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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Addressing Landry and a Banner Day

Thus far, Marcus Landry has been praised and criticized. Both stem from his metamorphosis as a player from supporting cast member in the post to the mantle-bearing replacement for Alando Tucker on the wing.

Landry has earned praise for letting the game coming to him and not forcing bad shots or making bad decisions, but also downgraded for appearing to be even less of an impact player than he was last season. Obviously, its too early to grade the transition. He has already slimmed down and one would imagine he spent the entire preseason continuing his improvements on lateral quickness now that he doesn't have to leave town to see his family anymore.

I've been quick to critique Landry for disappearing in games before, but I'm going to give him a temporary reprieve for a couple of reasons. It is probably for the best that he let the offense come to him while the team continues to adjust to a first-year starter at point guard. His splash of a debut notwithstanding, Trevon Hughes is still in his first year playing significant minutes, let alone leading a college team. Furthermore, we all know Brian Butch plays extremely well during the non-conference portion of the schedule, but seems to struggle late. Butch's much-improved conditioning should help him look more like a fifth-year senior than a polar bear during Big Ten play. Even so, once the conference season begins, Landry must have his bearings set, his body fit and his intensity brimming for the Badgers to enforce their will on foes.

We know Landry will get up for the Marquette game -- that's his game. But I won't be too surprised if he's still sluggish in a few of the other tilts. Let's hope that if the learning curve is steep for Landry, it's worth the wait. He's got six weeks until Big Ten play begins.

: : :

It's official. Four high school seniors signed their names on Bucky's dotted lines today, completing the 2008 recruiting process for Wisconsin. Bo got good balance in this group, although both big men are HUGE. No superstars, but plenty of room for development by the top-notch staff.

Big men are always projects to some degree, but it sounds like Ian Markolf has a high ceiling and I have always liked the Jordan Taylor catch -- a poor man's Hughes to this point. Like Pop, Taylor has very good passing skills and doesn't chuck up shots. The more I hear about Robert Wilson, the more I think he might be the next unheralded UW recruit to produce some real numbers. has the Big Ten ranked fifth among conferences for 2008 recruiting, with Wisconsin's class coming in at 29th. The site lists Milwaukee native Korie Lucious (Michigan State) as the Big Ten's top incoming point guard and former UW recruit Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech) as the ACC's top incoming PG.

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