MADISON - The Wisconsin men's basketball team has been battling each other for the past couple of weeks in preseason camp. Tonight, the Badgers get to match up with a different team in a game setting as UW hosts Bemidji State in its first of two exhibition games before the regular season gets underway.
While exhibition games don't count in regards to a team's regular season resume, they can go a long way as to seeing a rotation form and the play of several players in a game environment.
"You can do scrimmages," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "You can do things like that, but if you do a scrimmage, one of the two years you have to take your players away from campus, for a day usually. And if it's on a weekend, maybe you're going away when there's a home football game when recruits are in.
"So I kind of like the exhibition games because it took us so long to fight for them, to get away from the AAU teams and for the exploitation that was taking place. So playing college teams with systems is still, to me, the best way to prepare for your season. So that's why we do it."
Tonight, at the Kohl Center, the Badgers and Beavers will square off for the first time. The following is a look at the projected starters for each team and some notes to consider as the exhibition season kicks off in a matter of hours.
F- Patrick Cassidy (6.9 ppg) G- Tyler Wruck (3.8 ppg)
Notes entering the game:
-UW is 48-4 all-time in exhibition matches and hasn't lost a preseason game since falling to the Russian National Team in November of 1992. Currently, UW is on a 33-game winning streak in exhibition games.
-After losing Joe Krabbenhoft and Marcus Landry, the Badgers return three starters in Bohannon, Hughes and Leuer. With those players, UW brings back 64 percent of its scoring, 60 percent of its rebounding and 63 percent of its assists from a season ago.
-Hughes and Bohannon, UW's starting backcourt, have combined to play in 201 games over their career. Of those games played, 102 have been starts. Both averaged more than 30 minutes a game last season, with Bohannon paving the way with 33.1 minutes per game.