Sunday, January 11, 2009

UW-Purdue thoughts

Late in this one Marcus Landry made a strong move to the basket and got fouled, and Bill Raftery noted that it was a move made with urgency. It was an accurate observation, and underscored the fact that for most of the afternoon the Badgers played with little urgency, a big reason they lost to Purdue.

With the way the Badgers play, urgency doesn't mean charging headfirst into a crowd or taking gambles on defense. It does mean boxing out a little stronger when you're getting killed on the boards, or making your go-to offensive move earlier in the shot clock.

Most of the second half today, with Purdue ahead comfortably by double digits, felt like the last two minutes of a snoozer, which worked out nicely for the Boilers.

-It's become apparent/obvious that against good teams, if Landry and Pop struggle, we're going to have a hard time winning. Both had gruesome lines today: Landry was 3-for-15 from the field with just two rebounds, and Hughes 3-for-11 with some ill-advised attempts.

Against UConn, Marquette, and Texas, Marcus had nine, five, and eight points. In 16 games thus far, the Badgers are 10-0 when he scores 10 or more points, and 2-4 when he scores nine or less. Hughes has fared better in our losses.

Your best players need to be at their best to beat the best. These two will have plenty more opportunities this year to be at their best against the best.

-JaJuan Johnson played with urgency from the opening tip today, his early offensive rebounds set the tone for the day. From my view, he's going to end up being the best player in that class, better than Hummel and Moore, who are pretty darn good themselves.

-We missed too many bunnies early, when we had a chance to establih a modest lead. Johnson's length probably had something to do with that.

-I really think Nankivil could have done a better job of containing Johnson than Leuer or Landry. I understand that Landry and Leuer might be the best 4-5 combination to put out there, but there should still be time to get Keaton 20-25 minutes per game, not the 10 or so he's been averaging in Big Ten play.

-Krabby had a really nice game, 6-for-7 from the floor and seven boards. Overlooked in all this is that he helped hold E'Twuan Moore to four points on 1-of-12 shooting from the floor.

-J-Bo had only four field goal attempts, only the second time this season he's been that low. Purdue closed out well with him.

-The officiating in the first half, called evenly both ways, allowed for more aggressive play. This clearly favors Purdue, and they were easily the better defensive team today.

-Our post fronts were a half-step for much of the day, which allowed the Boilers to catch the ball in favorable positions.

Today's loss isn't that surprising, but it clearly shows what needs to happen for us to compete for a Big Ten title. Most people, myself included, pegged Purdue to finish ahead of us this season, they're a talented and well-coached team. But this season has a long way to go, and the conference is deeper than in years past. Four or five losses might win this thing unless Michigan State really gets on a roll.


Deuces said...

What happened to your post about hair? I was going to say something about Nemanja Calasan not getting the memo from Delany.

Anonymous said...

something about cellphone Nemanja Calasan not getting the memo Mobile Phone from Delany. Cell Phone

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