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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In Bloom

I am not patient enough to wait for April showers to bring May flowers. I need March Flowers, specifically of the Michael variety. Every player on the Badger basketball team is going to have to improve for a deep run in the tournament to be possible. Michael Flowers is vital.

Two statistics down the stretch are disturbing. Defensively, Flowers has earned his kudos this season. However, he has recorded only one steal in the past five games (albeit against pretty good competition). Offensively, where Wisconsin's struggles lie, the junior has been largely absent since Big Ten play began. Incredibly, Flowers has a total of four free throw attempts in UW's last seven games, in which the team is 4-3. The Badgers appear to play better when Mike is getting to the line.

Flowers is an overlooked option offensively because of his struggles behind the arc. But at his best, Flowers is forcing the action by getting into the paint. He can create open looks for teammates more efficiently than the much-maligned, shoot-first Kam Taylor. Whether due to his background as an All-State quarterback or his blacktop education at the hands of four older brothers, Flowers seems at his best when he can mix it up a little.

It is easy to become a wallflower doing the dirty work on a team with an All-American, a bonafide scapegoat and a coaching legend. Yet, Flowers was absolutely the engine of LaFollette's state title run in 2002 -- as a high school sophomore. He was a point guard, a floor general and a leader. Flowers has the heart to resume that role and he must join Alando Tucker in guiding this team.

Best-case scenario? Flowers averages 9 points, 5 boards, 5 dimes & 2 steals in six glorious games.

In other (old) news:
- Wisconsin is the Michigan of the women's basketball
- Syracuse "snubbed" again?

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