Thursday, March 06, 2008

Random Badger Observations

- A really neat compliment that Larivee and the BTN color analyst relayed last night-- the PSU coach said that UW was "unscoutable" since pretty much every one of the team's first eight players is capable of doing some offensive damage on any given night. That is a remarkably cool thing to hear about your team-- that they're so cohesive and varied, you can't figure out where the points are going to come from. It may not get UW a bunch of all-conference players (I doubt UW will have any first team guys), but it has gotten them at least a share of the conference title.

- Speaking of first team all conference guys, I predict Jamar Butler, DJ White, Kevin Coble, Raymar Morgan and Eric Gordon. I hope and wish that Flowers wins defensive player of the year, but I think it might be White with all his blocks, despite the fact that he does statue impersonations whenever he picks up a foul or two. Other all-conference defensive players should be Al Nolen, Chris Kramer and Ekepe Udoh.

- I'm not sure what the deal with Kevin Gullickson is. To remind those out there, except for his minute of garbage time at the end of the PSU game, he hasn't seen the floor since getting his third ticket for public drunkenness in January. (He also turned 21 in February, thankfully.) I don't know if we'll ever find what's going on. I know UW has already signed four high school seniors for next season, but the various recruiting sites keep mentioning UW as being in contact with other random uncommitted seniors, including a power forward from the Quad Cities, and swingmen from Moline, Champaign (Shampoo-Banana), and Arizona. That makes you wonder whether there's going to be some unanticipated freeing up of a scholarship beyond the four seniors (Flowers, Butch, Stiemsma and Bronson). With Gullickson's exile to the back of the bench after one too many drinking tickets, you have to speculate-- will Kevin be leaving the team after the season ends? Personally, I like the kid a lot. He's a gamer (see his valuable minutes against Texas), by all accounts an excellent student, and by getting really drunk and wandering around campus he was merely following established Wisconsin traditions.

- Worst moment of last night's game-- JP Gavinski airballing an 8 foot turn-around jumper, while being guarded by a shorter back-up PSU forward. Ugh. That was the worst non-shot clock running out shot I've seen a Badger take in several seasons. If Gavinski turns into a Dave Mader like contributor by the end of his career, I think we'll be lucky.

- Again, boy do I wish Stiemsma had redshirted his first year. He looks more and more confident and comfortable, both on defense and offense. He'll probably never have Butch's dribbling ability and range, but he's bigger, stronger, a better passer and more athletic, and has some traditional post moves (ambidextrous hook shots) that Brian lacks. Is it crazy to think that he has a future in the pros, either domestically or overseas? Along those lines, is it crazy to think that Flowers has a future in the pros, either domestically or overseas? Could he not be just as good as Chris Duhon is on the Bulls? (A back-up point guard who can hit jumpers, make an occasional drive, take care of the ball, and play solid defense.)

- My father has recently referred to Welsh-Ryan Arena, where the Badgers will play their final regular season game come Saturday, as "Welsh-Rarebit." For those of you who don't know what that is, click here. I remain a bit nervous about Saturday's game, although since NU has finally managed to win a Big Ten game, UW has already clinched a share of the title, and this Badger team has been so smart and determined recently, I'm feeling oddly optimistic.

- The talk that the Badgers are "overachievers" and that the "whole [of this team] is more than the sum of its parts" is wrongheaded and tired. Look at the recruiting numbers (according to Rivals): Stiemsma and Butch-- four and five star players; Bohannon and Hughes-- four star players; Krabby-- a five star player; Leuer-- a four star player. The only guys who appear to have overachieved are "three-star" guys Flowers and Landry. Personally, I think the recruiting folks blew it on Landry, and that Flowers is a great athlete and competitor who's worked his butt off and developed. Now, the team may be better than the sum of its parts, but that's due to good coaching and dedicated, unselfish players, not iffy talent. Nearly every good team is greater than the sum of its individual parts.


Randy Moss said...

raymar morgan sucks

Randy Moss said...

wes Lafayette (aka robbie hummel) is the best player in the big ten. in every aspect of the game.

Mr.Man said...

I bet Hummel is second team all-conference. Along with Suton and Butch. And maybe that Moore kid from Purdue. Krabby, Landry, and Flowers should all be honorable mention, at least.

Mr.Man said...

I'll have to get you a Robbie Hummel doll to sleep with at night. You have a huge man-crush on that kid.