2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

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acereraser
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2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby acereraser » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:50 pm

Two exhibition games have been played, and no thread yet? Harumph.

The national recognition of Bo Ryan as one of the best college coaches is starting to become apparent. This new class appears, as a whole, to be just a notch better than previous years, at least in terms of immediate physical abilities. Meanwhile, I saw a pre-season ranking of the Badgers on ESPN.com at #21, with the explanation something like "Bo Ryan's teams just always seem able to compete for the Big Ten title". Remember that this comes after several significant players graduated this spring.

Markolf is really, really tall, and odds are he redshirts this year. Jordan Taylor came to Madison ready to play, and he will get plenty of minutes this season. Nankivil has started in front of Leuer in the ex. games, but it is too early to say if that will be the standard procedure for the rest of the season. He still has a bit of the deer/headlights look to him, but he has been playing well in spite of that. Berggren seemed to be more of a banger than the other bigs in th first ex. game, but he didn't play in the second game, so could very well redshirt.

Trevon continues to improve, nothing dramatic, but he seems to be more at ease with another year under his belt and Taylor ready to cover some minutes. I hope he keeps his confidence into the Big ten season.

I wondered why Long Beach St. was scheduled next, then I heard last night that Dan Monson, former Gopher coach, is in his second year as Long Beach's coach. Nice move by Bo to give Monson the opportunity.

What do you think?

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby Marvell » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:53 pm

While I think this is going to be a 'rebuilding year' for the Badgers, it's clear that what a 'rebuilding year' means has fundamentally changed since the fondly-remembered days of BDB (Before Dick Bennett). Which is to say, I doubt this is going to be another Elite Eight team - and might not even be a 1 to 8 seed in the NCAA tournament - but I have no corresponding doubts that they'll miss the Big Dance entirely.

Landry has all the tools to be a superstar, but seems to lack that scorer's mentality. Bohannon has the scorer's mentality, but might not have all the tools to make his ambitions match reality. Krabbenhoft is the kind of guy every coach wants on his team - but let's face it, Joe will always be a complimentary player; that's just who he is. I think Hughes is going to be the key - he seemed to make a quantum leap forward in the Big 10 and NCAA tournaments, injuries notwithstanding; if he can consistently elevate the level of his game over the course of the season that will go a long ways towards ensuring that the drop-off in play by the Badgers from last year to this is minimal.

As far as the other guys, Leuer and Gullickson are the only ones who have really proven to me that they can play effectively at the Big 10 level. However, that's what the pre-season is for; seeing what these guys can do against Virginia Tech, Marquette and Texas should give us a much better sense of the depth of the Badger bench - and, along with that, how deep we can expect them to go in the post-season.

It looks like an up year for the Big 10 in general, so it's critical that some of the younger crew step up. And given Bo's track record, I'm sure some will. Will it be enough to win the Big 10? Probably not. Will it be enough to get them to twenty wins and a spot in the tournament? I'm saying yes.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby O.J. » Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:06 pm

I am positively giddy with anticipation. I'd be shocked if Nankivil isn't in the starting 5 and given major minutes. Someone is going to have to guard the post and he's better equipped physically than Leuer at this point. I fancy him as an Andy Kowske-type(very strong rebounder/defender with underrated athleticism) with a better perimeter game. I doubt we get much, if anything, this year out of the freshmen bigs. Landry is going to be needed to score and I'm not sure if Bo will want him expending that much energy as the primary post defender.

I completely agree with Marvell about Hughes. He played incredibly well against an athletic K State team and it would have been interesting to see if he could have carried that momentum into the Davidson game if healthy. He still needs to prove he can knock down the open 3 consistently, as teams will be even more willing to lay off him with the line being moved back.

The lengthier 3 point line will probably benefit Bohannon, as he can shoot from anywhere. He made huge strides on the defensive end last year, but now will most likely be asked to guard the opposing team's best backcourt scorer. Michael Flowers chased and defended scorers as well as anyone on the collegiate level; these will be big shoes to fill. Krabby can fill in somewhat against non-super quick scorers, but we'll probably need quality minutes from frosh Wilson or Evans. I've heard that Jarmusz has looked excellent on the defensive end...maybe he turns into Clayton Hansen.

Krabbenhoft needs to look for his shot. It's surprising that a guy that was billed as an excellent perimeter player(one recruiting analyst actually compared him to Mike Miller) can look so out of place at times. He needs to regain his confidence on the scoring end; absolutely no complaints on the rest of his game.

I know the guy's jumped on our bandwagon a bit in the last few years, but this was still a bit shocking. In his Bracketology on ESPN, Joe Lunardi installed the Badgers as a 2 seed. Damn, I hope he's right.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby Marvell » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:45 am

Re: Virginia Tech:

Trevon Hughes = cold-blooded motherfucker. Also, Jon Leuer is going to be huge before his career's all said and done.

Me likey.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby MeatStick » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:52 am

Marvell wrote:Re: Virginia Tech:

Trevon Hughes = cold-blooded motherfucker. Also, Jon Leuer is going to be huge before his career's all said and done.

Me likey.


Agreed. All things being equal - they looked pretty good. They probably won't be at the level of previous years, but they'll be entertaining and seem to be motivated.

Should be a good season.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby acereraser » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:53 pm

I am hoping last night's Idaho State game was an anomaly, and not a trend. The Badgers came away with a win, but they looked as stagnant and clueless as they have all season. Their post-game comments reflected that they had the same impression, which lends optimism to the situation.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby Marvell » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:17 am

Okay, so the loss to Iowa totally sucked.

On the plus side - Jordan Taylor stepped forward as a legitimate point guard off the bench. Just in time, too - Trevon Hughes' development as a player has suddenly gone into retrograde motion. "He dribbles with his head down," pointed out my pal Martin. Which raises the question of how suited Hughes is, really, to being a point guard - Kam Taylor was a shoot-first point guard, too, but at least he seemed to understand the spacing and pacing aspects of the team game; Hughes has been way too impulsive and rushed lately - he seems to panic when the pressure's on.

And at least Matt Gatens' face is presumably horribly discolored today after Krabbenhoft beat the living shit out of him.

Note to self: do not fuck with Joe Krabbenhoft.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby O.J. » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:22 am

Ugly, ugly loss to a bad Iowa team playing without 2 of its best players. As Marvell stated, the only positive was the play of Jordan Taylor. Hopefully, he can build from that and enable Hughes to play more off-guard, which I think he's better suited. More minutes for Taylor would also mean less minutes for Jarmusz, who really isn't a Big Ten caliber player.

This team is in serious danger of missing the tournament, and if you break it down thusly, the current roster is best described as mediocre:

Top 5: Landry, Krabby, Hughes, Bohannon, Leuer. Very solid, but nothing spectacular.

Next 5: Nankivil, Jarmusz, Taylor, Wilson, Gully. I love the potential of the youngsters, but measured by production, this is the worst depth we've seen in a while.

Thankfully, help seems to be on the way in a few years. Both 2010 recruits(Evan Anderson and Vander Blue) were recently ranked in the Top 50 nationally.

It's a testament to the strength of Bo's program that this year looks like it could represent rock-bottom, namely a .500 conference record...which ain't too bad.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby Learned » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:59 pm

Marvell wrote:Note to self: do not fuck with Joe Krabbenhoft.


I sometimes wonder if he could play TE in the NFL. Would probably need a little bulking up.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby O.J. » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:20 am

Another dissapointing loss. Krabby Joe sets the tone early with his now-almost-routine bludgeoning of an opponent, but the fade down the stretch has become all too common. Hopefully, this was the breakout game for Keaton Nankivil, or, as he's known in Anagramville, Toenail Van Kink. The 'Nail had a whale of a game.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby acereraser » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:10 pm

Finally, I feel like posting about the Badgers again. It was almost a month without a win. After a shaky start to the game, it looks like the Badgers are back on track, at least in enough areas to win a game at home.

Bohannon's shooting was impressive, except for that one shot, which was both heart-warming and absurd.

My pet theory about this year's team is reinforced: Kevin Gullickson is the best passer on the team. No one else dares thread the needle from the key to the low post like he does. I hope his playing time continues to increase down the stretch.

As always, it was interesting to hear Bo's comments after the game. While all the fans I talk to have been worried about the losing streak and all the assorted ramifications, when he was asked about it , Bo said they haven't really been doing anything different. He just kept on teaching, trying to fix the bad things and keep improving the good things. It seems like a pat answer from the Index of Sports Cliches, but his delivery was convincing. That, and the length and success of his career lend credence to his words.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby Marvell » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:28 pm

It helps that the schedule down the stretch gives them an opportunity to make up some ground in the Conference standings. They've still got both games against Indiana and both Michigan and Iowa at home; assuming that they've got to have at least an even record in the conference to make it into the NCAA tournament, they've got to go 5-3 down the stretch - well, that should be four wins right there. If they can beat either Ohio State at home or Penn State on the road they should be back at .500 in the Big 10 - and no longer having to make it into the finals of the conference tournament in order to punch their ticket to the Big Dance.

Anyway - that's how I see it.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby acereraser » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:43 pm

Yeah, I don't think you or I are being overly optimistic by not being pessimistic just yet. There is more worth in getting most of your wins at the end of the season rather than the beginning.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby Marvell » Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:13 pm

Now that's a little more like it.

Nice win over Iowa. Coupled with the road win against Penn State, Bucky looks determined to send a message to the rest of the Big 10 and the NCAA Tournament committee - bet against Bo at your peril.

It was good to see Krabbenhoft looking for his shot a little more. Hughes also seemed to have turned a corner - he was much more focused and purposeful than he's looked the whole last month; that offensive rebound and putback he had was a monster.

Landry showed some serious poise on that technical at the end of the half, and Bohannon's canning of the three on the subsequent possession was both the icing on the cake and the ultimate illustration of karma - Matt Gaten now knows being a punk won't go unpunished by the gods of basketball.

Let's hope they can hold home court against the Buckeyes this Saturday.

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Re: 2008-2009 Badger Men's Basketball season starts Sunday

Postby jjoyce » Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:39 pm

I love this thread. Every time I see it come back, I think it's a fresh one, as in the real season starts THIS SUNDAY. And then I have to think about it and realize that there's often not a game that particular Sunday.

So, is it true that the real season started this past Sunday with the win in State College, PA?


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