Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Badgers don't lose to Division III opponent

The UW basketball team beat UW-Eau Claire 74-35 in exhibition action tonight, which doesn't seem too noteworthy, except for the fact that Michigan State and Ohio State, the consensus # 1 and #3 teams in the Big Ten this year, lost to non-Division I opponents in the last five days. Granted, Grand Valley State and Findlay might be better than the Blugolds, but still, take care of business guys. Didn't we learn anything from Appalachian State?

Tonight's broadcast on the Big Ten Network was delayed by another almost-shocker, as Michigan State struggled to put away Michigan Tech away (Tech's penalty kill was terrific tonight), and Izzo was in midseason timeout calling form. When the game finally did come on:

-Trevon Hughes was the star of the night. He is much more of a pure point guard than Kam Taylor, and while last season his play vacillated between wild and tentative, he seems more even keel thus far. We'll see how he holds up for 38 minutes against Dominic James or Travis Walton, but I'm optimistic.

-Joe Krabbenhoft also looked very good. He seems to have come to grips with the fact that we recruited him to come to Madison and shoot the ball, and tonight he did so in a variety of spots on the floor.

-Conversely, Sunday night's stars, Michael Flowers and Jon Leuer, were quiet tonight. Yesterday Flowers talked to the press for the first time since his two-week leave of absence. He sure as hell doesn't look like he's coming back from anything medical, which only lends credence to those rumors about him thinking about transferring to Winona State ... although that really doesn't make sense either, given the timing. But he's out there playing hard as ever, no worries about him.

After playing almost flawlessly in his debut, Leuer looked like a freshman trying to figure things out. Like you'd expect.

-Leuer does seem capable of playing the 3 spot, even on defense, which means Bo can throw a 6-10, 6-11, 6-11 lineup out there. A far cry from the 2003 team, with 6-5 Alando starting at the 4.

-The backup bigs had a terrible 90-second run where they had several passes clank off their hands.

-Again not taking many outside shots, which they shouldn't have to against a team at that much of a size disadvantage. Good discipline to work for the inside shot.

-JP Gavinski's haircut makes him look like a skunk - to the skin down the middle. Goofy kid.

-Keaton Nankivil and Tim Jarmusz each looked more comfortable on offense tonight, scoring on nice inside moves and hitting outside shots.

-Butch airballed a 3 late in the second half. His 3-point shooting has not progressed to the point I thought it would.

-Landry had a vicious open-court dunk in the second half, he's a great athlete - not quite as shifty as Alando, but every bit as explosive.

Next up: IPFW on Sunday. Gesundheit.


ajs said...

I'm big on Hughes too. It's nice to finally have a true point guard run the show. The season will most likely have its bumps in the road but it will be fun to see this team progress as the year goes on. These kids are easy to root for...Leuer, Hughes, Nankivil et al.

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