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Monday, March 15, 2010

A Tale Of Two Cities

Heading into the NCAA Tournament, the memory of Wisconsin's last performance still has me shaking my head.

Sure, we knew Illinois was capable of giving UW fits after the Illini pick-and-rolled the Badgers to death in February. Wisconsin appeared to have its groove back, however, when Jon Leuer and Co. overcame foul trouble to stomp Illinois on its home court, 72-57. The seeds of a letdown were there though. Foul trouble. The senior guards shooting 5-of-18. Mediocre free throw shooting.

Then, 120 miles east of Champaign, Wisconsin delivered a colossal stinker of a performance in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals where they shot less than 29% as a team. [box score]

The most puzzling thing to me about the loss is enigmatic performances of Mike Tisdale. Doesn't Wisconsin watch film on this guy? If Tisdale got to face the Badgers every game, he'd be a first team All-American. Tisdale even hit both 3-pointers he tried -- on his third and fourth attempts of the season!

The Riverton, Ill. native posted monster games against Northwestern and Indiana, but in the last nine games he's had his third, fourth and sixth-highest scoring games of the year against Wisconsin. And it's the shooting efficiency (74%) against UW that is the most impressive:

2/9MadisonW 63-5637811330119311
3/7ChampaignL 72-572946880016412
3/12IndyW 58-5435810352221814

Tisdale fouled out with 10 points in the following game as Illinois fell in double OT to Ohio State.

So are there any sweet-shooting 7-footers on the Wofford squad? Hardly. The Terriers' tallest rotation player, Corey Godzinski, is listed at 6'9" and averages 3.7 pts and 1.9 rebs in 13 min/g. Temple has a couple big men in the starting lineup and Cornell has a very good 7-footer in Jeff Foote.

After Trevon Hughes missed his first 11 shots last Friday and Jason Bohannon finished 1-of-10, I hope their propensity for bricks successfully transferred to E'Twaun Moore. Moore shot 1-of-14 from the field as a struggling Purdue team got railroaded by Minnesota on the same day in the same building. Both teams hope that kind of shooting is behind them.

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