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.

Friday, March 27, 2009

On the Stove Top: 3/26

Six members of the Wisconsin men's basketball team were named Academic All-Big Ten this week: Joe Krabbenhoft, Jon Leuer, Tim Jarmusz, Kevin Gullikson, Morris Cain and Brett Valentyn. That's four rotation players and three non-walkons. Nice job.

Only days earlier, the wide range of graduation rates among this year's NCAA tournament participants was also released. Connecticut came in at a sterling 33 percent. Ouch. On average, though, the Academic Progress Rates are up across the board, which are the statistics that dictate the loss of scholarships for programs who are not graduating players.

: : :

After only two seasons, Iowa's rebuilding project under coach Todd Lickliter is collapsing from within. As many as four players may transfer in the offseason, in addition to 2010 recruit Chanse Creekmur decommitting. The fans who still care are calling for Lickliter's head.

Losing Jake Kelly would be a huge blow. Kelly nearly single-handedly kept the Hawkeyes competitive when he switched over to point guard. He was one of the Big Ten's rising stars and if/when he winds up at Indiana State, the conference as a whole suffers. The possible defection of two more guards and a fourth big body makes Iowa the new conference doormat for the foreseeable future. Good for opponents' records? Yes. Good for league quality? No.

I would argue that Creekmur changing his mind ranks as the second biggest loss. Iowa needs to bring in a higher level of talent to be more competitive and this is a huge red flag to all potential recruits.

: : :

With Iowa City devolving into a madhouse, Indiana moves up half a notch by default. Since coach Tom Crean had already signed more new players (6) for next season than he had room for, apparently it was time to convince one of his existing players to transfer. Again.

The winner was Malik Story, a freshman guard who played in all 31 games this year, averaging 6 pts & 2 rebs in 18 min/g. Story shot a horrible percentage and was the fifth guard in a rotation that will be adding two or three more Top 100 prospects to the backcourt.

Just in case Story did not accept his new mission, two possible backup plans may have been for Georgetown transfer Jeremiah Rivers to pay his own way or to strip big man project Tijan Jobe of his free ride after one year. See, that's why taking away J.P. Gavinski's scholarship would be a bad idea, image-wise. Bo Ryan would be copying Crean.

Thad Matta always has the opposite problem at Ohio State. Now that frosh B.J. Mullens has officially thrown his hat into the NBA Draft ring, Matta will need to scramble to find a big body to comprise his previously empty 2009 recruiting class. Until now, the Buckeyes had no available scholarships. Although Matta has the ability to pull it off, the pickins' are slim these days. So Ohio State may bank it for 2010 and continue to load up one of the greatest recruiting classes in history: a Buckeye six-pack?

Though Ohio State will lack depth in the frontcourt, their powerful perimeter game should keep them in the upper half of the Big Ten next season. Evan Turner, William Buford, Jon Diebler all have one more season under their belts and David Lighty will return from injury.

: : :

Wisconsin recruit Mike Bruesewitz saw his prep career come to an unexpected end on Wednesday as Bloomington Jefferson upset Henry Sibley in the Class 4A quarterfinals, 60-56. Though Bruiser had another nice game (21 pts, 16 rebs), he was tied up by a defender with a chance to tie the game in the final minute and deferred to his cold-shooting guards on the final meaningful possession.

The Warrior's only outside threat, Maurice Hernandez, played on a badly injured ankle and shot only 1-of-11 behind the arc, making the shocking loss a bit more understandable. Even Bruesewitz was not quite 100% physically, according to his father. It seemed like a foregone conclusion to everyone that Sibley would earn that anticipated rematch with Hopkins. Welcome to the real world kids ... I feel for ya.

Though Bruesewitz will not take any consolation in his individual accolades, he was named the Star Tribune's Metro Player of the Year and also succeeded Jordan Taylor as Minnesota's Gatorade Player of the Year. Germantown's Ben Averkamp won the Gatorade award for Wisconsin.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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?