Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 1/21/13
MADISON, Wis. The more George Marshall wanted to please Wisconsin's coaches early this season, the less he actually played in a manner that drew their approval. It was a catch-22 for Marshall, the Badgers' talented point guard, and he wasn't sure how to escape its clutches. Marshall, a redshirt freshman, had been pegged as a player to watch dating to his days on Wisconsin's scout team a year ago. He possessed explosiveness to the rim, a quick pull up jumper and pestered opponents attempting to bring the ball up court. So when starting point guard Josh Gasser tore his ACL on Oct. 27, many presumed the Badgers were Marshall's team to run until Gasser's return. But through his first six starts, Marshall tallied nine assists and seven turnovers -- not exactly a recipe for success at Wisconsin, where the previous point guard, Jordan Taylor, set the all-time NCAA career record for assists-to-turnovers ratio (3.01). The next game, Marshall's starting spot was gone, granted instead to Traevon Jackson. "At the beginning of the year, I kind of didn't want to do too much or make a turnover here and there," Marshall said Saturday night following Wisconsin's 70-66 loss at Iowa. "But even though that's what I didn't want to do, me playing aggressive is what I should have done." During Saturday's game, Marshall offered a glimpse of his immense potential with a performance that could turn around his season. He scored a career-high 20 points in just 15 minutes of action off the bench, making 7 of 10 field goal attempts and 3 of 4 3-pointers. Marshall scored every point during the second half to fuel Wisconsin's comeback attempt from a 16-point halftime deficit. "Hopefully he can build off this a little bit and get his confidence going and know what he's capable of," Badgers center Jared Berggren said. "Sometimes that's all it takes is just get a taste of it and see what you can do in a game situation like this in a hostile environment. To come in and knock down some big shots and make some big plays down the stretch was definitely encouraging." Despite the loss, Marshall appeared to gain back the swagger that had been missing through most of the first 17 games of the season, when he averaged 4.9 points. During Wisconsin's 64-59 upset victory of No. 2 Indiana last Tuesday, for example, he was held scoreless for the second time this season. "I think (Saturday night), it'll jumpstart me for the rest of the season as far as how I'm going to play," he said. "So from here on out, I just plan to keep playing aggressive." Marshall missed Monday's practice with an illness, according to Badgers coach Bo Ryan. His status for Tuesday's game against No. 13 Michigan State (16-3, 5-1 in Big Ten play) at the Kohl Center is questionable, but Wisconsin (13-5, 4-1) certainly could use his presence. "Hopefully, he'll get better," said Ryan, who has been under the weather himself for a few weeks. "I certainly wouldn't wish whatever I have on everybody. I have no idea how something can hang and make a person feel this way for so long, and it's like thank goodness I don't have to guard and I don't have to score. It doesn't sound like (he has) what yours truly has." If Marshall is able to play, it will take pressure off Jackson, who shot just 1 of 10 from the field and scored three points against Iowa. This season, Marshall is averaging 18.9 minutes per game and has tallied 16 assists to just five turnovers since moving out of the starting lineup. Badgers assistant coach Greg Gard admitted the learning curve for young players varies based on the individual, but most are prone to peaks and valleys. So in that regard, Marshall is no different from other freshmen in Wisconsin's system over the years. "A lot of times guys with less experience are a 100-watt bulb one day and a 40-watt bulb the next," Gard said. "So it's trying to be as bright as possible all the time and being consistent." Marshall was prone to offensive bursts while playing on Wisconsin's scout team a season ago. But the contrast between scout team success and delivering in the spotlight is significantly different because the Badgers' reserves compete in practice with little or no leash. Now that the leash is on and Marshall knows what is expected, coaches hope he can maintain the level of aggressiveness he demonstrated Saturday against Iowa. "He gives us a little juice with the ball and the ability to make plays and get in gaps," Gard said. "That tape will get out, and, 'OK, here's how we're going to play Marshall.' "Can he make those plays when he's circled with a brighter highlighter on a scouting report? Or can he get in and make plays for his teammates, too? That'll be the next phase." Follow Jesse Temple on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Report: David Lee signs with the Spurs

Craig Sager to miss Olympics while undergoing bone marrow transplant

Jarryd Hayne wouldn’t have retired if NFL had minor league system

Draymond Green: ‘Me and LeBron are friends’

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

Cam Talbot thinks the Oilers are close to making the playoffs

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker