MADISON - It's early, but if Saturday's rotation against UW-La Crosse was any indication, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan may be willing to play a deeper rotation entering the 2011 regular season than he has in years past.
Having toyed with several different looks during the Badgers exhibition opener, seven players received more than 15 minutes of game time, while another two saw 14 and 11 respectively.
That's nine players seeing more than a quarter of action in a given game.
"We went more than seven last year," Ryan said at his Monday presser. "It was more eight to 10. But it will depend on what's happening during all the drills and who's showing the learning curve or who's accomplishing what we're looking for through a learning curve.
"Are you better today than yesterday?"
There are a number of guys that are going to see minutes this year assuming they can stay healthy. Guys like Jordan Taylor, Tim Jarmusz, Ryan Evans, Keaton Nankivil and Jon Leuer will start most of the games. Then there are players such as Rob Wilson (when healthy), Mike Bruesewitz, Jared Berggren and Josh Gasser waiting to come off the bench.
That's 10 players that will probably get a decent chunk of action this season in games.
"Those guys that keep showing progress are guys that will get more minutes," Ryan said. "I think any coach in America would tell you that. It's never mattered to me whether they were scholarship players or non-scholarship players. They're all players.
"Whoever earns it will receive it."
If you didn't see it Sunday afternoon on BadgerBlitz.com's front page, freshman Evan Anderson is still contemplating whether or not to redshirt this season. On Monday, Ryan was asked for an update in that department.
"It's always the players decision," Ryan said. "We don't say one way or another, but when they ask for advice we say, 'Okay, here you are. We've had X number of practices. Sometimes it's who's ahead of that person. Jared Berggren in practice has been playing really well. There's a 6-foot-10 guy that can compete. J.P. Gavinksi has had some good practices defensively. Because of his length he makes it tough to score on him.
"So if Evan is looking at it I think he'll have to decide whether or not he's ready to compete for minutes or if he wants to help us in practice and develop.
"That's their call."
Wilson injury update:
Following the game Saturday night, Ryan made it clear that Rob Wilson was struggling with a hamstring injury that has been plaguing him throughout most of training camp.
His return to game action still remains up in the air.
"I don't know," Ryan said. "He probably isn't going to practice today (Monday) according to the latest report I just received."
-UW returns to action Wednesday night when it hosts Minnesota State-Mankato. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. central time and can be seen on BigTenNetwork.com.
The following is the audio file from Ryan's presser: