Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wisconsin-Indiana thoughts

Wow, what a great win! As disappointed as I was Saturday - losing a game I expected us to win - tonight's win is even sweeter - winning a game I was sure we'd lose. My quick initial thoughts:

-Felt like the Texas game.
-Butch now has a signature moment as a Badger.
-On the day their coach was confirmed a cheater and a liar, Indiana did not deserve to win.

-Butch came up huge late, but to me it was Flowers and Bohannon who were the heroes. Flowers had a great offensive first half and did a nice job on Gordon, even though he ended up with 23 points. J-Bo, obviously, had the breakout shooting game we've all been waiting for, at just the right time!

-You know why J-Bo and Flowers were knocking down those 3-pointers? Because they caught the ball ready to shoot, not catching it and waiting for the defenders to get on them like sometimes happens when we're being so deliberate. Today's ironic headline: The Cap Times' "J-Bo not just a gunner anymore." It was a well-reasoned story, but I was happy he came out gunning tonight!

-In the pregame, Gene Keady said Indiana would come out playing zone, so I expected them to be good at it. Not the case. We had tons of wide-open looks in the early going, even if they were perimeter shots, just didn't make them. I made a note that if we lost, it was because we didn't take advantage of their poor early defense.

-Love the resilience in the first half. The shots weren't falling, White was killing us, even the fat kid scored a couple times - but we never let it get out of control.

-D.J. White is a really good player, but he looked like Wilt Freaking Chamberlain in the first half. It reminded me of the Sweet 16 game five years ago against Kentucky where Marques Estill ate us alive and Bo refused to double down on him. In this game, that refusal paid off - White slowed down in the second half and they were just 3-for-13 on 3-pointers.

-IU is talented, but missing something that makes a good team an elite team. Probably defensive stoppers - we scored only 66 points, but I think we had a very good offensive game.

-Schwib emailed me earlier today about the Kelvin Sampson news, and he compared it to our Shoe Box game against Western Michigan. Very similar, good call. Indiana knew this guy was in trouble when they hired him, now they've got to deal with his continued naughty behavior. Will they fire him? Apparently they can do it without buying him out. Makes you wonder more about Gordon's de-commit from Illinois ... bet Illini fans are having a field day with this.

-Stiemsma played some good minutes in the first half on both ends.

-Krabby once again hit the boards hard, and had a nice bank shot, but was again tentative finishing around the basket. Here's a comparison for you: Joe Krabbenhoft is the Badgers' Dennis Rodman, pre-bug out.

-Jim Sorgi in the house! In this mug shot he looks like a cross between my brother-in-law Nick and Tony Romo.

-After Saturday's mess, I thought this game was very well-officiated. We only shot five free throws, but only deserved that many, shot mostly jumpers. They shot 20 because they attacked the rim. The key was that the refs let our guys play defense on Gordon without sending him to the line time after time like NBA refs to with Dwayne Wade.

-Gordon and Wade: an apt comparison? I envision Gordon as an NBA point guard, but Wade makes a go of it at roughly the same height (6-4).

-Great play by Landry to tip in his own miss. We hit the offensive boards well all night.

-As mentioned at the top, really happy for Butch. He's been here for some great teams and great games, and stepped up big - he wanted that last shot. He was wonderful against Texas - but everyone will remember Flowers' shot and steal. He was big against Pitt in Madison last year, but I remember Alando. Here's his moment to remember - even if it was a bank shot!

Thought it was funny that Larrivee called him the Polar Bear, though ESPN/Lavin/Musberger had copyright on that.

-That's our seventh road win this year. Today's email said that we had the fifth-most road wins of any major conference school in the last two years - perhaps a better indicator of program strength than home court dominance.

-Another 20-win season, five-for-seven under Bo - should have been six if not for that loss to North Dakota State. Who would have thought this was possible 15 years ago?

5 comments:

Millie said...

I agree with your thoughts on the game T. Let me ask you this question. Can you remember another player that was more terrifying to defend than Gordon? In the second half he got what he wanted, when he wanted it, and that is with an outstanding on-ball defender on him.

It makes you appreciate the decision Bo made to foul him with time left on the clock. He must have thought that Gordon was going to either score or get to the line with little time left, and decided to either win or lose on offense, rather than defense. That's balls right there, and I can't remember another coach making a decision like that.

ajs said...

I agree on your take w/ fouling Gordon. Flowers was clearly beat and bad things happen when Gordon has a clear path to the basket. I've read/heard a lot of people saying this was a dumb foul and whatever. But I agree- It put EG on the line having to make both to take the lead and gave us ample time on the other end.
It may not have necessarily called in the huddle by Bo to have IU fouled but the situation lent itself to it. -No easy hoops!-

Trevon is not right...his ankle is still bothering him. This might be the TH we see down the stretch. JBo needs to continue to stretch the D.

Scott Tappa said...

That last Flowers foul on Gordon is an interesting discussion. On the BTN post-game Tim Doyle was critical of the foul, and I just thought it was a heat of the moment thing, but maybe it was advised by Bo.

As for frightening players, good question. Most of the guys in recent memory were too one-dimensional, either shooters or finishers, and Gordon can do both. Drew Neitzel in that game in Lansing last year? Dee Brown? He never really went off on us. Minnesota's Vincent Grier had a big game against us where he was unstoppable.

Remember when I said I saw Hughes wince at the start of the Purdue game? Saw something similar early on last night, and you're right ajs, he's not right. Having gone through many ankle injuries myself, those can heal enough for you to play and move laterally, but leave you weaker as a leaper, which affects Pop's jumper. We play four games on a regular rotation before a week off after Michigan State, hopefully he can get healed then.

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