The No. 23-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (1-0) will hit the road this fall to face their first real test against the No. 10 Florida Gators (1-0) in Gainesville.
Florida is coming off an impressive season in which it made a run all the way to the Elite Eight of the 2012 NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, the Badgers will attempt to follow up a stellar 2011-12 campaign as well. Wisconsin fell one point shy of advancing to the Elite Eight last March.
Here we get you set with everything you need to know for Wednesday's primetime clash between the Big Ten and the SEC.
Where: Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, FL
When: Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Listen: WIBA 1310 AM (Madison), WRUF 103.7 FM (Gainesville)
Betting Line: TBA
Wisconsin Injury Report (according to USA Today)
G Josh Gasser (Knee), out for season
Florida Injury Report (according to USA Today)
G Casey Prather (Concussion), questionable for Wednesday
G Scottie Wilbekin (Suspension), out indefinitely
Wisconsin Starting Lineup (based on previous game)
G George Marshall
G Ben Brust
G-F Ryan Evans
F Frank Kaminsky
C Jared Berggren
Florida Starting Lineup (based on previous game)
G Kenny Boynton
G Mike Rosario
F Will Yeguete
F Erik Murphy
C Patric Young
What They're Saying
Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan is well aware of Florida's defensive prowess when it comes to putting pressure on the ball, according to Wisconsin State Journal sports editor Adam Mertz via Twitter:
Mertz added the following via Twitter:
As for the home team, Florida received a major blow last week when head coach Billy Donovan announced that starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin would be suspended indefinitely for undisclosed reasons.
This was Donovan on the suspension (per ESPN.com via The Associated Press):
How long it lasts, I don't know. But right now, I felt like he didn't need to be here or playing in this game...This throws a wrench. We've got to do some things in practice to make some adjustments going into this game. You've taken three veterans players off of our team. Instead of having eight guys, you're really down to five. Our freshmen are going to get a chance to play.
Wilbekin, a junior, was supposed to replace Erving Walker at point guard for the Gators this season.
Wisconsin Player to Watch
Junior guard Ben Brust exploded in Wisconsin's first regular season game against Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday, scoring 14 points, reeling in 11 rebounds, dishing out three assists and making two steals.
The Hawthorn Woods, Ill. native struggled to shoot from the field last season, connecting on just 39.7 percent of his shots in 2011-12. But this year he's off to a scorching start, hitting five of his first eight field goals, including both of this three-point attempts.
Florida Player to Watch
Florida fans are very familiar with senior guard Kenny Boynton. The 6'2" Pompano Beach native has excelled in Billy Donovan's back court over the past three seasons and will no doubt have a career year in this, his final season in Gainesville.
In the Gators' first regular season matchup with Alabama State, Boynton lit up the Hornets for 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor. He cashed in on all four of his shots from beyond the arc and chipped in six rebounds and five assists. Boynton's outside shooting prowess will be key for the Gators on Wednesday against Wisconsin.
Wednesday night's key matchup will be that between Florida's Patric Young, who's a legitimate NBA prospect, and Wisconsin's big men. The Badgers have enough size to contend with Young down low, but what they lack is the strength.
At 6'9", 250 pounds, Young is built more like defensive end than a center. His strength on the interior rarely goes unnoticed and Bo Ryan's team will need to corral it in order to escape Gainesville with a win. In his first game this season, Young scored 12 points, brought in 12 rebounds and stuffed two shots.
Look for Wisconsin to throw multiple players at Young in the paint in order to confuse and stifle him once he receives the ball. Otherwise, Ryan and the Badgers could result to some good old fashioned fronting in the post.
It's difficult to separate these two teams because they both boast top-notch talent and and a plethora of solid shooters. I have to give the edge to the Gators playing at home in front of a raucous crowd inside of the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Even without their starting point guard, I like Boynton, Young and the rest of Florida's rotation to step up and get the early-season, résumé-boosting win.
Florida 72, Wisconsin 65
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