Senior forward Mike Bruesewitz missed part of practice Friday and is questionable for the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s game at Marquette on Saturday.
“I have no idea what his status is,” UW coach Bo Ryan said.
Bruesewitz suffered whiplash after colliding with a teammate in practice on Thursday. A team official said Thursday that Bruesewitz’s status was day-to-day.
Bruesewitz was sitting out during the live possessions part of practice on Friday when the media was allowed to watch starting at 3:15 p.m. He later joined the joined his teammates for individual drills and shooting work.
Bruesewitz has missed a significant portion of the two practices UW spent preparing for Marquette. That doesn’t necessarily eliminate the chance he’ll play, but it’s not ideal.
“You’d still like a guy to have their legs,” Ryan said. “I don’t know if he’s playing or not. That won’t be determined until tomorrow. That’s out of our hands.”
It’s impossible to imagine a scenario in which Bruesewitz misses the game against the Golden Eagles if he has a choice in the matter. Marquette (5-2) hosts UW (6-3) at 5 p.m. at the Bradley Center.
If Bruesewitz can’t play, it would be a major blow to UW’s chances of beating its in-state rival.
Although Bruesewitz is just fifth on the team in scoring at 6.2 points per game, he’s UW’s scrappiest player and its most vocal leader. The Badgers will need as much scrap and leadership as possible in a difficult road environment.
If Bruesewitz is out, freshman forward Sam Dekker likely would make his first career start in his place.
Dekker is tied for third on the team in scoring at 10.4 points per game. He rolled his right ankle during practice Friday but appeared to be fine.
UW junior Zach Bohannon could also have an expanded role if Bruesewitz can’t play. He’s in the Bruesewitz mold – a scrappy player who rebounds well with the potential to be a threat from 3-point range.
Bruesewitz spent part of Friday’s practice standing next to Ryan. He encouraged teammates and at times pointed out their mistakes, including a spirited exchange with senior forward Ryan Evans.
“He was making sure everybody knew he was there,” Ryan said of Bruesewitz. “He was helping out. He knows a lot about, because of his experience, the nuances of the position. He was helping out some of the younger guys, encouraging some of the older guys. If you can’t practice, why not stir the drink, so to speak? He’s always into it.”