Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - October 31, 2013

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 65

W LUCAS AT LARGE BY MIKE LUCAS // UWBADGERS.COM A guarded approach in Badgers' backcourt 12 isconsin associate head basketball coach Greg Gard used a football analogy to bring context to George Marshall's role in a guard rotation. Think tailbacks; multiple tailbacks with different skills. "He gives us a change of pace from what the other guards are like,'' said Gard, stopping just short of calling him a third down back. "He gives us a different element which is nice to be able to mix in. "It's kind of like with running backs where you've got the hammer and then you've got the guy who can scoot. George is the guy who can scoot; he can get to the rim, he can break people down. "Josh (Gasser) brings experience, savvy, toughness,'' Gard went on. "Ben (Brust) is a long range bomber. Traevon (Jackson) is more of that physical, between the tackles guy (i.e. the hammer).'' To refresh your memory: Gasser was sidelined last season after ACL surgery. Brust was the leading scorer. Jackson was the point guard in Gasser's absence and the leader in assists and steals. Marshall? He was essentially an after-thought ― save for six starts in the first six games and a 20-point outburst at Iowa. What does he have to do this season to earn more playing time? "If you want to sum it up in one word, consistency,'' Gard said. "Hopefully that comes with maturity and experience. He has to be consistently good ― or just solid ― like he was last Saturday.'' // VARSITY October 31, 2013 Marshall scored 14 points in 26 minutes during the Red/White scrimmage. He was 5-of-7 from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also had three assists and just one turnover. Confirming that type of production can "leave you feeling good about yourself'' whatever the circumstances, Marshall also said, "It definitely helped my confidence leading into the season.'' In conceding that last season was a roller coaster ride ― "I was up and down, up and down, up and down'' ― Marshall agreed with Gard that he must focus on being consistent from game to game. "I think he's calmer this year,'' Gard observed. "Anytime you go through what he did, whether you had a positive experience or there were times when there were hiccups, you grow from that. "George needs to continue to develop ways to impact the game without scoring. He can do that by scooting and making plays for others and creating some havoc defensively.'' Marshall has bought into the benefits of a multi-dimensional guard rotation, which will include freshman Bronson Koenig, who Gard labels as a "heady, eyes are up, see the court type'' of player. Marshall sees himself in the same light that Gard did as far as being a change of pace guard. "I feel like I can do multiple things,'' said Marshall, a redshirt sophomore from Chicago. "I feel like I can bring different things to the table; it's just a matter of what the team needs at the moment. "Whether it's speeding up the tempo, knocking down shots, creating off the dribble or possibly applying pressure to another guard, I feel I can bring a different look to the team when I come in.'' Wisconsin has some flexibility because of its guards. Gasser can play the "3'' or small forward, not unlike Devin Harris once did in combination with Kirk Penney and Travon Davis. Because of an injury to Jon Leuer, the Badgers also had to tweak what they were doing and they got mileage out of a three-guard lineup of Trevon Hughes, Jordan Taylor and Jason Bohannon. "You're seeing more of that in college basketball,'' Gard said. "Mobility and multi-dimensional capabilities in terms of skill set are superseding size. If you can't move, it's hard to play this game now.'' Sophomore guard Zak Showalter has already decided to redshirt this season, while freshmen Jordan Hill and Riley Dearring are still contemplating their options. Marshall redshirted his first year. "Just because you're not getting any game action, you can't use it as a year off,'' he said. "A redshirt year is to get stronger, smarter and improve your skills. It's a year to get a lot better.'' Marshall not only feels like he has improved, but he feels the urgency to prove he has gotten better. With so much depth in the backcourt, he said, "It's vital for me to show that I can contribute.'' He's already off to a good start.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics - Varsity - October 31, 2013