Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Wisconsin-Michigan thoughts

It doesn't carry the same emotional wave as Saturday's win over Texas, but tonight's win at Michigan is very satisfying in its own way. Winning the conference opener on the road. Different heroes. Trevon's injury is not as bad as I feared. We absolutely own Michigan, and those pseudo-intellectuals in the Maize Rage can stop hopping up and down and slink back to their dorms beaten convincingly by a clearly better program.

This was a nice game to ease the hangover from the Outback Bowl ...

-Not sure what can be said about Jon Leuer's career-high 25 points that isn't obvious, but I'll try. Love that he catches the ball ready to shoot from behind the arc. Love that he's not afraid to stick his nose inside. Don't love his free throw shooting - at one point he was 5-for-5 on 3-pointers and 0-for-3 on free throws. But that's picking nits tonight.

-Also really liked Marcus Landry's effort tonight. Love how comfortable he looks in the post. Love how he and Leuer played off one another. Love how he skied for rebounds and threw down that dunk off a post. Don't love how many layups he missed, way too many.

-Another nice game for J-Bo. He played with composure and was a playmaker at times in the first half. Really liked his pass to Stiemsma for a dunk after Greg sealed off his defender. Bohannon was a nice closer late, hitting a runner, a 3, and five free throws to close things out.

-He had a relatively quiet game after his huge performance Saturday, but Butch was solid tonight too. After a 21-point game, his tendency could have been to force things and take bad shots, but he stayed within himself and took only six shots, and had an efficient nine points. One of his moves tonight reminded me of Kevin McHale.

-Awhile ago I wrote about how much I enjoyed seeing Michael Flowers making cuts in halfcourt sets. Here's another thing he does that I enjoy: he is strong with the ball. Some guys, it looks like you could poke it out of their grasp with your pinkie. Our whole team does a nice job of being strong with the ball while in triple-threat position, but for some reason Flowers really stands out to me in this area. He's got to do better at staying out of foul trouble; he has replaced Stiemsma as our most foul-prone player.

-One negative on the night: Krabby's play. A detailed box score hasn't been made available yet, but he probably played close to 35 minutes, and he struggled big-time. He was not strong with the ball - had a bunch of turnovers. Several times he made a nice cut or move to get in position for a layup, but didn't take it or missed it. He was 1-for-6 from the floor. He'll be okay.

-Anyone else notice how long it took Gully to get in the game tonight? He played a lot against Texas, but not much against Michigan. It seems like he and Leuer are an either-or combination.

-It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it's great we're back in the top 25. To me the biggest benefit is that our scores get shown more often on ESPN's Bottom Line - more exposure.

-Don't want to get out of control here, but our upcoming schedule shapes up nicely: home against Iowa and Illinois, at Penn State, home against Northwestern and Michigan. We could very easily be 6-0 in Big Ten play heading into a game at Purdue.


ajs said...

I agree with all your thoughts- good summary of a good solid win...Krabby? two left feet/hands last night? He must have an inner ear infection or something?

I actually thought Pop played really well considering he was on crutches Sat. It almost slowed his game down for him...he played better D tonight than he had in the last few games- not as much over pursuing the passing lanes. I loved the extra pass he made to Leuer in the corner for a 3 ball.

Scott Tappa said...

J-Bo played 39 minutes! Pop played 28! Unbelievable, and encouraging.

Krabby's line: 34 minutes, 4 points, 4 turnovers, 4 assists, 4 rebounds. Not as bad as I though, but still not good.

Good point about Trevon slowing down, hadn't thought of it that way.