Thursday, December 3, 2009

Duke: The afterglow

One of the best parts of last night's big win? Having every other person at work stop me in the hall or pop their head in my office to talk about it. The Badgers have created a buzz. Here are some other thoughts:

-J.P. Tokoto was in attendance, and apparently came away very impressed. I saw a cool picture of him talking with Brian Butch. Let's face it: it's still a long shot that J.P. will end up in Madison. But last night showed him that Wisconsin can beat the nation's premier teams, that the Kohl Center is an electric place, that being a part of the Madison student body is an incredible experience. Can't hurt.

-What do you reckon Trevon Hughes' scoring average will be this season? My money is on something like 15.5 ppg. He's playing at a higher level than any point guard we've had since Devin Harris. (Who, by the way, is getting criticized on Twitter for giving the Badgers props in the wake of last night's game.)

-As well as Pop played, we won this game in the frontcourt. Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas, Miles and Mason Plumlee -- all of their dudes were highly-recruited post players. Yet Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil totally outplayed them, 25 points and 11 rebounds to six points and 14 rebounds. Our guys were more athletic.

-Seventeen assists, six turnovers for us last night (thanks for the catch nuclearbadger!). That'll win you some games.

-So many of the national stories in the wake of last night's games had a theme along the lines of "Never doubt Bo Ryan ... the Badgers will definitely make the NCAA Tournament ... they're a Big Ten title contender." I appreciate the sentiment but think that we might be getting ahead of ourselves. There are a lot of games left to play.

-No disrespect to any of our remaining non-conference opponents, but we should enter non-conference play no worse than 10-2, with Marquette being the team that can beat us. That would put us on solid footing for an NCAA berth, at 9-9 with wins over Arizona, Maryland and Duke out of conference.

Our early Big Ten schedule is brutal, though, with Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue in the first four. The latter half of our conference schedule is the easier half, so hopefully we can hang in there and not suffer a conference of confidence in January.

But all that is still a month off. Let's keep enjoying last night.


Anonymous said...

Scott - you have your assists and turnovers backwards. 17 TOs and 6 (sic) assists probably won't win you a lot of games.


Scott Tappa said...

Whoops - good catch! That's what I get for writing while watching Survivor ...