GANESVILLE, FLA (WSAU)The Wisconsin men will play at 10th-ranked Florida tonight – but the Gators could be without three key players.
Forward Erik Murphy has missed practice this week with flu-like symptoms that include headaches and nausea. He scored 15 points last Sunday, when Florida crushed Alabama State 84-to-35. Coach Billy Donovan says he’d like to get Murphy ready for tonight – but he’s got a lot to catch up on. Also, the Gators are without starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin due to an undisclosed suspension. And back-up forward Casey Prather is out, after suffering a pair of concussions in the last two weeks.
In addition, Florida was rocked by the sudden departure of forward Cody Larson last month. Donovan says when you add it up, the Gators are facing their biggest early season challenges since 2001 – when three stars were lost to serious injuries.
But the 22nd-ranked Badgers still expect a major fight from the Gators. Guard Traevon Jackson says his team will do fine if it plays smart, and takes advantage of its opportunities. Like Florida, Wisconsin is 1-and-0. The Badgers crushed Southeastern Louisiana 87-47 last Sunday, in a game marked by the return of senior forward Mike Bruesewitz from a severe leg cut that required surgery.