get several incoming freshmen some valuable minutes on the court with the rest of the team. Point guard Bronson Koenig led the way at 33 minutes played for the White squad, scoring five points on 1-of-3 shooting from the floor. Nigel Hayes was next up at 27 minutes, scoring seven points and pulling down two rebounds.

Other freshmen like Vitto Brown and Riley Dearring got in on the action as well, but Ryan said he still doesn't have a solid idea about how he'll rotate players this season. But with their exhibition against Platteville coming up next, it's likely Ryan and the Badgers won't have to wait much longer before finding out a rotation that everyone is comfortable with.

"Just by watching today there's different guys who played well today that leading in to this maybe hadn't done things earlier in the week," Ryan said.

For more Wisconsin Badgers news, notes and discussion, follow John on Twitter.

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