November 10, 2010

Bruesewitz shows ability to score

MADISON - With Mike Bruesewitz, the Badgers know they'll get maximum effort and energy from a guy that will fill up the stat sheet with rebounds, assists and steals.

As a sophomore, Bruesewitz appears ready to be a more capable offensive threat as well.

"This offseason, I personally worked a lot on my game," Bruesewitz said. "But the big thing came from playing against my teammates in the summer. That helped me a lot because I got to go against guys like Jon [Leuer] and Jordan [Taylor] and guys that are really good in practice. So that really helped me elevate my game."

Through two exhibition games, Bruesewitz has averaged 8.5 points, including a nine-point effort Wednesday as Wisconsin defeated Minnesota State, 93-59, at the Kohl Center. Bruesewitz went 1-for-3 from the floor, 1-for-2 beyond the arc and a perfect 6-for-6 at the line on the night.

While scoring more often, Bruesewitz continues to bring plenty of energy, especially on the offensive glass. Against the Mavericks, he grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and grabbed one steal. For the exhibition season, the sophomore forward has eight rebounds, three assists, three turnovers and two steals.

Though his offense has shown noticeable improvement and he seems to have elevated his overall play on the court, it's still his energy and effort that have earned him a major role on Bo Ryan's Wisconsin team.

"Well, I know his height is elevated," Ryan joked, referring to Breusewitz's new look. "But Mike, finish around the basket, pump fake. But man is he active. He's a live wire out there. You just love those kind of guys that are not just doing stuff to get in foul trouble or whatever. He's a mixer. That's why he earned the position he was in tonight."

Bruesewitz started Wednesday's game alongside Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil, with Wquinton Smith and Jordan Taylor in the backcourt.

Giving the starting nod to Bruesewitz, Ryan had both Tim Jarmusz and Ryan Evans coming off the bench against Minnesota State. Of course, that does not necessarily mean Bruesewitz will be in that same position come Saturday, when the Badgers take on Prairie View A&M.

"I'll see Prairie View, I'll see some tape, and then we'll just look at some matchups," Ryan said. "I'm not going to be real concerned, and the players aren't either, about who's going to start and who isn't. It's just, 'OK, here's what we're going to do.'

"We'll play off of some experience and then whoever's getting it done in practice, reward them."

If he maintains the level of play he's had so far, Bruesewitz could be the one reaping that reward once again.


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