Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 11/13/12
MADISON, Wis. The consensus from members of Wisconsin's basketball team is in: Playing any games in November is nice. Playing meaningful games in November is even better. "Normally, our schedule is kind of diluted early in the season," Badgers forward Ryan Evans said. "It's going to be great for everybody. This is what we signed up for. This is what we've worked so hard for. Not to go and play powder-puff teams all the time." No. 22 Wisconsin (1-0) will play at No. 10 Florida (1-0) at 6 p.m. CT Wednesday in its second game of the season. Wisconsin clubbed Southeastern Louisiana, 87-47, on Sunday. Florida, meanwhile, blitzed South Alabama, 84-35. With all due respect to Southeastern Louisiana, Wisconsin's next opponent will be considerably tougher and provide the Badgers with exactly the type of mid-November test they want. "I love it," Badgers forward Mike Bruesewitz said. "I would be a fool to say otherwise because it's a great test for us early and it's on national TV and it's against a great team. A lot of people say, Oh, Florida, that's going to be tough.' I welcome the challenge." The biggest question mark entering the game is how ready Wisconsin's guards are to face Florida's relentless defensive pressure. The Badgers' combination of George Marshall and Traevon Jackson are still new to college game situations at point guard, and Florida forced Alabama State into 17 turnovers. "They haven't been in that type of environment other than sitting on a bench in some of those games we had last year with Trae and George," Badgers assistant coach Greg Gard said. "Every game for them will be a learning experience. They'll see some things they probably haven't seen, things we can't simulate in practice in terms of pressure and athleticism." Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was quick to note it isn't simply up to the point guards to break Florida's press. Everyone on the floor is responsible for creating quality angles for passes. "They can bring some heat, especially at home," Badgers coach Bo Ryan said. "They've turned a lot of teams over many times. I'm sure they're panning on doing the same with us. We just have to not fall into the traps very often. If you think about it too much, you start to sweat. You get nervous." Florida has issues of its own at point guard. Junior Scottie Wilbekin, who was expected to be the team's starting point guard this season, is suspended indefinitely for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. Gators coach Billy Donovan told reporters on Sunday that Wilbekin will not play against Wisconsin. In his place, guard Kenny Boynton will slide over to run the point. He led four Gators in double figures against South Alabama by scoring 22 points. Florida's frontcourt should pose a considerable challenge to Wisconsin. It's led by forward Patric Young, who tallied 12 points and 12 rebounds against South Alabama. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Jacksonville native made the Internet rounds this offseason when a YouTube video surfaced featuring one of his difficult workout routines. In the video, Young is seen flipping giant tires and pushing trucks, among other drills. "I saw Patric Young do a little bit of that," Bruesewitz said. "It looks like a good workout. That's Patric Young. He's a monster. We're going to have to deal with him, but at the same time, he's going to have to deal with us." Bruesewitz noted the stellar play of Wisconsin center Jared Berggren during last year's game at North Carolina as an indicator that the Badgers could hold their own inside. Although Wisconsin lost, 60-57, Bruesewitz said Berggren was the best big man on the floor that night when he finished with 14 points and five rebounds in 31 minutes. Wisconsin has packed its early-season schedule this season with stiff competition. In addition to playing Florida, the Badgers will play Creighton and either Arizona State or Arkansas in the Las Vegas Invitational. Wisconsin follows those two games with home contests against Virginia in the Big TenACC Challenge and California. The Badgers also play at Marquette on Dec. 8. "The benefit is practice intensity goes way up," Evans said. "We know what's coming. Everybody is a lot more focused. I think the benefit long-term is being more prepared for the Big Ten season. We'll definitely be battle tested this year. To come out of this non-conference season undefeated, that would be a great thing." Follow Tyler Mason onTwitter.
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