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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Halftime, Game 1

After a sluggish start, Bucky zoomed back to carry a 38-32 lead into the break against Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW). The school name is a mouthful and the team is poor, but it has a fantastic nickname (Mastodons). Trevon Hughes played the entire first half and scored 14 of UW's last 22 points to reverse a 27-16 deficit.

Hughes needed to get into a rhythm with his shot before Wisconsin could get back into this game. Pops is more of a scorer than a shooter obviously so I wouldn't be surprised if this is the norm. Taking a look at the halftime statistics at the break, you see some expected things, like the foul situation (UW 3, IPFW 11) and 3-point shooting (UW 14%, IPFW 42%). The pleasant surprise is free-throw shooting, where the Badgers are 11-13 (85%) in the first half. This should be an area in which this year's team is superior to last year's team, if only because of the Tucker effect.

Even though I'm forced to listen to this one over the radio (*sigh*), the energy and playmaking that Michael Flowers brings is again evident. I fully expected Flowers to step back in to the starting lineup -- mostly because Bo Ryan starts his seniors -- but it doesn't look like that is a given. The Badgers trotted out the same five that began both exhibition games.

Lepay and Lucas are toeing the company line and mildly giddy about Flowers coming off the bench. As I've mentioned before in this space, there have been rumors connecting Flowers' earlier absence from the team as much to his spot/position in the lineup than any medical issue. His cryptic comments to the media (check the odd quote in the seventh paragraph) did not dispel any such thoughts either. But if Flowers was upset about Hughes and Krabbenhoft getting the starting nods over his head, he should rest assured that he'll be on the floor as much as anyone this year. It's worth noting that the crunch time lineup so far this game has been Hughes, Flowers, Bohannon, Landry and Butch. Krabbenhoft has two fouls while Stiemsma and Gullickson have provided remaining minutes up front.

Wisconsin should cruise in the second half. I can't wait for Keaton Nankivil to check in to the game.

: : :

- Addedum: Well, Leuer beat Nankivil to the floor and Tim Jarmusz did not play. All signs point to him redshirting this season. That would leave the team with a three-man class graduating in 2011 and the following year's senior class possibly five guys strong.
- Bo's postgame comments reinforced that Flowers might continue to come off the bench, saying "it doesn't matter" who starts.
- Hughes is simply the best player on the team and one of the most talented players to come through the program in some time. The stat line he put up tonight was sick: 25-5-5-6-1, with only one foul and two turnovers in 35 minutes. He is our sophomore point guard folks. Think about that ...
(By the way my standard line goes pts-rebs-assts-stls-blks)

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