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, November 24, 2009

Maui Invitational: Game 2

Gonzaga coasted to victory over a slower Wisconsin team Tuesday night to advance to the Maui Invitational championship game. The Bulldogs proved they were an underrated team, one which will probably be ranked for much of the year.

Even though the Badgers avoided the foul trouble that plagued them the night before, they still got beat up on the inside. And not just by big man Robert Sacre. No, it was Gonzaga's penetration that manhandled Wisconsin. None of Wisconsin's guards could stay in front of Steven Gray or Demetri Goodson. In fact, the Zags' three starting guards combined for 42 points with only one 3-pointer among them. [box score]

Overall, way too much scrambling on defense throughout the contest. And more subpar shooting. Wisconsin shot under 40% for the second straight night and is hitting threes at a dreadful 24% clip (18-of-74!) through four games. The Zags made 33% more free throws (21) than the Badgers attempted (14). The unlikely trend gains momentum ...

The game commentators hit it right on the head when they were discussing how Wisconsin's offense comes within the confines of the system because the team lacks playmakers besides Trevon Hughes and perhaps Jon Leuer. Guys like Tim Jarmusz and Jason Bohannon can only take what the defense gives them. When the opponent gives nothing, those players give the Badgers nothing.

Even last night's stars had bad games. Hughes failed to get to the free throw line and had zero assists in 30 minutes. Keaton Nankivil had a tough night from the floor, including another missed dunk that may have brought down the house. My conclusion is that he must have small hands; I'm not sure how else he keeps clanking these.

The stats will show that Leuer shot under 50% from the field, but watching the first 35 minutes of play, you would have thought he hit everything. Leuer, who scored 18 points, found a real rhythm inside, especially with the short baseline jumpers. I would not mind if he stopped shooting treys altogether.

Early on, you could see bits and pieces of Hughes' style in Jordan Taylor's moves to the hoop. He continued to build on some those successfully drives and wound up with a career high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Pretty impressive and encouraging considering how much the team will need him to fill that role next season.

Tomorrow's title game matchup between Robert Sacre and Cincinnati's Yancy Gates should be fun to watch. Wisconsin will play Maryland in the 3rd place game at 3:30 pm CT. Three quality opponents to start the season in my opinion. By the way,'s Luke Winn wrote a good article about the recent evolution of the preseason tournament scene and how it has been influenced by the Worldwide Leader.

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?