Sunday, November 11, 2007

Badgers win basketball opener

The Wisconsin basketball team won its season opener tonight, beating something called Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne 83-55. The Mastadons were scrappy (they are coached by former Indiana annoyance Dane Fife), considerably more athletic than Edgewood or Eau Claire, and had a nice shooter. They had us down 11 in the first half before order was restored, a decent opener for Bo Ryan's crew.

-Brian Butch and Trevon Hughes were unquestionably the stars of the night. Both guys wanted the ball (17 field goal attempts apiece) when the team was behind, both were assertive without being reckless.

Butch had 24 points and 13 rebounds in just 26 minutes, but he was playing against a much smaller front line. He moved well off the ball and with the dribble, and made all four of his free throws.

Hughes' performance was more noteworthy: 25 points, six steals, five assists, five reounds, one block in 34 minutes. His on-ball defense was really good - the block was an explosive play.

I am concerned about how many minutes Hughes played. Who is his backup? It has to be Michael Flowers, but he didn't seem to be running things much tonight.

-Same starters as in the preseason - Hughes, Butch, Joe Krabbenhoft, Greg Stiemsma, Marcus Landry. Flowers came in for Stiemsma pretty early. It's looking like a eight-man rotation, with Jon Leuer being the eighth - although he didn't get in until 8 minutes remained in the game. He played well.

-Had a small lineup of Hughes, Flowers, Jason Bohannon, Landry, and Krabby for a short bit, I like that in certain situations.

-A Kevin Gullikson sighting! I saw him play, but thought it was a mirage until scanning the box score - all zeros for our KG.

-That's 23 straight wins at home now, fifth in the nation. Kind of snuck up on you, didn't it?

-Bohannon is our best 3-point shooter, but he can't shoot a true jump shot. He made one nice move to get to about the free throw line extended, but couldn't elevate over his defender and had to pass out. That would really round out his game.

-Krabby's mom says he's had stitches 35 times in his life. Don't know if I buy it, but the guy should get a bulk discount.

-Marquette struggled to put away Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis yesterday. They go by IUPUI, why don't the Mastadons go by IUPUFW?

Next up: Savannah State, Thursday 8 p.m.

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