Saturday, January 5, 2008

Wisconsin-Iowa thoughts: Return to the Kohl Center

After falling from the top spot for one day, my brother is now back to being my all-time favorite #22. He got us two awesome seats for today's Wisconsin-Iowa game at the Kohl Center - lower bowl, roughly 40-yard-line, 12 rows up, right with all the big boosters.

As weird as it may seem, this was my first Badger basketball game at the KC since its first year in business, and my last year in school, 1998. If memory serves, it was against an Ohio State team led by Michael Redd and Scoonie Penn, which beat the last Badger team not to make the NCAA Tournament. I believe it was Senior Day for Sean Dougherty.

I've been back to the Kohl many times since, for graduation, hockey games, and high school hoops, but this was different. The atmosphere is so professional. The scoreboard is incredible; when late arrivals blocked our view, we just watched the action on the scoreboard. The amenities are top-notch, and there are nice historical displays in the concourses of UW athletics through the decades.

The Nitty Gritty was packed afterward, and we tried to get in by telling the hostess we knew Mike Milinovich, but she said "Who?" Just kidding, we went to State Street Brats ...

-This team is so balanced and versatile. Think of the last three games in terms of hockey's "stars of the game" system. Texas: 1. Butch, 2. Flowers, 3. Bohannon or Landry. Michigan: 1. Leuer, 2. Landry, 3. Hughes. Iowa: 1. Butch, 2. Krabbenhoft, 3. Could be one of a handful of guys.

-Butch was at his best today with 22 points and seven rebounds. Iowa needed to double him and Landry, and when they didn't our posts got good looks either turning to the middle for mildly contested jumpers, or going baseline for contested layups. Butch goes 5-6 moves before getting his shot sometimes, and thought it looks ugly at times, he usually gets a decent look. The toes on his pivot foot must be about 12 inches long. Picking nits again, Brian was 0-for-3 on 3-pointers.

-Krabby had a solid game with 12 points and seven boards. What he did a nice job of was controlling the ball in traffic and getting fouled. He shot free throws better than usual.

-Pop passed up some open looks today from both inside and outside the arc. It looked like he was making a conscious effort to not shoot to soon in the shot clock, and those were pretty good shots. Iowa did a nice job defending his penetration, and did a pretty good job overall. Hughes also had three steals and a great block on an Iowa big man and generally played good defense.

-We gave up some wide open layups off back cuts or penetration, sort of surprising.

-Only seven turnovers - nice!

-Iowa scored only 51 points, but they were better than I thought they'd be. Justin Johnson is a good scorer, Tony Freeman a good point guard, and Cyrus Tate and Kurt Looby are active big men. They'll win a few games this year.

-Leuer was down to two 3-pointers today, but like against Michigan, they came at key points for momentum.

4 comments:

Corby said...

You cannot go to the Nitty and throw out any name other than Andy Roloff. That gets you two free drink tickets, a basket of mozz sticks, and a seat at the end of the bar...c'mon Tappa you are better than that.

Scott Tappa said...

All kidding aside, Andy and I actually did talk about Roloff, and somebody told him that Roley still works at the Gritty.

Millie said...

Roloff still works there? Good gracious! He was there when I left in August of 1998. That would be unfathomable to me.

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