Monday, December 3, 2007

Wisconsin-Wofford hoops thoughts

Gotta be honest: thought the Wisconsin-Wofford basketball game was tomorrow night, but because of the 8 o'clock start I only missed a couple minutes of uninspired basketball. Even so, you're going to get a couple minutes of inspired blogging right now:

-We're still ranked? Thought that Duke loss might knock us down a peg or 12. Hope we're still ranked after Saturday.

-I like throwback jerseys in all sports, but in some cases they just serve as reminders that the evolution in uniform design has been for the overall good. Take the Badgers' jerseys tonight. Without any red trim, they looked like practice jerseys. Also thought the knee-high striped socks were a bit much, and borderline disrespectful to Wofford. Think they'd wear those against Ohio State?

-Jon Leuer had a great backdown half-hook move in the first half. He's going to be really good for us sooner rather than later.

-Stephen Bardo and Dave Ryan talked about Marcus Landry's transition from the power forward to the small forward spot, and it was the first time I'd really thought about that as a reason for his lack of scoring and assertiveness this season. But in the swing, he shouldn't be getting the ball in radically different spots, should he?

-The difference between Brian Butch averaging 11-12 points per game and 15-16 points per game was illustrated when he missed a wide-open layup in the first half. The announcers said he should have dunked it, and he did dunk one a couple minutes later - he can do it, but his footwork and timing need to be absolutely perfect for it to happen. I would have thought that after five years of college he'd have added explosiveness to his game, but at this point it's not going to happen. It's a shame, too, because he's got a scorer's mindset that is rare in big men.

-Greg Stiemsma had a layup soon thereafter that it looked like he could have dunked, same deal as Butch. Stiemsma's game is unlike that of any other big man I can remember - great passer, unconventional but effective jump shot, soft inside on offense, ferocious shot blocker.

-Stiemsma should have been ejected after his technical, that was unnecessary. He didn't play anymore after that, so I suppose the point is moot.

-Jason Bohannon played great tonight. My favorite play of his wasn't his 3-pointers, but his offensive rebound tip-in. He's not the most athletic guy out there, but he's got good court sense. Also, just noticed that his current ringtone is Kanye West's "Good Life," which makes me feel better about my run with "Golddigger" as my ringtone.

-Great scoring balance tonight: J-Bo 14, Joe Krabbenhoft 12, Landry 11, Butch 9, Trevon Hughes and Michael Flowers 8.

-I loved Steve Bardo and the other Flyin' Illini when they were in college - Kenny Battle, Nick Anderson, Kendall Gill, Marcus Liberty, Lowell Hamilton. Bardo had a nice shout-out to Wisconsin high school hoops late in the game.

-We've quietly got the third-longest home winning streak in the country right now. Have a dark suspicion it ends Saturday.

-Here's a new drinking game - if the announcers calling a Badger game this year make it through a whole game without mentioning Krabbenhoft's lifetime stitches, drink 10 beers.

-Nice little scoring move by Tim Jarmusz late in the game.

-Finally, did you see how that kid from Wofford shot free throws? He held it one-handed, underhanded, before stopping and starting two other times. It would have been one thing if he was money shooting it that way, but the three I saw him shoot were missed badly. Here's a tip for the kids from Ken Tappa: make your free throw motion as simple as possible, the ability to repeat the motion whether fresh or fatigued is so important.

5 comments:

Schwib said...

Too funny - I had a couple of the same thoughts:

- Leuer - while he definitely looks like a newbie at times, he's definitely a different kind of big man that Wisconsin has typically had. His athleticism is surprising to me at times. He should be a fun one to watch for the next four years. I also wondered if he was sold on Wisconsin because of the swing, given he was a guard until later in high school.

- Landry - when the announcers mentioned his switch to small forward, I was also thinking to myself that it could be the explanation for his semi-slow start. But then, like you Taps, was wondering what the big difference would be in the swing anyway. Now the fist offense, that's an entirely different story...

ajs said...

I think Landry seems to be more comfortable in transition and quick looks. I'm just thinking outloud but it seems he gets lost in the half court set. He was crowned as the heir apparent to Tucker, as unfair as that might be, and we expect him to pound in the post and create like Tucker(and his brother Carl) did. It's pretty obvious that's not his game.

JBo looked a little more mobile last night but that might be a product of his competition. He looked smooth on a nice little step back 3 on the wing but likely wouldn't have pulled the trigger if guarded by more athletic defender. We'll need him in Feb and into March so hopefully he'll continue to progress throughout the year.

Nakavil- I was hoping Bo would sub him in 7-8 min left for some real game action with the 1s. Looks like he's regulated to mop up time.

Scott Tappa said...

Leuer does seem more comfortable in the swing than most true freshman. He seems to know how to get to the spot where he can post up.

Landry would absolutely flourish in the first offense, as long as Andy Roloff was at the point.

To ajs's point about Marcus, he does get lost in the halfcourt, but it's on him to make sure he doesn't. He needs to demand the ball like Alando and Carl. Last night he had a nice turnaround that reminded me of Carl; what he doesn't have is that power dribble, or a confident 17-foot jumper.

I agree about Nankivil's time, and Jarmusz's to an extent - why not give them a few minutes earlier on? You know what you have in Flowers, Butch, et al, and you know they're going to be playing 30-plus minutes come January, but why not spend a few minutes developing guys who might help at a time of need? But Bo has always been somewhat stingy with minutes for scrubs, and I guess it's worked out.

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