So yeah, it does look like the male basketballing Badgers' success against Northwestern may have been due to a growing comfort against zone defenses. Because in Sunday's game vs. Purdidn't, UW looked like crap against their pressure man defense. Of course, it didn't help that Robbie Hummel, the Big 10 preseason POY made a triumphant return, or that the ambiguously gay Boilers were desperate for a win. Even with their generally poor offense, if there's no Hummel, I think that game is a toss-up instead of a double digit win for the Indianans. Also, attempting 6 stupid free throws? Come on, hometown refs. Also, Bo is now 1-4 against Matt Painter, and has won only once in West Lafayette-- and that game was during the middle of a winter break snowstorm so the arena was half empty. Not good.
Anyhow, it's clear we Badger fans have been spoiled in recent years. The league has been down for a while in numbers of high quality teams, and UW has had some excellent squads with dynamic senior leaders. This season, the league's depth is outstanding, and there isn't as much proven quality on the Badgers. It's the four upperclassmen, and Leuer and, uh, everyone else really can't be counted on to provide that much. The Nank is inconsistent, Jarmusz plays pretty good defense but he is mostly lacking on offense. The frosh guards basically come in to give Pop and Bohannon some rest, as does Gullickson with the forwards. Things are still percolating and coming along, hopefully. I don't know where we'll finish in the league, but at this point if I knew I'd call the season a success if Wisconsin qualified for the tournament and made it to the Sweet Sixteen. See, this is how you think like a Michigan State fan. Except they'd need at least a trip to the Elite Eight.