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MADISON - The injuries continue to mount for Wisconsin as it makes its way through a challenging conference stretch, playing nine ranked teams in 11 games.
Two days after suffering its first conference loss of the season without sophomore forward Frank Kaminsky, Coach Bo Ryan announced Monday that Kaminsky – averaging 4.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 17 games off the bench – would miss Tuesday night's game against No.13 Michigan State as he continues to recover from an eye injury.
"Very unfortunate accident," said Ryan of Kaminsky, who hit back-to-back three-pointers last Tuesday at No.2 Indiana before getting inadvertently poked in the eye. "(We're missing) size, developing big man."
Not only will the Badgers – who are unranked for the tenth straight week – be without a key post player, Ryan announced that freshman George Marshall won't practice this afternoon after coming down with an illness.
Marshall scored a career-high 20 points, all in the second half, in Wisconsin's 70-66 loss at Iowa Saturday. If Marshall is ruled out, he would be the fourth UW player who has previously started to miss a game this season, prompting Ryan to reference Lloyd Bridges' character in the movie "Airplane."
"The guy keeps saying, picked a bad week to stop this, to do that," said Ryan, who himself continues to be under the weather. "(We) picked a bad year to have these kind of things, but, hey, there's some other guys ready to jump in, and hopefully we can just string enough together to keep the state competitive and give ourselves a chance."
One of those options could be redshirt sophomore Evan Anderson, who worked with the first-team offense during Sunday's practice with Kaminsky watching in street clothes. Anderson has played in seven games this season, logging 28 minutes and seven points. He's played less than one minute in conference play.
Junior Zach Bohannon, who played five minutes and scored two points at Iowa, is also an option if UW's frontcourt depth is limited because of foul trouble.
"Just keeping him sharp, keeping him ready," Ryan said of Anderson. "You never know with foul trouble. You saw what happened against Iowa. Scratching and clawing, trying to play from behind. You commit more fouls, you get guys in foul trouble, you got to make sure guys are ready to add when they come into the game."
When asked if he hopes all the injuries will toughen up his team when everyone, except Gasser, returns, Ryan simply answered that, "it has to."
"Because you don't have another option," said Ryan. "The options are limited."
Is the Big Ten the best this year as it's been since you've been coaching in this conference, in terms of talent?
"I don't even know about how many lottery picks or first round. I have no idea about that. But that's not what's made the Big Ten the Big Ten. It's the systems that teams have that are so hard to crack. People tell us we have one. Ohio State has one. Michigan State. You go right on down the line.
"But experience and talent is what's made the Big Ten what it is this year, but it's every year. The depth is what everybody kind of keeps touting as the difference, and I tend to agree. There's going to be a lot of bumps out there for a lot of people."