The ACL injury Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser suffered last weekend put an early damper on the Badgers' season.
There are the obvious pitfalls: Gasser's injury robbed Wisconsin of its obvious replacement for former star point guard Jordan Taylor, necessitating some combination of sophomore Traevon Jackson, junior Ben Brust, and redshirt freshman George Marshall to step in. Plus, Gasser was vastly underrated as a perimeter defender last season, too, and the Badgers' were at their best on the defensive end.
He is also, by all accounts from Madison, one of the best and most well-liked guys on a team full of Bo Ryan's typically down-to-earth personalities. And his loss came after another such player, forward Mike Bruesewitz, was ruled out of the first month of the season after suffering a nasty cut on his leg during practice. Gasser's loss isn't just about 3-point field goal percentage, in other words.
But there is some silver lining-type news on this front. Gasser, who addressed the media Tuesday for the first time since his injury, said he wouldn't rush his recovery (probably wise, because no offense, Josh Gasser is not Adrian Peterson), and would instead take the time to learn under Ryan in a sort of coaching apprenticeship:
"Coach Ryan said I get to help be an assistant coach, so that's the good thing," Gasser said. "That's one thing I like to do. If I'm going to do that in my future, I guess I'm going to treat this year like a coaching internship, I guess.
"That's what guys that have reached out to me have told me; you're going to learn some stuff that you never would've learned playing out there. You're going to realize how much you love basketball, and that's just going to help you in the long run."
Needless to say, that's not how Gasser envisioned his 2012-13 season. But sometimes opportunities come from the least expected places. He'll be just fine.