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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Hokies

Monday night's ACC/Big Ten Challenge showdown at Virginia Tech seems a fitting finale to last week's Thanksgiving festivities. I give the school credit for having a unique nickname and mascot like the Hokies, but I do not envy it one bit. Did you know a hokie is a castrated turkey? What kind of a fight do they expect to give a ravenous Badger? And you VT fans out there who might want to set me straight on the original meaning of the term, I don't think calling your sports team the "Hoorays" is any better.

One thing we can all agree on is that a win in this game will not come easy. Virginia Tech's Jeff Allen shed 20 pounds in the offseason and has shredded opponents in his first six games. He will be an interesting foe for Marcus Landry. The 6'7", 240-lb. Allen is averaging a double-double this season, one of three Hokie starters scoring at least 16 ppg so far.

The Hokies (4-2) appear to go to only about eight players deep in meaningful games. Besides scoring guards A.D. Vassallo and Malcolm Delaney, one name to keep an eye on would be freshman forward Victor Davila, who will probably be quick off the bench in the post. Thanks to Doug Bowman of Hokie Haven [subscription] for the heads up. Doug and I exchanged notes on this one and both think it's a very even match on paper. Virginia Tech's only two losses have come by a combined five points.

Badgers tune up with win over Panthers
I was able to catch the second half of the UW-Milwaukee tilt and actually had pretty decent success with the Big Ten Network's live video stream. I did notice the occasional lags that others have complained about, which seemed to increase in length and frequency as the game wore on, which probably would end up being a major problem over the full course of a game.

As for the game action itself, it seemed to be a continuation of what we've been seeing from Wisconsin recently. Trevon Hughes hit all four of his 3-pointers and is stroking the ball perfectly right now. Hughes led the team with 16 points. Conversely, J-Bo still can't buy a bucket. [box score]

Joe Krabbenhoft had his way against an over matched Milwaukee team and posted a double-double (12 pts, 10 rebs). I miss the days when the Panthers were tournament darlings and gave the Badgers a bit more of a battle in this game. Oh well. At least Jon Leuer seems to be finding his niche in the offense right now. I am counting on Hughes and Leuer to power the Badgers offensively Monday night, but Bohannon looms as the X-factor.

And finally, if you cannot see the floor in a game where your team's lead stretched to 26 points late in the game, you might want to redshirt. It is increasingly apparent that Jared Berggren will end up going that route. He and J.P. Gavinski were the only two Badgers stuck to the bench all game. Ian Markolf appears to have passed Gavinski on the depth chart.

1 comment:

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