Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How I'm feeling about Friday

My first thought is that I'm glad the game is Friday and not Thursday, since it will give our kids one extra day of practice and postseason experience before the season's over. Sorry, it's been that type of year.

But really, I'm thinking that while few people are giving us a chance, it's not a long shot to see us winning this game. They do have Toney Douglas, who is probably the best player we've faced this year. This guy is ranking Douglas as the best point guard in the country, ahead of Ty Lawson, Jonny Flynn and Stephen Curry. And it's not that much of a stretch, given that he was just about the ACC's leading scorer and also its defensive player of the year.

So you can pretty much count on Pop not having a big game. The thing is, beyond him they seem to be just a solid team. Four guys averaging about 8 points per game. Don't seem to have anyone other than Douglas shooting lights-out on 3-pointers. No dominant rebounders, but a few decent shot blockers. They appear to have some athletic bigs, which given our lack of legit height could be troublesome.

Comparing similar opponents, they beat Virginia Tech twice, including a squeaker at home (like us), and lost at Northwestern (but by a lot more). Their signature win -- in the conference tournament over Carolina -- is far better than anything we've got, but the rest seems comparable.

So they're similar to us, on paper at least.

It may sound arrogant and/or obvious and/or simple to say this, but I think that this game comes down to how we play, not necessarily what they do. If we play a solid 40-minute game, I think we'll win. We've got good players, the better coach, and while this is our 11th straight trip to the NCAAs this is FSU's first in about that long.

But how many times have we played a solid 40 minutes against a good team this year? A few, depending on your definition of "good team," but you don't need two hands to count them.

So it'll probably be a close game, hopefully played in the 60s. I'd like to think the Badgers can break tendencies and do enough to move on, but ...

2 comments:

frye said...

I'd be very surprised if the Badgers win this game. FSU will give UW problems inside. Landry has a tough time against tall, athletic big men. He'll be forced to be a perimeter jump shot player. Leuer won't have a good match-up either. Nankivil has been relegated to the bench for an inordinate amount of time in my opinion and Gullikson has no offense (airball a free throw, really??!!) I remember some stat that said when UW shoots 15 or more 3s they have a low win %. I just think FSU will kill the Badgers 65-54.

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