Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wisconsin-Penn State thoughts

This evening I had intended to come downstairs and write a quick "this game scares me, wouldn't be surprised if we lost" post. But then Will and I got caught up wrestling or something and I didn't get around to making a horrible prediction.

Nice win. Really wish Geary Claxton hadn't hurt his knee so early, would have liked to so how we stacked up with Penn State at full strength. Here's hoping he's OK, LePay said the Penn State radio guys are reporting it's season-ending. Throw in their late-game collapse against Minnesota the other day and they were set to be blown out.

But that shouldn't diminish how well we played. Great passing, good rebounding, terrific shooting. Defense was OK, they just missed a lot of shots.

-Star of the game was Flowers. After he hit the 3-pointer to start the game, I jotted down "good-looking shot in rhythm, he needs to shoot more." Every time he lifted up tonight it looked like it was going in, and most times it did. he also did a nice job on Morrissey, who was 1-for-9. That two-handed steal he had was fun to watch, he just embarrassed that guy.

-Krabby's first shot looked terrible, but he followed up with two good-looking shots and played another nice all-around game. On the broadcast Jimmy Jackson correctly pointed out that when he's playing assertively like he was tonight, it adds a whole different dimension to our offense.

One other Krabby note: not sure where I heard or read it, but Bo compared him to former Illinois player Sergio McClain. Don't know if you remember him or not, but he was about a 6-3 forward who probably wasn't named all-conference but was just a winner - played good defense, got key rebounds, found the open man, made a shot when he had to. Apt comparison, and a high compliment.

-Stiemsma played really well tonight ... but every time I was about to write that down in the first half, he made a mistake - let his guy get open for a layup, committed a bad foul, turned it over. His second half was nice, especially that little left-handed half-hook from the right block. He's tried that a couple times this season, and it looks good, but never seems to go in.

-Landry had another good Landry game - taking what was there, including 3-pointers, and generally getting good shots. It was interesting to see him guard Cornley, who really only seemed to go all-out for about 10 minutes in the second half. I would have taken a couple steps back and let him beat me shooting 18-footers rather than letting him build up a head of steam on the dribble.

-Hughes' bank shot 3-pointer seems like a lark in retrospect, but at the time they had come out shooting well and had cut the lead to 11, and we weren't moving on offense. Much like the Illinois game, in which we never let them take the lead, never letting Penn State get the lead into single digits was important tonight, because a home team down less than 10 should always have a run in them.

-Butch and Hughes combined for 16 points, about half their average, and Leuer went scoreless, but we still scored 80 points easily. Shows the nice balance on this team. Trevon only played eight minutes in the first half because of foul trouble and we were still up 16 at the half. I thought his play was a little bit too cavalier at times tonight.

-I thought showing Andy North in the stands was only a prerequisite for ESPN. Forget Jessica Simpson or Eva Longoria, we've got Andy.

-Penn State took on the feeling of a hockey team, shuttling in interchangeable, anonymous guys, none of whom were scoring with regularity.

-Save some of those 3-pointers for a closer game against a better team!

-Jarmusz is the first of the non-regulars in. Nankivil doesn't look ready for the pace of the big time yet. Still waiting for Tanner to make one of those prayers he throws up.


hoopraker said...

Nice analysis Badgercentric. Bo has the Badgers, again, exceeding expectations and putting up wins. That Penn State team is not bad by any stretch. If they don't go loco and miss 19 free throws against Minnesota, they're 3-0 in conference heading into last night. The thing is, the Badgers' defense is that good. Love to see Krabbenhoft and Flowers play well.

td lawlor

ajs said...

I loved Krabby's set shot for a 3 -after he realized there was no one within 10ft of him- and no one was even thinking about coming out and defending him. It was as close to a City League offensive play as you'll see in the B10.

good analysis- I too wish Claxton could have stayed on the floor. We still don't have a true gauge of where we fit in conference play.

Anonymous said...

Regarding McClain-Krabby comparisons: It was McClain's Dad who made the comparison! Even nicer compliment!


Scott Tappa said...

Thanks for the link to the McClain quote, the source of the quote hit me when I was lying down for bed. If memory serves, he played on four straight high school state championship teams at Peoria Manual.