The Florida Gators men’s basketball team takes on #22 Wisconsin tonight at home in the O’Connell Center.
The #10 Gators come in fresh off a 84-35 victory on Sunday over the Alabama State Hornets. Wisconsin scored an easy 87-47 win over Southeastern Louisiana in it’s season opener.
The Gators are expected to be without starting power forward Erik Murphy due to flu symptoms. Donovan hasn’t completely ruled him out, but he hasn’t been able to practice at all so it is unlikely he’ll see action tonight. Once again they will be without starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin who is serving an indefinite suspension, and F Casey Prather who is still out due to a concussion. Throw in Cody Larson who left the team last month and that leaves Florida severely short-handed.
Missing Murphy, though, is huge for the Gators as he provides three point shooting as well as size inside and on the boards. The Gators, whe are already short on frontcourt depth, will be forced to go small against the Badgers adding a third guard to the lineup with one of two freshman either Michael Frazier or DeVon Walker.
Wisconsin has some injury issues as well as junior point guard Josh Gasser was lost for the season due to a torn ACL. Redshirt freshman George Marshall took over the starting point guard duties for he opener finishing with five points and two assists.
Senior forward Mike Bruesewitz was expected to be sidelined for a month after suffering a severe leg laceration in October but was able to make it back for the opener finishing with ten points and three rebounds in part time action.
Senior forward Jared Berggren led Wisconsin in the opener with 19 points and 8 rebounds and presents a tough matchup with Murphy out. Junior guard Ben Brust chipped in 14 points and a career high 11 rebounds.
With Wilbekin remaining suspended, Kenny Boynton, who led the Gators on Sunday with 22 points and 5 assists, will once again start at point guard with Mike Rosario sliding down to small forward and Will Yeguette moving over to the power forward slot.
Rosario finished Sunday’s game with 14 points while Yeguette added 3 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Boynton and Frazier added 6 rebounds.
The smaller lineup for the Gators will be sorely tested to matchup with the size and physicality that the Badgers present. Patric Young, who had a double-double on Sunday with 12 rebounds and 12 points, will be counted on for rebounding and strong post play. Also, look for Will Yeguette to be active on the boards and inside providing energy and shot blocking ability. To be effective in this one though Boynton and Rosario must be able to knock down some outside shots.
Tip off is set for 7 pm eastern and will be televised on ESPN2.