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2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

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2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby acereraser » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:57 pm

The new season is afoot, with new challenges, as well as new opportunities for Bo and the Badgers. Preseason All-American Jordan Taylor is where it all begins, with Gasser and Bruesewitz coming back to help anchor the team. After that, things aren't quite as settled.

Well, Berggren is definitely the starting center, but this is a new level of responsibility and playing time for him. For the first half of the Wofford game, he looked absolutely ready to assume that mantle. Aggressive, stifling defense, combined with quality passing and some nifty post play. The amazing stat of the game was that Berggren didn't get his first foul until the second half.

Frank Kaminsky, freshman and tallest player on the team, looks to be the first off the bench to spell Berggren. I think he will do fine, but probably won't amaze anyone this year. Evan Anderson, redshirt freshman, has not gotten as much floor time as Big Frank, but it is too early to determine what Bo's thoughts really are. Is Anderson being disciplined, is Frank being rewarded for good practicing, or is Anderson destined to fulfill the Gavinski role as the tallest guy on the scout squad?

Ryan Evans, at least for now, is the other starting forward, and similar to Berggren, this is a new level for him. He has the tools to succeed, what he needs now is to figure out how to fully utilize them.

The battle for Sixth Man could be interesting. Rob Wilson, the only other senior besides Taylor, has a decent shot at redefining his career if he can make himself valuable enough to Bo. Unfortunately for Rob, Ben Brust has been the best player on the team at several points so far, and the leading scorer in a couple games. I am hoping Mike Kelley challenges him to take the steal record away; if Brust raises his defense to that level, he could be almost as annoying for opponents as Aaron Craft of OSU.

Other thoughts: Uthoff is redshirting, which is always a good idea, just maybe a tough pill to swallow. Duje Dukan seems to be under-performing, but again, it is early. Traevon Jackson is certainly a hale fellow, but his limited playing time hasn't properly displayed his skills. Devin Harris was at the Wofford game, and sat right behind the Badger bench. I didn't think much about it until I read the recap of another game the same night (danged if I can remember now), and it mentioned that a former star of that team (now current NBA player) was also seated right behind the bench. Is this a coordinated plan by the NBA players to keep them in our minds during the lockout, or is it just that both these guys had nothing better to do with their free time?
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby O.J. » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:44 pm

acereraser wrote: Is this a coordinated plan by the NBA players to keep them in our minds during the lockout, or is it just that both these guys had nothing better to do with their free time?


I'm guessing it's the latter; for instance, there was a pretty cool video a week or so ago of Kevin Durant showing up to play a random game of flag football.

As far as comparing Brust to an annoying Big Ten player, I'd choose former Spartan, Drew Neitzel. Similar size, stature and scoring mentality; Craft is more of a pure point guard/defensive whiz. I don't see Brust as being that adept defensively(especially due to his lack of height), or, I'd gather, he would have seen more playing time last year. Anyhoo, he looks like he'll be a really nice weapon for us this year.

I believe Berggren set some strength records over the offseason, and he's a very good athlete. He has a nice shot, but seems to be a bit too in love with shooting the three. I think he has a chance to be the best post player we've had since Mike Wilkinson.

Ryan Evans looks like he's made a big leap. Granted, it's early and against some pretty weak competition, but his assist/turnover ratio is 11:2. Last year, it was 16:23. He's going to be our defensive stopper, too.

It does appear that Kaminsky has passed Anderson on the depth chart, but I think Evan will do a lot more than JP before his time is up in Madison. He's very strong, has a decent shot, but I've heard his footwork and hands leave a little to be desired. At the least, I could see him giving us some quality defense/rebounding down the road.

I was excited to see Uthoff play, but his idea to redshirt helps even out this, and next year's, recruiting classes. The prospect of seeing he and 2012 commit Sam Dekker playing together as seniors(in addition to an excellent 2013 recruit in Bronson Koenig) has me giddy for the future.

I haven't seen much of Traevon, but from what I've heard and read about his game, he reminds me a little of Freddie Owens.

Hopefully, this is the year that Bo takes the team deep in the tournament. I can't wait to see how we play at North Carolina a week from Wednesday; that will be a huge measuring stick.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby acereraser » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:54 am

O.J. wrote:I believe Berggren set some strength records over the offseason, and he's a very good athlete. He has a nice shot, but seems to be a bit too in love with shooting the three. I think he has a chance to be the best post player we've had since Mike Wilkinson.


It is happening quickly. I've attended the last three games, and in each game, Berggren's performance improved dramatically. Tonight he dominated, admittedly over an inferior squad, but he demonstrated such an array of high level skills, it is hard not to be excited about what the season holds. He was deft; he played 21 minutes, 3 blocks, 21 points, no personal fouls. He has taken to his starting role very well.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby Marvell » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:38 pm

acereraser wrote:Ryan Evans, at least for now, is the other starting forward, and similar to Berggren, this is a new level for him. He has the tools to succeed, what he needs now is to figure out how to fully utilize them.


So far, so good.

Nebraska isn't much of a yardstick, obviously, but Evans has really stepped-up his overall game; he's leading the team in rebounds and is 3rd in assists, right behind Gasser - who is no slouch in the passing department himself.

And with his career night last night, suddenly Evans is over 10 pts/g - giving the Badgers four players averaging in double figures. That kind of offensive balance should help Jordan Taylor calm down and stop trying to force his role as their 'go-to guy.'

I mean, he definitely is their go-to guy. But if you have guys like Bergren, Evans and Brust able to take over a game here and there, it takes an enormous amount of pressure off of Taylor. And that's not even considering Gasser, Bruesewitz and Rob Wilson - all of whom have the ability to go on offensive tears.

I think the Badgers are going to be a handful for everyone on their schedule, especially the teams that don't have much bench depth. I know it's more than a little early for cheap prognostications...

Oh, hell - who am I kidding? It's never too early for cheap prognostications!

This team's going to at least the Elite Eight.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby pjbogart » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:52 am

It's been kind of a rough year and 18-5 is good, but I think a lot of people were hoping for better, if not in their record then in their performances in the marquee games. The Badgers kind of fell flat in a lot of their earlier tests and some of their shooting droughts were downright bizarre, yet they're hanging in there and now sit at #2 in the Big Ten with #1 Ohio State coming to the Kohl Center on Saturday.

With eight games left the Badgers have two against Ohio State and one on the road at Michigan State. A win Saturday would be huge heading into the final stretch.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby jjoyce » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:37 pm

Six straight, with three on the road.

Consider that for a second. In a year when the Big Ten is the top conference in the country and weird upsets are happening all the time (Ohio State, considered by many the best team in the country, lost at Illinois!), being where the Badgers are is pretty good, especially after losing at home to Iowa. They have maybe one pro in the lineup (Taylor) when pundits are saying you need three to be competitive.

I think they're clearly not as good as last year's team, having lost Leuer who is a capable pro, but are again back in the hunt for a Big Ten title. What if they beat Ohio State this weekend?

Incidentally, follow @clubtrillion on Twitter during that game on Saturday for all the Buzzcuts fun you can handle.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby Ned Flanders » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:58 pm

I'm glad they're losing a few early. Long undefeated runs in past seasons didn't seem to help them at tourney time.

Maybe they'll be a bit more hungry and focused this time around.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby Igor » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:04 am

jjoyce wrote:I think they're clearly not as good as last year's team


That seems to be the crux of the matter - while everyone knows they are not as good as last year, and the B1G is better, they have still been winning more than they should. Hopefully, they can bring in some good talent over the next few years.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby Marvell » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:31 pm

jjoyce wrote:I think they're clearly not as good as last year's team


I'm not sure I agree with this. I mean, they've clearly not been as good as last year's team, as a whole, so far. There's still a whole lot of basketball to play, and I'm not convinced yet that they won't be the better team by the end of the season. Certainly this year's team has way more potential to improve than last year's.

Again, the thing that's impressed me the most - especially over the last couple weeks - is the overall team depth. I'm willing to go on record as saying that Brust, Kaminski and Wilson is the best bench Bo has ever had.

And slowly but surely they are starting to establish an offensive identity. Defensive-wise they're already there; what they need is for guys like Gasser and Bruesewitz to stop being so goddamned Wisconsin nice and start being a little more selfish with the rock.

One thing I think we can all agree on - this year's Big Ten tournament is going to be one for the ages.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby Marvell » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:40 pm

Huge, huge win last night in Minneapolis. Couldn't be happier for Jordan Taylor, especially after reading that the Gopher student section was chanting 'traitor' at him before the game. As the old adage has it, living well is the best revenge.

Also continue to be pleased by Evans. Seventeen points and eleven rebounds? Fear the Fade!

Rob Wilson and Kaminski had a few nice plays each. Good to see the bench justifying my faith in them.

It's still going to be a tough slog down the stretch, but at 8-4 they're gauranteed to be at least .500 in the Big Ten; that should pretty much have their ticket punched for the NCAA tournament - the rest of the regular season will be really a matter of figuring out how high they get seeded.

And again - that Big Ten tourney is going to be the shite. I'm already thinking I need to take those days off from work.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby O.J. » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:35 pm

Marvell wrote:Huge, huge win last night in Minneapolis.


That it was, especially after nearly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. This team shows quite a bit of mental toughness, but is very frustrating. The game shouldn't be this difficult. When the Badgers are aggressive, good things happen. When they pass the ball around the perimeter until someone has to hoist a shot to beat the clock...not so much.

I think this team could easily get knocked out in the first round of the NCAA's, but, with the stifling defense they play, if they ever get hot from three-point land, look out. I just fear running into a quick, athletic team that is willing and able to press our shooters on the perimeter, forcing them to try and drive to the hoop, which isn't exactly a strength.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby O.J. » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:26 am

In Big Ten games this year, Jared Berggren is 8-13 from the free throw line. 13 attempts. 15 games. Completely. Fucking. Unacceptable.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby Crockett » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:39 am

Last night was painful to watch. It hurts me to say this, but Jordan Taylor is proving that his leadership skills are lacking. Its almost like he thinks he's too good for this team or something.

As for Jared, I agree. Go to the cup big man.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby O.J. » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:47 pm

Rob. Freakin'. Wilson.
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Re: 2011-2012 Badger Men's Basketball Season Started

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:57 pm

Rob. Freakin'. Wilson.


Yeah where did that come from?
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