Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 11/4/12
MADISON, Wis. University of Wisconsin forward Zach Bohannon is better recognized nationally for his exploits on Twitter than on the basketball court. But more performances like the one Bohannon put together Sunday could go a long way toward establishing himself as a pretty good ball player, too. During Wisconsin's annual Red and White intrasquad scrimmage at the Kohl Center, Bohannon tallied 13 points, six rebounds, and a game-high three steals to help the Red team beat the White 78-61. He made all three of his field goals, including two 3-pointers, and knocked down all five of his free throw attempts. The scrimmage -- Wisconsin's first public showing of the 2012-13 season -- demonstrated Bohannon's niche will likely come as a scrappy hustler who fights under the boards for the basketball and rarely shoots. And he plays with the type of tenaciousness that should earn him minutes in Badgers coach Bo Ryan's playing rotation. "He's a digger," Ryan said. "If you get lazy with a rebound, it's gone." Last month, Bohannon gained a claim to fame when he launched an aggressive Twitter campaign to convince President Barack Obama to join the Badgers for a game of pickup hoops during one of Obama's stops in Madison. The team settled for a five-minute meeting with Obama, an avid hoops fan, just before his speech in town. Bohannon, a redshirt junior, sat out last season at Wisconsin after transferring from Air Force. He appeared in 39 games over two seasons at Air Force, including one start, and averaged 11.1 minutes, 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. Given the injury to forward Mike Bruesewitz, a similarly scrappy player who is out until mid-November with a lacerated right leg, Bohannon could see even more minutes early in the season. "I just want to be efficient out there and know that I don't have a lot of opportunities to shoot," Bohannon said. "I know I'm not going to be priority No. 1 to score. I know I'm going to be able to take the open shot when it's there, but besides that, I know my roles are going to be really limited from an offensive standpoint. So I know if I want to get some points, I've got to make sure I get on the offensive glass." Bohannon wasn't the only fresh face to shine under the bright lights Sunday night. Point guards George Marshall and Traevon Jackson each demonstrated why they should see extended minutes this season in the wake of starting point guard Josh Gasser's season-ending ACL injury. And highly touted freshman forward Sam Dekker scored 10 points for the Red team on 4 of 11 shooting. Marshall scored 14 points (5 for 9 from the field) to go with two assists and two turnovers for the Red team. Ryan declined to name a starting point guard after the scrimmage, but Marshall seems a good bet to take over as the team's floor general. "He handled himself well," Ryan said. "He took care of the ball. He knocked down some big shots, and he played pretty good D." Marshall, a redshirt freshman from Chicago, said he was eager for the opportunity to fill in for Gasser. "I've always been a player who loves the pressure, loves the competition, loves playing under the lights," he said. "Josh was a big loss. He's a leader. So when he went down, I felt like there would be a lot more responsibility on me, along with the other guards." Jackson, a sophomore, scored 16 points on 7 of 8 shooting while registering three assists and no turnovers for the White team. His teammate, center Frank Kaminsky, scored a game-high 20 points on 6 of 15 shooting to go with six rebounds. "He's got a great feel," Ryan said of Kaminsky. "And he didn't even shoot it as well as I think he's going to sometimes, some games, from the outside. He's got a nice touch. You see the rotation. You see the elbow lift. And he's a good passer." Certainly, not everything about Wisconsin's team can be gleaned from a scrimmage in early November. Marshall and Jackson haven't yet handled the grind of a tough nonconference schedule or the Big Ten season, and the team will need time to adjust to Gasser's absence. Gasser suffered his injury Oct. 27 during practice. Ryan said the team was running different offensive sets from a year ago when Jordan Taylor played point guard, and that could actually make the loss of Gasser easier to overcome. "With what we've been running, the parts are so interchangeable that hopefully we're not going to miss too much," Ryan said. "We'll miss some. You've just got to minimize that." Wisconsin plays UW-Oshkosh at 7 p.m. Wednesday in an exhibition game at the Kohl Center. The Badgers open the regular season Oct. 11 at home against Southeastern Louisiana. BOX SCORE: UW Red Team: 78 Ryan Evans 18, George Marshall 14, Sam Dekker 10, Zach Bohannon 13, Jared Berggren 15, Jordan Smith 5, Zak Showalter 3. UW White Team: 61 Ben Brust 13, Dan Fahey 2, Traevon Jackson 16, Duje Dukan 7, Frank Kaminsky 20, J.D. Wise 0, Evan Anderson 3. Follow Jesse Temple on Twitter.
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