Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Wisconsin Cavilers and TreBron Hughes

Took in the UWGB over #14 Wisconsin (now unranked) game last night. This is an odd rivalry game to me because I live in Green Bay, occasionally get to go to some of the Pheonix games, and generally want them to do well. But, Badger basketball is appointment viewing. While I foudnd the upset fascinating, if someone put a gun to my head, I would have been rooting for the bad guys (Badgers).

I'm pretty dismayed by Bucky's performance last night. I have never seen them play a game like that. I shared about an hour worth of texts with my brother about this last night, but I want to reiterate those points for the other two people that care.

First, the defense was asleep. While the Pheonix are pretty athletic, there is no excuse for a Big Ten team to surrender 88 points. Especially when you held Duke to 61. And it wasn't like this was crowd driven. While the crowd was the largest in UWGB history (9,700+) and it was probably pretty loud. I can tell you three things for certain: 1) 75% of the crowd was either completely Badger fans or was on the fence; 2) UWGB crowds have not been at all intimidating since the days of Dick Bennett at the old arena; 3) The student section is abysmal. So it was not being on the road that caused UW to not play any defense whatsoever.

It was also not the crowd that caused UW to employ the Cleveland Cavilers offense, or for Bo Ryan to turn into Mike Brown. That is, Trevon Hughes going one on five, and everyone else standing around while he drives to the hoop and either scores or hopes to get fouled or he dribbles around and takes an ill-advised three. Trevon is their best player, but he is much better when he gets others invovled, and certainly not good enough to take every shot. I've never seen less passing in a Wisconsin basketball game. UW had the best three to four players on the court at all times. They also had a size advantage at nearly all positions. And they did nothing about it. The game was just mind boggling.

Was it the snow? Maybe, but its not as if UWGB was sitting on a beach until right before the game. UW was in town well before the storm hit. They just didn't show up and were completely unprepared. As I told my brother, UW has a game like this every year (see: SDSU loss, Long Beach three pointer at the buzzer at home, Missouri St. loss). They are probably closer to the Duke game than the UWGB game. And maybe UWGB is really good. I guess we'll find out when they play Butler twice.

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