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Friday, November 14, 2008

Late Bloomer Chooses Red Shirt

Ryan Evans is the first and possibly the only Badger freshman to announce that he will be taking a redshirt season in 2008-09. A smart decision by Evans if you ask me and this move surprises no one.

The announcement does not rule out any further redshirts from one of the big men. Ian Markolf certainly has a college-ready build, so would not necessarily need the year to bulk up. Conversely, bulking up would be about the only reason I can see for Jared Berggren to redshirt, as he is more skilled at this point. Ultimately, the player makes that decision for himself.

I hope to revisit the topic of redshirting big men very soon ...

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Turning to the NBA for a few 'graphs, Yi Jianlian is lighting it up from the outside with the New Jersey Nets this season. And he's shooting over real people, not just chairs! This is the type of thing you have come to expect if you are a Milwaukee Bucks fans (see Nowitzki, Dirk). The grass is always greener in another town for many former Bucks. Will Milwaukee be more patient with Joe Alexander? I hope so.

Regardless, Milwaukee is probably fine with Jianlian's development. Milwaukee's record is only 4-5 right now, but New Jersey is a smelly mess at 2-5. Michael Redd has a legit running mate in Richard Jefferson, with Bogut anchoring the lineup down low. While the team still has serious depth issues in the frontcourt, LRMaM has supplanted Charlie Villanueva in the starting lineup at least temporarily. Mbah a Moute has shown signs of being an excellent defender, something the Bucks have lacked for years. It will be interesting to see how the traditionally lackadaisical Villanueva responds.
In the backcourt, Ramon Sessions slowly easing his way into his rightful place atop the muddled point guard heap in Cream City. It is only a matter of time before his potential outweighs Luke Ridnour's "heady, veteran leadership."

Speaking of the Nets ... since popping off for a career-high 38 points the other night (shooting a ridiculous 20-of-24 on free throws), former Badger great Devin Harris has missed several games because of a twisted ankle. Tough sleddin' for the Nets without him. In Phoenix, Alando Tucker is still waiting to make his season debut. He had his left knee scoped last Tuesday, so he will miss 2-3 more weeks of action.

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