Friday, January 30, 2009

Missing a Stiem engine

Heading into the basketball offseason, I made the note that I really wish Greg Stiemsma had redshirted as a freshman, rather than playing 10 minutes or whatever he did. Hadn't thought my about it lately until frequent Badgercentric commeter Mr. Man commented on his own blog, Camp Lambeau, that Stiemer's presence would make this year's team much more interesting.

Let your mind wander. With Stiemsma starting and playing 20-plus minutes per game ...

-The interior defense is obviously better. Post players have a tougher time scoring. Penetrators have a tougher time finishing. Shots are blocked.

-The perimeter defense is probably not much better at stopping 3-pointers, but with an eraser behind them they are a bit more aggressive, resulting in more steals.

-The offense has a guy who takes and consistently makes 17-footers, which opens things up for Landry's post game and Hughes' penetration.

-Keaton Nankivil's progress is not as critical, and his contributions are pleasant bonuses.


How many win or fewers losses would he be good for at this point? Hard to say; maybe three or four. Maybe none. But the team would be better.

Watching Keaton's coming out party Tuesday gave me the same thoughts. He played what, 46 minutes as a true freshman? It's not inconceivable that if he keeps gaining confidence and smoothing out the rough edges of his game that in two years, we'll be wishing like hell he would be sticking around another year. Kids and their crazy decisions ...

10 comments:

Mr.Man said...

Two things, Scott. First, I think the "eraser behind them" theory would improve the perimeter defense, as well as add to the steals tally. It's the same idea, right? Guys are more comfortable being up in their men's faces, and thus jumpers are more contested.

Second, I would emphasize how his presence opens up things for Landry. Stiemer had shown himself to be a decent low post threat last season, with his little hooks in the lane. With him providing a large, guardable post presence, that draws the other team's five, and Landry is back posting up fours and threes, where he's far more effective.

Scott Tappa said...

I thought about that, but think there is a difference between defending the 3-point shot and creating steals. Don't have the replay in front of me, but it seemed like Hummel and Kramer came open for their 3s at the end by running off screens, which Flowers excelled at beating. The inability to get over off-balls screens designed to open a shooter for a 3 is not impacted by the presence of a shot-blocker in the lane.

But feel free to disagree! In any event, we can all agree this team's defense would be better in some way, shape, or form if Stiemsma were here.

Edward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward said...

Do you know where Stiemsma is playing now?

Hey, totally off-topic: What was up with Musburger's info that Butch scored 21 point in his Chinese debut and then 3 points in the next game and was fired?! Wow, what a tough league.

Mr.Man said...

I get your point about screens, Scott. But some threes and other perimeter shots come on pull-ups (like several of Moore's mid-range jumpers in the second half), and if you're giving them room to heft a shot because you're worried about drives, well, you see my point. We agree that at least it would improve the perimeter defense to some extent.

Edward, I must have missed that comment. Sometimes the wonders of Tivo cause you to speed through some funny tidbits. I think Butch is playing in Germany now.

Scott Tappa said...

Just Googled Stiemsma and didn't come up with anything. He didn't seem to love basketball enough to travel to the ends of the earth to keep playing it, did he?

I heard that comment and laughed, too. I'm going to Germany next week and had heard Butch and Flowers were playing there, so did some research on them. Butch seems to be getting some time, while it appears Flowers was recently cut. It does not appear Butch's team will be playing in Berlin while I'm there, unfortunately. That would have been really cool ...

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Anonymous said...

Last I heard, Stiemsma is playing over in Europe somewhere...perhaps Turkey. At least that's what Facebook tells me.

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