Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Marquette-Wisconsin Preview/Chat

Classic pic. An angry Badger fan in Buddy Holly's glasses flips off Al McGuire as a dejected John Powless walks off the floor.

It’s Bucky-Warrior week here in Wisconsin. Chuckie Hacks has contracted two college basketball experts (Me (Marquette Fan) and Train (Badger Fan)) to breakdown the matchup through a series of questions: making it look like an actual interview between two guys who know what they are talking about. The two participants will be Robb Logtermann and Ty Calderwood.

(Robb): Welcome, Ty. You were sporting mass quantities of ink before it became fashionable. Do you consider yourself a trendsetter?

(Ty): Whatever whitey, go back to Janesville. Let’s just do the chat…

(Robb): How will UW’s marginally athletic lineup (except Trevon) handle MU’s athleticism and pressure defense?

(Ty): If there’s one thing you learned about this UW team in the Duke game is that they’ll struggle against athletic teams- especially the 2 and 3 positions. JBo and Krabby are not the best perimeter defenders. Matthews doesn’t have a jump shot so stopping his penetration is really the only thing you need to worry about with him.

(Ty): How will Crean match-up game plan wise with Bo and his home court advantage? I believe UW holds the 3 or 4th longest home win streak.

(Robb): Tom Crean trying to outwit Bo Ryan? Bwahhhhhh! That’s funny. Nobody can out coach Bo, MU’s ball pressure will give everyone not named “Hughes” fits on Wisconsin. Whenever TH isn’t in the game, expect half, maybe even full, court press. As for the home court, a few early ticky tack fouls on MU’s guards could loosen things up for UW. I fully expect James and/or McNeal to be in foul trouble.

(Robb): Speaking of home court, is UW using those refs from Waunakee or Middleton on Saturday?

(Ty): Phuhhh…Please! You play undisciplined defense you don’t get the calls. You mentioned playing full court press….good luck not getting a few ticky-tacks running that bad boy.

(Ty): In terms of importance in the state of Wisconsin (recruiting)- is this game (series) more important for WI or MU?

(Robb): Wow – That’s a good question. I would say it’s bigger for MU, even if they would never admit it. Wisconsin is the school in the state. Even greater Milwaukee has more UW alums than MU grads. Kids grow up wanting to be a Badger. UW’s gonna get in-state recruits, that will never change. MU will contest that they traditionally have a more national recruiting base (they do, just look at the rosters), including a strong Chicago base. But they would love to win a few more recruiting battles with in-state kids: beating UW can only help. Don’t get me wrong, Marquette has had their share of Wisconsin products (Diener, Novak, Wes Jr). UW does has more total wins in that department

(Robb): Who’s pick’s up the scoring slack if Trevon has an off night (see, Duke)? Or, is that just their M.O. this year: “we go as Trevon goes?” That sounds awfully familiar to last year.

(Ty): It’s not even so much Trevon’s scoring total that’s important to UW’s success- it’s more his ability to run the offense and play solid on ball defense. If he tries to take the team on his shoulders a la Duke it will smell trouble. You could see that Bo reigned him in a little bit in the Wofford game- making him run the offense and taking his shots in the natural flow and off turnovers. Flowers is not a point guard and JBo will struggle if Hughes goes down with early foul trouble- Krabby found himself breaking Duke’s press as did Butch when Pops was on the bench early at Cameron Indoor. The Hughes v James matchup will be key. So in a sense it is a “we go as Trevon goes” squad- it’s hard to argue that fact.

(Ty): Is MU’s game plan to simply run defenders at people push the ball at every opportunity? In the past, UW has shown the ability to slow down such teams. Does MU have a half court set- and can they be effective out of it?

(Robb): MU thrives on turnovers, and points from them. They’re not 2005 UWM, but they want to get out in the open floor. Bo has to slow it down, although UW might do that for them. Bringing back Richard Bennett, Mark Vershaw, and Mike Kelly would help.

In the half court, MU runs a continuous “hand-off” type situation at the top of the key until the get the mismatch they want. It promotes slashing, driving and dishing, MU’s strength. Did you see how Duke’s athletes blew right by the slower Badgers at will? That’s what MU can bring to the table. If I was Bo, I would play either a zone/soft man, keep everything in front, and make MU shoot 3s. If MU (specifically James) is stroking from the outside, forget about it (see Oklahoma St game). Marquette has zero offensive presence inside.

(Robb): Wisconsin has either A) beaten crappy teams by 30, or B) gotten rolled by 35 at Duke. Does anybody really know who they really are?

(Ty): They’ve really only had 1 horrible half of basketball @ Duke- They’ve played and have beaten soundly a SEC and Big 12 team- but both surely bottom feeders. I’m not really sure Bo knows what he has? Leuer has gotten more minutes of late with some aggressive play- seemingly passing Gully in the rotation. JBo was more involved in the offense v Wofford- actually coming off a few screens and spotting up. At this point you know what you’ll get from Butch, Flowers and Krabby and somewhat with Hughes. Landry, Steamer and JBo have all showed glimpses of being contributors but have also disappeared for extensive stretches of games. As you referenced- MU will slash- drive- and dish but they won’t be able to hit the 3’s consistently like the Dukies (or so I hope).

(Ty): You mention MU’s presence inside- Can Butch hold the block against MU’s defenders? The only MU big guy I’m familiar with is Barro. What are the matchups down low?

(Robb): Butch hasn’t been an inside presence for 4 years now, so I wouldn’t expect him to figure it out before Saturday. Maybe he can get some tip ins. Ooze Barro and Dwight Burke are solid role players. Both will bang, crash, and put in the occasional garbage. Also, both are about 6-8 and look 31 years old. Barro is an enigma. He started all 34 games last year and played pretty well, but now he’s coming off the bench and his minutes are down. Partly because he’s a hack, and partly because there has to be something else going on behind the scenes. A feud with Crean? Don’t know. Burke is just a guy. MU will counter with a 4 guard, 1 wing (Fitzgerald) more often then not. If Butch doesn’t have a good inside game on Saturday, he never will. This is the kind of game where the Steamer plays like 7 minutes, unless you want him to run around and chase a small forward.

(Robb): Who’s an unsung guy that will provide a spark on Saturday? Finally, who wins and why?

(Ty): I want to say it would JBo but I don’t see him able to get his shot off against more athletic defenders (Wes Jr and McNeal). The X factor might be Leuer? He’s sort of a mis-match for defenders. He’s 6’10” and can take it to the rack. He had some productive minutes at Duke and continues to play aggressively around the hoop. If he can get double digits it will show MUs lack of inside presence- which can only mean good things for Bucky.

The Badge wins a nail-biter on a pair of Flowers FTs. MU struggles to get looks inside and shoot themselves out of their half-time lead. Wisconsin 77, Marquette 75.

(Robb): I’ll go with David Cubillan. That’s pronounced: Dah-veeed Cooobian, because he’s not from these parts. His defense has really improved as he’s another option to cause on-ball headaches. Offensively, he can stretch defenses with the 3-ball, opening up driving lanes. He will hit 2 crowd-quieting bombs.

I’ll take Marquette in a close one as Bucky struggles to find enough scorers against such an athletic, aggressive defense. Marquette 75, Wisconsin 70.


AP said...

Through all of that, you guys still managed to get a "just a guy" in there. Nice.

matt said...

I saw Dominic James at Chipotle last night.

I refrained from sticking a plastic fork into the back of his knee, because that would work to Marquette's advantage.

UW 71, MU 60. Krabby is the key.

Anonymous said...

DJ on a strict diet, I see.

Anonymous said...

Wisconsin 66, Marquette 60. Crean always chokes in big games.

Anonymous said...

That Badger fan flipping off Al was Kim and Kerry Hughes' father.


Train said...

Alan my man....are you for real?

To quote your profile: "i have never worn Women's clothes before, but now i regularily wear panties"

You must have paying close attention to that Victoria Secret show then.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a typical Marquette fan.

sleestak said...

Can you ban that Alan guy? He is just creepy!

woziszeus said...

Marquette by 10.