Florida vs. Wisconsin: Highlighting Top Stars on Display in Top-25 Clash

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 12, 2013

Jan 26, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Sam Dekker (15) looks to pass as his team plays the Minnesota Gophers at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 45-44. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly a year after Florida roughed up Wisconsin in Gainesville, Billy Donovan's 11th-ranked Gators will renew their rivalry with the 20th-ranked Badgers inside the Kohl Center.

Tuesday night's top-25 clash is one of four on the slate and one college basketball fans are surely looking forward to. With two top-flight programs and a handful of notable individual talent on display, this prime-time matchup has everything a national audience could want.

Let's take a closer look at three stars sure to leave their mark on Tuesday's marquee showdown. 

When: Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 9 p.m. ET

Where: Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.

Watch: ESPN2

Live Stream: ESPN3


Patric Young, Florida, C

December 29, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Gators center Patric Young (4) blocks a shot by Air Force Falcons guard Kyle Green (25) during the second half of the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic held at the BB&T Center. Florida defeated Air Force 78-61. Ma

The first thing that stands out when you watch Florida center Patric Young is his strength and physical presence. At 6'9" and 245 pounds, the Gators senior is an intimidating defender around the rim as well as a solid rebounder.

Averaging just 10 points per game over the last two seasons, Young hasn't been a huge part of Billy Donovan's offensive game plan but has been key to Florida's overall team success.

Last season, Young became much more forceful on the defensive end, recording nearly two blocked shots per game. With a 7'1" wingspan and impressive leaping ability, Young makes up for his lack of size with above-average athleticism.

While his lack of development on the offensive end is somewhat discouraging, Young's ability to change the game around the rim on both ends makes him a special player.

Determined to make up for a poor outing in the Gators' opener, look for Young to play focused and aggressive from the outset on Tuesday night.


Sam Dekker, Wisconsin, SF

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 16: Sam Dekker #15 of the Wisconsin Badgers dunks on the Indiana Hoosiers during a semifinal game of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at the United Center on March 16, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Junior guard Josh Gasser may be Wisconsin's most valuable player heading into 2013-14, but sophomore forward Sam Dekker is without a doubt the Badgers' most talented player.

Dekker is a super-athletic small forward who can fearlessly attack the rim or step back and knock down shots from long range. He also handles the ball extremely well for a 6'7" small forward.

The 19-year-old averaged just 9.6 points per game as a freshman but has already shown tremendous improvement in one game this season. Dekker scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the Badgers' win over St. John's on Friday.

Although many are unfamiliar with his game, trust me when I say Dekker is worth a look. He's a fun player to watch and does just about everything you can ask of a basketball player out on the court.

If you're searching for future NBA talent, Dekker has the most potential of anyone set to take the floor on Tuesday night.


Kasey Hill, Florida, PG

Nov 8, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators guard Kasey Hill (0) passes the ball against the North Florida Ospreys during the second half at Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Florida won 77-69.  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball fans will get a good look at Florida's highly touted freshman floor general Kasey Hill on Tuesday. As a traditional, pass-first point guard, expectations are high for Hill, who was awfully impressive in the Gators' opener against North Florida.

The 6'1" guard scored 15 points, got to the foul line on several occasions and dished out four assists in the victory.

It'll be interesting to see how Hill handles a hostile environment in Madison on Tuesday, though. Experience is really the only attribute he's lacking at this point.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Hill's quickness and court vision. He likes to push the ball up the floor and create for his teammates. His stellar ball-handling skills and slashing ability will also be on display. 


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