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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 07:44 pm:   

Put your basketball stuff here if you want
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 06:22 am:   

Gonna be a real up-and-down year for Badgers. Tucker's going to be an All-American (if his feet hold up), the rest of the roster gets a lot more "interesting". Not a deep enough backcourt, and while there are supposed blue-chippers on the frontcourt, they haven't done much yet...I think it'll be a bit of a rollercoaster, but if the backcourt stays healthy, Bo will have them primed by tourney time. (I'm thinking top four finish in BT, serious run at BT tourney, sweet sixteen in NCAAs)
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Forrest
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 07:30 am:   

Do you see any kind of "surprise" underclassmen contributing this year, Minz?
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 12:54 pm:   

I don't know about surprises.
Keep in mind, this large (6-player) freshmen class has some very good recruits, but it'll be the sophomore guards that dictate the level of our success.
Taylor proved himself down the stretch last season and we'll be leaning on him heavily--he'll probably be at least as important as Tucker. Flowers (the other soph) is going to be pretty good. After them, we got BIG question marks at the guard spots, although Perry and Williams flashed a couple of nice plays during the exhibition season. But they've got a lot of seasoning ahead of them. We cannot afford a serious injury to either Taylor or Flowers, because we cannot afford to have true frosh starting at guard. Providing quality minutes off the bench, yes. And as the season progresses, by February hopefully either Perry or Williams will have emerged (my money's on Williams).

We can hope Butch starts to play to his potential, and if he doesn't, hopefully Stiemsma can fill the void. But just as soon as I see them make a solid play underneath the hoop, they're back to looking like frosh. Again, by end of season, one of these two better have emerged as a consistent player. (Butch is the better athlete and has the better upside, but I still can't shake my doubts about him--nothing to do with the idiots who wrote him off last season. He's now bulked up and flashed some good post moves. But that's been against Div 3 competition.)

Marcus Landry definitely looks like the real deal. Reminds me of Finley as a frosh--true thoroughbred who's got some learning to do. Of course, the big difference now is that he plays the same position as our best player. Also, he's such a highly regarded recruit, I wouldn't consider his emergence a surprise.
In the end, he'll have a couple of big games this year, either due to Tucker injury, or we're playing weak competition and we'll be able to afford to play him more, but I don't think he'll get a lot of minutes overall. Which means even though he's clearly the best frosh, he won't get as many minutes as the guards. (In tight games, Tucker will play a LOT of minutes.)

I still find it hard to believe that Tucker's only a Junior. Seems like he's been around forever, like a fifth year senior.
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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 09:33 am:   

Marcus Landry lines in the last two games of the Paradise Jam Tourney, won by the Badgers, though it was too close for comfort:
v. Eastern Kentucky: 32 min, 8 boards, 19 points (key contributions down the stretch in reg and both OTs)
v. Old Dominion: 17 min, 6 boards, 11 points

Not bad for a frosh coming off the bench, even if the competition wasn't top-notch. Tucker was Tourney MVP, Taylor was all-tourney. That about covers it.

How're everyone else's teams doin?
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Deborah
Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 02:21 pm:   

Pitt won their opener against St. Peter's (well, yeah). One thing I was glad to see in the box score was center Aaron Gray having a career high 17 with 11 boards, his first double-double I think. He sat behind Chris Taft the last two years although he's got a much stronger work ethic and a better brain. Anyway, I'm hoping that's a sign that all his work is finally translating to some good stuff on the court.

He's the kid who came home after the 2003 Tourney loss and the next day was in the weight room. Jamie Dixon saw him and said, "Um, Aaron...it's okay...season's over." Aaron's answer was, "Next season just started for me."

Awwww....

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