Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - March 1, 2012

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

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Badgering... JOSH GASSER »» MEN'S BASKETBALL Sitting at 22-8 overall and 11-6 in the Big Ten, Josh Gasser and the men's basketball team have earned themselves a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament and are in the running for a high seed in the NCAA tournament. Gasser, a sophomore from Port Washington, Wis., is averaging 7.9 points per game and ranks fourth in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage with a mark of 44.3. How important is a strong finish to the regular season as you head to tournament play? "It's huge to get your confidence going and to build a winning streak going into the tournaments. At this point of the season, we play games one right after another which is similar to how the NCAA tournament will be, so it's really important to take care of business on the court but also our bodies off the court." What makes a good 3-point shooter? "A lot of it is your mentality. You just have to believe that every shot you take is going to go in. I've worked extremely hard in the offseason on improving my jump-shot and my 3-point shooting because Jordan [Taylor] is obviously one of the best point guards around. I know that I just need to spot up because he'll make plays for everyone and we need to finish them off for him. You just need to stay confident because not every shot is going to go in, but you move on to the next one and take good shots." Is being a good free throw shooter the same as being a good 3-point shooter? "Yeah, I think it goes back to your mentality, having that confidence and doing the same routine over and over again. You've been shooting free throws since the second or third grade, so stick with that same routine. We do free-throw shooting games in practice, so that makes it competitive, but it also makes it a game-like situation." Have you become a celebrity in your hometown? "Yeah, a little bit. Coming from a small town, we haven't had many Division I athletes. Everyone in our town is a Wisconsin Badgers fan growing up and they just love the Badgers, so the fact that I'm playing for the Badgers means everyone likes to stay in touch with me. That's what makes it really fun for me, having all the support back home from the community. You can even stretch it to the whole Milwaukee area, if I go around people notice me. It's good to have that support." 20 » VARSITY MARCH 1, 2012

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