I don't know if any of you wasted your time like I did last night-- watching the male basketballing Badgers barely edge a 2-5 Idaho State team 60-58 at home in an icily quiet Kohl Center. But if you did, you can't help but be a bit concerned. Yes, it's the time of the year where everyone has the winter blahs, and finals are approaching, and they just came off a tough loss to a big rival. But nearly losing to Idaho State at home? Whoa there. I know most folks have rote confidence in Bo Ryan, as they should given his record. But this "win" was a bit disturbing. No one was being assertive on offense. On defense, several obvious miscommunications, and several plays were guys just weren't contesting shots with the hustle that we've come to expect. Other random thoughts---
- Way too much passing around the perimeter on offense. Idaho State was playing a zone, and no one on the Badgers was attacking it. My understanding is that the best way to bust a zone is to drive into it, draw defenders, and pass, while your teammates without the ball make cuts. That just wasn't happening last night. Too much passivity, resulting in far too many jump shots that weren't really falling.
- Several obvious miscommunications on defense, the most glaring of which was when Jordan Taylor and Jason Bohannon switched, ended up covering the same guy, and left one guy all alone by the three point line-- swish.
- Bo made some comments about lack of hustle and effort. That issue was apparent at times, especially on the defensive end, where guys were not consistently making the extra effort to really contest shots. I guess the reason this was noticeable is because the Badgers are usually busting their asses on D.
- I want to see more out of Keaton Nankivil. The Badgers really need another post presence beside Landry, but Keaton has just looked uncomfortable out there, and his teammates don't appear to be giving him the ball when he actually gets in the right place. In fact, this was an issue the entire game, and against Marquette as well. Guys seem so afraid of turning the ball over they play timid. When your teammate has good post position, listen to Keyshawn and give him the damn ball!
- Hopefully, this is a temporary issue, and the team looks a hell of a lot better Saturday against UW-Green Bay. If not, uh oh. The Badgers looked like a lower-division Big Ten team last night.