Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wisconsin-Indiana thoughts

Upon returning from Germany, I walked into my boss's office for a review of what I had missed. Naturally, the conversation was 90% about basketball, and he told me about the Badgers' wins, especially the one over Indiana. "You've got to see the pick Krabbenhoft set on Gordon," he said.

Just got done watching it, and he was right - it was a crusher. What a night for Krabby. I'll overlook the shaky free throw shooting. Five assists and 12 rebounds, to go along with great defense and pick setting, and he was the man of the match.

-What offense were we running in this game? It sure didn't resemble the Swing. Maybe that's because Indiana was so inept stopping dribble penetration, which is puzzling. Pop had a bad night shooting, but he penetrated well.

-Another nice game for Landry - double-digit scoring and rebounds on plus-50% shooting while staying within himself.

-Butch struggled to finish inside again, but if the tradeoff is that he's now making more 3-pointers, I'll take it.

-Steve Lavin made a good point about our transition defense, saying we "built a shell." Not many people are better in transition defense.

-Eric Gordon is something else, isn't he? Explosive, powerful, skilled. Not always the best decision maker, though, and he's not going to get away with those things against good teams. I think he'll play point guard in the NBA and be spectacular from the start.

-D.J. White is a bully. This is the guy I thought he'd be three years ago when he was a freshman, but injuries really slowed him. The refs really give him leeway, although Landry did draw a charge (with a bit of a flop).

-Lance Stemler is horrible, how was it Sampson played him 26 minutes?

-Deandre Thomas is listed at 6-8, 295. Two-hundred ninety-five what, kilograms? I haven't seen a guy that fat playing Division I hoops since Oliver Miller at Arkansas. It's amazing that with the constant running that comes with basketball that he would still be borderline morbidly obese.

-One of my opponent villains last year was A.J. Ratliff, who went insane during our game in Bloomington. This year he plays five minutes and is a non-factor. What happened there? (Since you asked, my other villains from last year were Drew Neitzel and Kevin Kruger.)

-Lavin made a comment that this is Bo Ryan's first UW team without a surefire first round NBA draft pick. Very untrue. Devin Harris wasn't a surefire NBA player until his junior season. Alando Tucker's NBA worth was debated for three years. The better description would have been that this is his first team without a clear-cut leading scorer or All-Big Ten player.

-Flowers and J-Bo both shot 3-pointers well earlier in the shot clock than usual. They were open looks, but both missed badly.

-Pop's behind-the-back pass to Flowers was just beautiful, went back and watched it five times, before they replayed it five times.

-Good crowd at the Kohl Center, they were really into it.

Hope to catch the Minnesota game tomorrow and make it three wins in three days heading into the Purdue rematch.

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