Wednesday, November 25, 2009

UW-Maryland thoughts

Nice win against a ranked team, one that might pay big dividends come March.

I like what this team looks like right now. Good guard play. Improved outside shooting. A go-to post scorer. Lots of big bodies inside to give fouls. Young players bringing energy.

We had Duke a week from now, a game we probably won't win, but looking at the rest of the schedule I'm thinking we're 10-3 heading into the Big Ten, at worst. An Arizona-Gonzaga-Maryland-Duke run makes for a very high quality non-conference schedule.

-My one beef today is with the turnovers, way too many. And while Maryland's defense was good, the turnovers were self-inflicted. Shooting 49.1% and making 10 3-pointers can cover that up, but I'd rather hang onto the ball.

-The scoring was balanced early, then Jason Bohannon took over, then Jon Leuer, and J-Bo's free throw shooting finished things off. What did I say about J-Bo making 75% of his clean looks? Today he was 4-of-5, and when he has the ball in his hands at the end of the game I feel like it's over.

-Leuer didn't do much for awhile, but in the second half he found the places he likes to be in the post and scored on a variety of moves. At 6-10, I can't think of a lot of guys can shut him down playing behind him. Our opponents are either going to have to deny him, double him, or use footwork to push him further away from the rim.

-Really liked Ryan Evans' dunk early. No, it's not my high school infatuation with dunking, but more a reflection of aggressive play. Keaton Nankivil missed another attempt later (fouled in the process), but I still liked it.

-Trevon Hughes had a poor shooting game but did a great job on Greivis Vazquez, whose 18 points were deceiving and not impactful.

-Obviously didn't like all the turnovers, but we did have a healthy 14 assists. Also outrebounded the Terps 33-24, with Keaton, Leuer, and Mike Bruesewitz active on the offensive glass.

-In the immediate postgame Doug Gottlieb said, in praising Leuer, "You look at the Badgers and wonder who's going to replace the scoring and athleticism of Joe Krabbenhoft." Krabby was many wonderful things for our program and I love him, but those are two words that have never been pinned to him, at least not in his collegiate career.

Very productive trip to Hawaii: two wins and an understandable loss. Duke next week represents an opportunity like the Texas game two years ago -- win and the guys might start seeing something special is possible.

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