Sunday, November 02, 2008

I Don't Think I'm Ever Doing That Again

Watching "Live Streaming Video" on the Big Ten Network's website is, uh, awful. The speed of the feed kept slowing down, speeding up, stopping, etc. And the sound, the radio broadcast for the game, which could have been great, was about three minutes ahead of the video. Ugh. What crap. Again, why did the Big Ten Network opt to show volleyball on its television channel instead of some men's basketball exhibitions? I like volleyball, but I'm almost certain the ratings will be higher with basketball, even an exhibition game. So yeah, the point is I watched the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team beat Augustana College in their first exhibition game last night, on the Big Ten Network's website, and it was an unpleasant viewing experience.

Anyhow, here's the box score. Again, Augustana College is a D-II school, which means some of their guys are on scholarship, and they did make the D-II tournament last year. They had some decent ball-handlers, and they had some good jump shooters. (I love Bo's post-game comment that "They can shoot it. Division II, Division III teams, you don't play H-O-R-S-E with them." As a former D-III athlete, I agree.) But Augustana was not tall, I bet their tallest guy was 6'8", and they were not particularly athletic. Thus, the Badgers scored a fair amount of points in the paint.

In particular, Landry scored a lot, although about a third of his points were two three-pointers that bounced around the rim. He's looking very fluid and confident on the offensive end. Leuer looked like you'd want him to-- hit a three, scored in the paint, took his guy to the basket once or twice. Bohannon nailed a bunch of threes-- his release looks to be quicker than the last two seasons, which is very exciting. Frosh Jordan Taylor was strong with the ball, and made good decisions; plus, that kid is flat out built. He looks more like a running back than a point guard. Mystery frosh Ryan Evans played a fair amount and looked pretty good, grabbing some offensive boards, slashing to the basket a couple of times. That was reassuring, because after reading that he didn't do much in the scrimmage I was starting to get a bit worried. The frosh big men-- Ian Markolf and Jared Berggren-- looked fine, large, not awkward with the ball, and reasonably mobile. No worse than Stiemsma or Butch as freshman, and well above the Gavinski/Mader level, at least in my opinion. But I bet one or both redshirt. And yes, the frosh can play in these exhibition games without burning their redshirts. It'll be interesting to see what happens on that front. All I know is that Taylor is not redshirting. That kid is going to be a consistent contributor.

Finally, regarding frosh Robert Wilson-- ATTENTION, ATTENTION: we have an impending paradigm shift! Wisconsin is no longer a clean cut and wholesome team! That is, (the horror, the horror)-- Wilson has a visible tatoo. The team's Hoosier-esque, 1950s image is irretrievable shattered. What's next, players with unkempt hair or, god forbid, headbands? Hell, we might as well join the Big East. What a terrible recruiting oversight, Bo. This is what happens when you give a scholarship to a kid from Cleveland.

(The above paragraph was said in jest, of course. Wilson looked quite good, a legit 6'4" or 6'5", smooth with the ball and his shot and scrappy on defense; he does not seem to be a redshirt candidate.)

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