Saturday, January 9, 2010

UW-Purdue thoughts

When I first saw Jordan Taylor last year, my initial thought was that he looked like a physically mature kid who would be a solid defensive player and game manager but never a particularly dynamic offensive player. Certainly not a scorer.

So then he goes for 23 points against a really good defensive team as a sophomore? Granted, he made a bunch of free throws as Purdue had to foul near the end of the game, but he made seven field goal from a variety of spots on the floor. His shot creation really isn't anything like Trevon Hughes' or Kam Taylor's, but he knows how to create space for himself. And as has been well-documented he has a great assist-to-turnover ratio, most likely far better than Pop's or Kam's. The point is in good hands with Jordan.

Great win, by the way. This morning I told my dad that I didn't expect us to win this game, and it wasn't just my usual set-the-bar-low strategy to mitigate disappointment. Purdue's the #4 team in the country, was unbeaten, playing really well. This win may not resonate as much as the Duke win, but in the bigger picture it's more important for this season. The optimist will say it keeps us very much in the Big Ten title race. The pessimist will say we have no shot at winning the Big Ten and this will just help ensure an NCAA bid. Either way, it's all good.

-The officiating in this game was atrocious, both ways. I just got done watching the game (recorded), and my ears hurt from the constant sound of whistles. Way overofficiated, although that may have played into our favor. Let 'em play, guys.

-Let's talk about the technical foul on Rob Wilson. First of all, as Bo explained it in the postgame if blood is drawn, it's automatically a technical, regardless of intent. If that's true, that's a BS rule. So if Rob had bent over to tie his shoes and Hummel had tripped over him and split his lip, that would have been a technical?

Second, if, as the refs told Bo, intent is meaningless and it's only blood that matters, why did the refs check the video? All they had to do was look at Hummel's face. I would be much more upset about this if we had lost. That whole sequence was just ridiculous.

-Wilson had a nice game. I'm happy to see him getting double-digit minutes lately, although I wish it weren't because Pop was in foul trouble. He deserves to play. After seeing the way some guys have entered and left our program after one year because they weren't getting starter's minutes, I feared Rob might do the same, but he's stuck it out and is reaping the benefits. With Pop and J-Bo gone after this year, Rob's in position to start next season. Not all kids grasp the concept of delayed gratification nowadays.

-Jon Leuer had an absolutely atrocious shooting game, but his rebounding and interior defense were very important in the effort. Nice that we can beat an elite team without him scoring.

-Larrivee and Morris were comparing Mike Bruesewitz to Joe Krabbenhoft. Seems like a pretty superficial comparison to me -- white guys with funny names. Both are good rebounders, but Bruiser is a better athlete than Krabby, and Krabby was a better ball handler than Bruiser. Also, Bruiser has a way to go before he's a defender of Krabby's caliber, yet Bruiser seems to be more confident in his jumper than Krabby.

Bruiser had five rebounds in six minutes, played great at the end of the first half.

-I hate to bash Tim Jarmusz, a great program guy, but he really shouldn't be getting many minutes as we go forward. Wilson, Bruiser, or Evans would all be better options to get the bulk of those minutes. That airball he had from 10 feet was pretty bad, and if he's not sticking the good 3-point looks that come his way, we're pretty much playing four on five offensively.

-Ryan Evans shooting mid-range jump shots looks like me shooting mid-range jump shots: he look surprised and goes sort of slowly. But he makes a lot of his, whereas I miss almost all of mine.

-And oh yeah: Jason Bohannon had a really good game, and Pop made every shot he took and grabbed five rebounds with three steals in just 23 minutes. Somehow J-Bo's 20 points seemed quiet, didn't they?

-That's two games in a row in which we benefited from our opponent shooting free throws poorly. Purdue missed 11. Take away Hummel and they were seven of 18. Hummel's free throw style is really strange, but obviously really effective. My dad always said that the key to free throw shooting was to do the same thing exactly the same way every time. Hummel certainly does that.

-It feels like I've said this before, but I love E'Twaun Moore's offensive game. He's got such a repertoire of short- and medium-range shots, and he knows how to create just enough space for himself. Hummel and Johnson are really good too, and as much as I can't stand Kramer, he's a great defensive player. (Have you noticed how Kramer runs with his arms at his side? It's like how the Molly Shannon character on Seinfeld walked. He still manages to move pretty well, but it look funny. Imagine how good he'd be if he waved his arms around like the Raquel Welch character from that episode.)

After watching both Purdue and Michigan State this week, they would still be my choice as the two best teams in the Big Ten, but I can't decide who's better. Comparing personnel, I like Moore, Hummel, Johnson and Kramer more than anyone on State's team, save for maybe Lucas and maybe Green. But it's not that decisive over Summers, Allen, Roe, Morgan, Lucious, et al, and those guys are much better than anyone past Purdue's starting five. Quantity versus quality? Guess it depends on fouls and health when they play.

Why did our students do the "overrated" chant near the end? Aren't UW kids supposed to be smarter than that? It appears we are rated about where we should be, and I would hope we're still a top 20 team on Monday after splitting games against two very good teams. Two tough games on the road next week, too, so we've got to stay sharp.

7 comments:

frye said...

Ugh, Leuer is out for a while with a fractured wrist.

Badger Fan said...

Bo's comment is gold:

"Are we going to whine about it? No. That's not allowed."

Bob (east lansing) said...

After watching both Purdue and Michigan State this week, they would still be my choice as the two best teams in the Big Ten, but I can't decide who's better. "Comparing personnel, I like Moore, Hummel, Johnson and Kramer more than anyone on State's team, save for maybe Lucas and maybe Green. But it's not that decisive over Summers, Allen, Roe, Morgan, Lucious, et al, and those guys are much better than anyone past Purdue's starting five. Quantity versus quality? Guess it depends on fouls and health when they play."


Scott...MSU guys have experience and have played in a final four....wait they won a big ten.I know u dislike MSU...any personal reason???

scott.tappa said...

Bob - Thanks for at least leaving a name, most like this are anonymous. I thought my comment was fair -- do you really think MSU is a clear favorite to win the league? You lost two really important guys from the team that went to the FF and won the Big Ten.

As for my dislike of MSU, your coach, while undeniably successful, is a whiny, manipulative runt who clearly detests our program. Certain players in recent years have really gotten under my skin, notably Davis and Neitzel, and in his last year Suton. Your other guys whine about how we play dirty, when your teams are just as aggressive. And from everything I read your fans absolutely detest everything about our program. Substitute Bo, Butch and Krabbenhoft for the previous sentences and a State fan could have written it (aside from the whining part, our guys don't whine).

It's the stuff of a terrific rivalry, no? Just wish we were winning more of the matchups like we were earlier in the decade!

Bob (east lansing) said...

Scott,
the admiration for ur team is mutual...I do remember the old badgers players like Tucker, Wilkinson and Devin Harris who used to manage to beat us every single time we met..err the banner in Breslin!!
I do not think fans detest Wisconsin..and even if some do it is because of the terrific rivalry it has generated in this decade and it means more to beat Bucky than the poor Wolverine down the road.
I like what Bo has done at Madion..and honestly Izzo knows that and hence the bitter rivalry.
I wish Bo changed his style a bit more for the NCAA tourney where fast offences often dictate the game.
Izzo is super talented in taking an average team and making them believe that they belong in the final four.However he might sulk, like after the Tucker dunk, come march we trust in him!
We wish all the best for a speedy recovery, Mr Leur.

scott.tappa said...

Thanks for stopping back and for the even-keeled response, Bob. In all honesty, my thought is that hyper-partisan Internet anonymity has fanned the flames of this rivalry and how I feel about MSU. That is definitely the case regarding how I feel about Marquette. Which is unfortunate, but as mentioned, makes rivalries more intense, and that's a fun part of sports. Best of luck to the Spartans, looking forward to a great rematch in Madison.

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