Visit Bucky's 5th Quarter Get fresh Badger content from me at Bucky's 5th Quarter.
Subscribe to the new RSS feed Subscribe to my RSS feed from the new site.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Anticipation: The Wisconsin-Texas Rematch

Forgive my posting absence of late. The day job and the approaching holidays have taken up most of my time. Since my last appearance, Wisconsin has posted one of it's better performances of the year against an allegedly frisky UW-Green Bay team and followed up with a ho-hum dispatching of Coppin State last Saturday.

While the win over the in-state Phoenix was a decent "pick-me-up" I did not see anything at Saturday's game that indicates the Badgers are prepared to knock off an elite team. The question is this: Is Texas elite?

Despite losing D.J. Augustin from last year's squad, Texas (9-2) still has the uber-quick A.J. Abrams and Damion James. James, if you'll recall, dominated UW last year to the tune of 21 points and 15 rebounds. If your memory is really good, you will also remember that the Longhorns played without Gary Johnson in last year's tilt because of the heart condition he was dealing with. Well, Johnson is now healthy and playing well.

Texas looks elite, by virtue of its depth and wins over UCLA and Villanova. It's two losses are pretty good ones too -- to Notre Dame, 81-80, and just a few days ago to Michigan State, 67-63.

Incidentally, the Longhorns lost to the Spartans last season just prior to hosting Wisconsin. Hopefully the Badgers can make tonight's game déjà vu ... all over again. This is one of two or three games that Wisconsin fans have had their eyes on all year. However, the trip to Madison has probably been circled on the Longhorns' calendars since last year. I think we learn as much about Texas tonight as we learn about Wisconsin.

From the Red and White's perspective, will Jon Leuer still be able to thrive as UW's lone dynamic offensive player when the lane is populated by redwoods from Texas? I'm not sold on that. Can Trevon Hughes rise to the occasion and show the Longhorns what they missed when he was injured last season? Perhaps, but I think what it will take is solid -- not necessarily great -- efforts from every other player.

Just for fun, keep in mind that the two players I predicted to be Wisconsin's most consistent scorers this season were Landry and Jason Bohannon. Just like everyone on the team not named Joe Krabbenhoft, consistency has not been either player's calling card yet this year. That is why we have no idea what will happen against Texas. But over the last three games, both Landry and J-Bo have averaged around 13 points on decent shooting (51.6% by Landry; 44% by J-Bo). Add a nice game from Leuer or Hughes to mistake-free basketball from the bench and you have the recipe for a great game.

Wisconsin always has a chance to win when at the Kohl Center, but I think the Longhorns have to much for this year's Badgers. Texas by five.

1 comment:

  1. "Texas by five."

    Are you psychic or a jinx??????????????


Do you like the NCAA tournament's new 8-team "first-round" format?

What should Wisconsin do with the newly vacated scholarship?

Poll: Who will win the Big Ten?

Poll: Who was Wisconsin's first-half MVP (thru 16 games)?

Poll: How Many Regular Season games will wisconsin win in 2009-10?