With Ryan Evans, Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz — Wisconsin’s three top rebounders from last season — graduating, Bo Ryan is looking for some added production on the frontline besides rising sophomore Sam Dekker.
On Wisconsin’s trip to Canada, the Badgers may have an answer in 6-foot-11 rising junior Frank Kaminsky. As a sophomore, Kaminsky played around 10 minutes per game, averaging 4.2 points and 1.8 rebounds. However, he’s made a solid inside-out combo with Ben Brust in these Canadian exhibitions according to Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State-Journal.
On Saturday night, in a 88-76 win over A-Game Hoops, Kaminsky had a team-high, tied with Brust, with 17 points. He is averaging 14.3 points per game on this trip, which is good for second on the team behind Dekker.
“Obviously, I’ve had a chance to step in and play some more minutes now that most of our frontcourt has graduated,” Kaminksy told Polzin in a phone interview. “It’s been nice to be able to step in and play more and get looks that maybe I would have gotten last year. I’m excited about what this year is going to bring.
“I feel like I’m building on what (coach Bo Ryan) is saying. After every game, he talks to us (and shows) teaching clips. I’m just really excited to work on it now when we have actual games so I can prepare for it when practice comes.”
Last week, Wisconsin got word that point guard Josh Gasser would be cleared to play in Canada after missing the 2012-2013 season. The addition of Gasser, and the rise in Kaminsky’s game — along with Dekker, Brust and Traevon Jackson — and the Badgers have a solid core on a team trying to build on a 23-12 (12-6 Big Ten) season, while also trying to make up for an early exit in the NCAA tournament.
“It’s a great learning experience for some of these younger guys when they’re going to press us in the Big Ten, because you learn to play with a lead,” Kaminsky added. “That’s what this trip is about is learning to do those type of things.”