Monday, February 23, 2009

CAMP LAMBEAU was going to write a piece about yesterdays NCAA basketball contest...

but after 30 minutes we forgot how to use our computer. Then Tom Izzo complained to our computer that it shouldn't let us type anyway. Then Gorun Saton traveled again and we smashed our keyboard.

How is that team ranked 5? They're awful.

this message was posted by kelvin sampson via blackberry

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crimson & Creampie'd

Well that was an entertaining game. Indiana came out all juiced up and ready to play. Number 12 was feeling it and was making shots. They were keeping it close, but I was never as worried as Mr. Man. How can you be worried when Lavin kept referring to our Surge? I mean when you are on a Surge, the enemy has no chance. Regardless of what Harry Reid might say. 

I love college kids. The big heads in the crowd made no sense and were completely enjoyable. Shamed Governor Blagojevich made an appearance. So did Tiger and Peyton Manning. Awesome. I even saw a long-haired kid hoist up a sign that read: "Phelps Is Still My Hero". Fantastic. FANtastic. I also love college girls, and despite the low-def transmission, there were several IU hotties for visual consumption. 

Maybe my favorite moment happened at the very end when Kevin "Last Call" Gullickson set a screen to free up Fearless Bob Wilson for a dunk. The camera panned back to the Hoosier who got screened and he was writhing on the ground in pain. Then the camera jumps to the crowd where four students had painted the letters R-O-T-H on their bare chests. The looks on their faces when they realized it was Roth on the ground in pain was simply hilarious. "Oh no! Roth is down! That's our guy! oh shucks! Not Roth!"

I enjoyed the hell out of this game. We stomped Indiana at their place. This will not happen very often. We just cruised in the second half and flexed our defense. We got up by so many points that we got to put our scrubs in. That was the icing on the cake. We are definitely the only team in the country that puts in the scrubs and the team gets blacker. The black lackey squad getting mop-up minutes.

Go Badgers!

8 PM Trap Game?

Is it wrong to be worried a little about UW's road game against Indiana tonight? With Sparty on the horizon on Sunday, and the Badgers perhaps feeling a bit overconfident after four straight wins, and with Indiana's leading scorer, Juco transfer Devan Dumes, returning from a two game suspension, and this being the Badgers' first game against Tan Tommy Crean in his new digs, well, color me a bit nervous. Harumph.

In other news, I actually enjoyed this column from the State Journal's Tom Oates, lamenting how UW's basketball games seem to have been permanently moved to 8 pm. Indeed, this is lame. As Oates notes, 8 pm games inconvenience the fans, especially folks from smaller towns around Madison who have long drives home, and reduces revenue for the charities that run many of the concession stands in the Kohl Center. Plus, it incentivizes people to leave early and check their watches incessantly-- which leads to half-hearted, ineffectual fan support. Lame.

As a viewer at home, I'm not a fan of 8 pm starts mostly because I'm not a night owl. 8 pm games usually end around 10:15 or so, and I need a good half hour or so to wind down after watching a live UW basketball game, especially one against a decent conference opponent. This drives the wife nuts.

What I don't understand is why the Big Ten Network doesn't use its alternate channels to broadcast games at the same time. Sure, they don't want to dilute ratings. But they should be able to recoup money by telling larger advertisers who want to show ads across the region that their ad will now be broadcast during three games, not just one or two. And they could do fill in with local advertisers-- the kind of folks who used to pay for ads when games were just shown locally, but now don't want to pay the region-wide rates charged by the Big Ten Network. What's to stop this from happening? Not enough broadcasting teams? Please.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is it 2009 or 1999?

Having the pleasure of attending the OSU game on Saturday night, here are my observations:

  • Wisconsin still has the ability to play solid defense if they work at it. Clearly this was lacking during the losing streak, but the pep-talk/beat-down administered by Greg Gard seems to have done the trick. J-Bo was all over 3-point shooter guy, we adjusted to the backdoor lob to the ugly monster and made him disappear, and we were able to shut down Turner (who we apparently almost signed) when we needed to at the end.
  • Our offense is monotonous, overly methodical, and painful to watch. Nobody was working for/getting post position in the post. That is one of the flaws that I see in the swing. If you can't immediately establish post position, you clear out. Most of our points came in the paint, and when we got the ball to the block good things happened. Evidently Angry Bobby said that we just needed to run the offense more quickly to get better looks. I agree. The pass the ball around the perimeter for 20 seconds and then have Pop drive offense is not a reliable strategy.
  • Thank God for our rebounding. Beating them by 10 overall and by 12 on the offensive glass won the game for us. I can almost guarantee you will not see us give up 60% FG% and win again.
  • The students finally brought it. My favorite was when huge monster man was at the line and he made his first. Then the students began chanting "SHAVE YOUR MUSTACHE!" with the requisite hand claps. Hillarious, and he missed the second. That guy has no hands by the way. Every time he touched the ball in the low post it was a turnover.
  • At the end of the game I realized that the pain I experienced was familiar. Painfully slow offense, good hustle defense...hmmm. It's Dick Bennett basketball! Hopefully we can turn on the offense for IU and Sparty.
  • Finally, if anyone can explain the mysterious 24 hour recruiting methods of one Thad Motta that would be great, because Turner would make our team pretty scary.

Monday, February 09, 2009

They are Big, Strong and Crafty

The Badgers are apparently. Those are the words the Penn State coach used to describe our team. So in case you've tuned out on these Basketball Badgers, remember our size, might and industry. I actually loved that line.

I loved it almost as much as I loved the color commentator from Sunday's broadcast. In his pregame remarks he called Bohannon one of the hottest players in the BigTen who is really having a solid year. I watched the game with two others we were all like Okaaaay. We weren't in the mood to argue, but really? Anyway we laughed off that he was really pumping up Bohannon. But the thing is, he did this the ENTIRE game. He lauded our methodical and efficient offense. He said that we were "almost unpressable". He gushed over Wisconsin White Monkey and his arms. He said Landry had a polished inside-outside game. Midway through the 3rd quarter my living room had given up simply noticing the flattery, and had joined in and began to try to top the remarks. He topped it off at the end when the announcer said, Kbot is an 88% FT shooter. 30 seconds later the color guy says ...and Kbot is a 90% shooter. It took him 30 seconds to upgrade Kbot! I need more of this guy. 

Speaking of JBo, how bout that Illinois game. He was hot. He was so hot that when he got on a breakaway, he tried to sky jam it! My team of Badger watchers can not believe that despite our team being the most tentative offensive team we have seen in years, somehow when we get ahead we act like crazy maniacs and drive the ball recklessly to the basket. We lost to Minnesota and cascaded our season partly because we didn't just continue to run the swing at the endgame. We've lost several close games because we didn't maintain our poise. Don't get me wrong, in general I always want our players to dunk the ball. I hate when we don't dunk it. But on a 6 game losing streak I was terrified when JBo went up and missed that dunk. I was thinking "Oh no! He jinxed himself and the team trying that! Why didn't he lay it in! We need the lead! Did he lower and straighten his off-arm and lean into the basket to thunder jam it?! That should have been awesome, but what was he thinking!' Thankfully we won and I will look on JBo's attempt to lean-to straight-arm sky jam favorably.

This Badger team is so offensively tentative it hurts. It is glaringly apparent how much we miss multiple post threats in our offense. We have become accustomed to swinging the ball around and getting the ball in the post to somebody who was effective. We've had Wilkinson and Tucker and Butch and Steimsma and others. Now we just have Landry, and he is not automatic. So we pass it around and pass it around, looking for an advantage down low that isn't there. That's why I think we need to adapt by mandating that JBo shoot it every time he gets it. Just fire it up. He should have atleast six 3PT attempts per game. Just fire away. 

Let's get some more wins.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Favorite Line of the Week

"I've had guys that could bench press the world and can't make our team. I've had guys that can't bench press their sister and they're All Pro every year. This is a conditioning program for football. It's not how much they can bench press."
-- Dave "Red Man" Redding, Green Bay Packers Strength and Conditioning Coordinator