Reserve Illikainen leaves Wisconsin, thinning frontcourt

   MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin reserve forward Alex Illikainen is leaving the basketball team, sapping depth for an already thin frontcourt.

   The Badgers say that he will remain enrolled at the university. Coach Greg Gard thanked Illikainen for his contributions.

   The rarely-used senior averaged 1.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in 85 career games. He still figured to be an option off the bench at times because of his experience, especially if starters Ethan Happ and Nathan Reuvers got into foul trouble.

   The 6-foot-9 Illikainen did not play in the season-opening win last week against Coppin State.

   Wisconsin is already without forward Aleem Ford, who is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Two freshmen, 6-foot-8 forward Taylor Currie and 7-foot center Joe Hedstrom plan to redshirt this year.

   Charles Thomas, a 6-8 senior, would be the top option off the bench at forward.

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