Sunday, November 25, 2007

Upcoming Badger basketball opponents

DVR'd last nights' Wisconsin-Georgia basketball game, and will be watching it shortly. Did see the last 12 minutes or so, in which the Badgers played almost flawlessly and the Bulldogs looked like West Bend East circa 1992.

Having done little but read and watch sports for the past five days, I've had a chance to get a look at some of the Badgers' upcoming opponents. Thoughts:

-Marquette reminds me of Villanova two years ago, only not quite as good in the outside shooting department. Watching them blow out Oklahoma State the other night scared the crap out of me, but the Cowboys really played poorly. Let me get this off my chest: Jerel McNeal is their best player, not Dominic James; I saw James appear on some publication's second team All-American team and laughed - another one of mine had McNeal all-conference but not James, that's more like it.

Whether they're a good or a great team will depend on whether Ousmanne Barro and Dwight Burke are anything beyond foul accumulators. They obviously really could have used Trevor Mbakwe.

-We'll need to play a perfect game to win at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday. This Duke team probably won't rank among the all-time greats, but they're deep, talented, and versatile. Kyle Singler, contrary to reports from some of my hoophead friends who saw him play in high school, looks like the real deal. Gerald Henderson looks much improved. A guy like Brian Zoubek can bang with Brian Butch and Greg Stiemsma. Demarcus Nelson is very good. And Jon Scheyer is like a taller more athletic Jason Bohannon. If Greg Paulus plays horribly, which is always a possibility, we might have a shot.

Really wish the powers that be would have set up the Wisconsin-Duke game last year, when we would have killed them, rather than pitting us against Florida State.

-Watching Ohio State get dominated by a damn good Texas A&M team makes you appreciate just how good Greg Oden and Mike Conley were as true freshmen, and how valuable Ron Lewis was to that team. The Buckeyes are going to win a lot of games this year and have some really talented youngsters, but they are not national title contenders and are going to lose to most really good teams they play. Good thing for them there aren't many of those in the Big Ten.

-Michigan State is puzzling to me. They were my early pick to win the Big Ten, but have been quite unimpressive to date, and Indiana is my clear pick at this time. Drew Neitzel, Raymar Morgan, Goran Suton, those guys are givens, what will make or break this team is those freshman guards.

-Illinois is going to have the same problems they did last year - who's going to score? They're just a bunch of scrappy overachievers who Bruce Weber is doing his best to coach up, but putting the ball in the hoop is a god-given talent on some level. And I'll say this: if Jeffrey Jordan was named Jeffrey Terwiliger, he'd be playing at Lake Forest College, not Illinois.

No comments: