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Wisconsin-Florida Preview

AP - Sports

It's uncertain when Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin will return.

Wisconsin has come to grips that it will be without point guard Josh Gasser for the rest of 2012-13.

Meeting for the first time in 44 years, the 10th-ranked Gators host the 22nd-ranked Badgers on Wednesday night after each routed their first opponent.

Suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed reason, Wilbekin is not expected to play Wednesday.

"As of right now, I am not playing him against Wisconsin," coach Billy Donovan said following Sunday's 84-35 win over Alabama State.

Senior Kenny Boynton will continue to start with Wilbekin out. Boynton, the Gators' leader with 15.9 points per game last season, hit all four of his 3-pointers and finished with 22 points, five assists and six rebounds Sunday.

Playing its first official game after Friday's contest versus Georgetown aboard the USS Bataan was canceled at halftime due to condensation on the court, Florida built a 47-9 halftime lead. It was the fewest first-half points allowed by the Gators in the shot clock era.

"We definitely wanted to come out with a bang," Boynton said after four Gators scored in double figures and nine logged at least 18 minutes. "This was a good game to get everyone in and get a feel for the game."

George Marshall got his first feel for a collegiate game Sunday, finishing with five points and two assists in Wisconsin's 87-47 victory over Southeastern Louisiana. Marshall, the first Badgers freshman to start a season opener since Devin Harris in 2001, was at point guard after Gasser suffered a season-ending ACL injury in practice late last month.

"Collectively at the guard spot me, George and (sophomore Traevon Jackson) are going to have to do a good job working together and making sure we stop penetration and do our best to get what we can without Josh," said junior Ben Brust, who had 14 points and a career-best 11 rebounds in his first career start.

"So we're just going to step up."

The Badgers were expecting to be without senior forward Mike Bruesewitz until later this month after he suffered a serious leg laceration during practice Oct. 9, but he returned and had 10 points and three boards off the bench.

"You guys have all seen it, what he's capable of, the energy and intensity he brings, the toughness, he does all the little things, getting on the glass, getting rebounds, he'll knock down open shots, he makes plays for himself and other people," said senior forward Jared Berggren, who had a team-best 19 points with eight rebounds.

The Gators will be without forward Casey Prather for another week or two following a concussion, but senior big man Erik Murphy and junior center Patric Young could make it tough for the Badgers' frontline.

Murphy hit three 3s and scored 15 points in the opener, while Young added 12 with 12 rebounds and two blocks as Florida held the Hornets to 21.4 percent shooting.

"It'll give us confidence against whoever we're facing coming up next, whether it's Wisconsin or Marquette (Nov. 29), that we can get a stop when we need to," Young said.

These teams have split two meetings, with Florida winning 71-66 in Gainesville in the last matchup on Dec. 21, 1968.

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