Josh Gasser

Wisconsin point guard Josh Gasser cleared for physical contact

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Wisconsin point guard Josh Gasser’s 2012-13 season came to an end before it even began, as the expected starter suffered a season-ending knee injury in late October. With the rehab process being what it is, there were questions as to whether or not the redshirt junior would be cleared to take part in Wisconsin’s upcoming trip to Canada.

On Sunday it was reported that Gasser’s been cleared for contact, and according to head coach Bo Ryan the point guard is expected to see some playing time during the Canada trip.

Badgers coach Bo Ryan said he expects Gasser, who missed the entire 2012-13 season after injuring his left knee, to play anywhere between 8-12 minutes per game in Canada. The Badgers will play five exhibition games on the trip, beginning Wednesday with a game against Carleton University in Ottawa.

Without Gasser on the floor last season the Badgers had to adjust, with Traevon Jackson and George Marshall taking over the primary ball-handler role that was expected to be handled by Gasser when the season began.

Jackson started 28 of Wisconsin’s 35 games, posting averages of 6.9 points and 2.8 assists per game for a team that reached the title game of the Big Ten tournament and won 23 games. The “trial by fire” that both he and Marshall experienced last season should only serve to benefit them, as well as Wisconsin as a whole, with Gasser back in the fold.

The trip to Canada comes at a good time for the Wisconsin program, as the Badgers have to account for the graduation of two of their top three scorers (forwards Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans) and a third senior in valuable “glue guy” Mike Bruesewitz.

That likely means more responsibility for players such as Ben Brust (11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg), Sam Dekker (9.6, 3.4) and the rehabilitated Gasser in 2013-14. Wisconsin also adds five newcomers this season, with point guard Bronson Koenig and versatile forward Nigel Hayes being two of the additions.

Ellis, Lucas lead No. 6 Kansas past No. 10 West Virginia

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) blocks a shot by West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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In the first meeting between No. 10 West Virginia and No. 6 Kansas, the Mountaineers dominated in their 74-63 win in Morgantown. Bob Huggins’ “Press Virginia” attack forced 22 Kansas turnovers, with the Jayhawks playing far too fast and loose with the basketball while also getting out-toughed by the Mountaineers. In the rematch Kansas (20-4, 8-3 Big 12) looked far better equipped to deal with West Virginia in both of those areas, winning by the final score of 75-65.

Kansas committed 15 turnovers, with Devonte’ Graham responsible for five of them, but they did not allow West Virginia (19-4, 8-3) to use those chances to kickstart their offense. The Mountaineers scored 13 points (one fewer than Kansas, which took advantage of ten WVU miscues) off of those turnovers and did not register a single fast break points. Having to play in the half-court more than they would have liked, West Virginia could not execute at the level they did in beating Baylor Saturday.

As a result Bob Huggins’ team shot 37.3 percent from the field and 5-for-20 from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers have shown signs of being able to win games in which they don’t force a high turnover count, but that wasn’t the case at Allen Fieldhouse.

If not for West Virginia grabbing better than 34 percent of their misses and scoring 14 second-chance points, the margin is likely even greater than the ten-point outcome due to the contract in offensive execution. Kansas pushed the ball early, getting out to an 8-0 lead, and as the game wore on the Jayhawks were much better in finding quality shot opportunities. Bill Self’s team shot 56.1 percent from the field with Perry Ellis scoring 21 points to lead five Jayhawks in double figures.

The tandem of Ellis and Landen Lucas, who grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, won the battle against a WVU front court missing the suspended Jonathan Holton. Devin Williams, who went for 17 and 12 in the first meeting, finished the rematch with a respectable 14-point, nine-rebound effort but he didn’t get much help in the post from the likes of Elijah Macon and Nathan Adrian.

After having Self question their toughness in a home win over Kansas State six days ago, the Jayhawks have responded with wins over TCU and West Virginia. Obviously it’s tough to read too much into beating the Horned Frogs, because even with that game being in Fort Worth it’s one Kansas was expected to handle with ease. The Mountaineers posed a different, and far more rigorous test, and Kansas got the job done.

As a result the Jayhawks have brought West Virginia back to the pack in the Big 12 title race, making Saturday’s game at No. 3 Oklahoma even bigger than it already was.

VIDEO: North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapses on sideline

Roy Williams
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North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapsed during the second half of No. 2 North Carolina’s visit to Boston College on Tuesday night:

Roy Williams has dealt with vertigo in the past; it’s not abnormal for him to collapse on the sideline during games, and given that his team is currently losing to Boston College, it’s understandable that he may have screamed himself dizzy.

He had to be helped off the floor:

It does appear that this isn’t something serious, according to a North Carolina release, that said Williams is “doing OK”.