Wednesday, January 21, 2009

UW-Iowa thoughts

Wow, three in a row. All three were bad, but this one might be the worst because let's face it, Iowa is not at all a good team. Which makes us not at all a good team.

When and if we're an NCAA bubble team come March, this will be one of those bad losses that hurts teams, really the first one we've had this year. (Ironically, Virginia Tech knocks off Wake Forest tonight, making that good win even better.)

Most of this game was just a dull bore with both teams shooting poorly and the refs blowing their whistles like they were getting paid by the foul. As such, Iowa won by out-Wisconsining Wisconsin. They took 25 more free throws than us.

Twenty freaking five! How the hell does that happen?

Of course, the spread should have been about 19 because of the officiating decisions that really decided the game.

Talking, of course, about the sequence in which Jordan Taylor made a nice steal, got clonked on the head on the breakaway layup, no foul is called. Compounding the poor officiating, the refs hit Bo with a technical foul. Iowa makes the two free throws, then picks up two more on the ensuing possession. Six-point swing, from us up four to them up two. They pull ahead, and while Taylor's heroic effort late forces overtime, we were beaten by that point.

Shades of Bret Bielema picking up that penalty after the kickoff against Michigan State, no?

This is starting to feel like football season, too.

-So Gullikson starts instead of Nankivil? Since the Northwestern-Michigan State game ran long it's hard to tell how that worked out, but Keaton played well while in. Gully didn't do a whole lot. What a rise for KG, though, from nailed to the bench after his drunk driving thing last year to starter this year.

-The Iowa fans are still booing J-Bo, but you can tell their hearts aren't in it anymore. Come on, would you really want to play for Iowa?

-Late in the second half, I thought Boy, Bo is really being stubborn not bringing Pop back in. Even if he was in the doghouse, he's still our best guy for getting quick buckets in a late-game scramble. But Jordan played really well. If he picks up confidence from this, it makes our guard position much stronger from here on out. Conversely, Hughes needs to get it together, if he doesn't we're hosting an NIT game at the Kohl Center.

-Landry has to be better from the free throw line. He had a chance to give us the first lead of overtime and biffed the free throw, and we never were in control after that.

-Did it seem to you that we switched way too easily and quickly on their ball screens, or near-ball screens? So many times we ended up with Hughes or Taylor guarding one of their bigs, and they did a valiant job holding down the fort, but that can't be what we really want on more than half our defensive possessions.

-First time I've heard Wayne Larrivee yell "Dagger!" when my team was on the short end of the stick. Hopefully the last.


Mr.Man said...

This loss was pretty disheartening, honestly. Iowa was down two starters. UW was coming off six days with no games. You have the bizarre walk-on starting thing (no offense to KG, but Leuer should start, honestly), the failure to adjust to how the game was being called--- lots of fouls on drives, fewer fouls called on post-ups--, and then the bizarre Hughes benching. I mean, your team is down two of its top five players in overtime because of fouls. You're going to make it even worse by keeping Hughes on the bench. And it's not like Taylor (who was on a roll) and Hughes both can't play at the same time. Actually, it'd probably be a relief for Pop, since they rely on him to do so much ball-handling. Just a bizarre loss, even with Taylor's late heroics.

Unless something dramatic happens, the Badgers are going to get their assess handed to them in Champaign on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

When your starting five is five role players (fine with the exception of Marcus), your outlook is very bleak.

Mr.Man said...

Hughes is not a role player.

Brian said...

I'm getting tired of watching this team...maybe my bitter feelings are just a remnant of the football season, but I'm tired of watching a team full of guys that can't break anyone down off the dribble, create their own shots or protect the ball anymore. And what's up with us always getting caught from behind on fast breaks? Bo is a heck of a coach, but we need some talent in there quickly!

Scott Tappa said...

I don't mind Leuer coming off the bench, I buy the explanation that it allows him to see what's going on in the game and come in with a better view on things. Not sure that KG matches up with other Big Ten starters, though.

The thing about Hughes is that right now, you almost have to let him play through this funk, don't you?

It would be interesting to see him, Taylor, and J-Bo out there at the same time. TJ isn't making much of an impact out there ... maybe more minutes for Wilson?

Scott Tappa said...

I think there's talent here now, and the impact-to-role player ratio is about the same as it's always been. It's just that the stars are showing weaknesses.

The getting caught from behind on layups is driving me nuts, too. Yeah, Jordan got fouled, but to me it wasn't obvious until the replay. Yeah, J-Bo's was probably goaltended against Minnesota, but it shouldn't have had a chance to be goaltended. Where's the separation?