Friday, November 12, 2004

Guest Commentary: Wisconsin vs. Parkside

Since I've still got 7 minutes worth of action to watch from my recording of Wednesday's Wisconsin vs. UW-Parkside game, I'll offer you some comments from my friend Josh, a knowledgable basketball fan, and one of the biggest Wisconsin fans that I know. I'll try to get my game thoughts out sometime tonight, but for now, here are Josh's game thoughts:

--We’re going to play a lot of people this year. Seriously, I think everyone but DeAron Williams and Tanner Bronson saw the floor before there were 10 minutes off the clock. Look at the box score in the Journal Sentinel article. Tanner Bronson got 5 minutes. Other than that, we played 12 guys who got between 11 (Chappell) and 20 (Wilkinson, Nixon) minutes. It was crazy. Obviously, Wilkinson, Tucker, and maybe a couple others will see more minutes once the season starts, but I think we’ve got a talented enough team that Bo feels confident going deep into his bench.

--We got to see a some full-court pressure. Not really surprising, since we are so deep this year. And with Nixon and Tucker, you’ve got some taller, athletic guys who can still really move. It will be interesting to watch this develop.

--Point guard situation looks OK. I’d feel better if Boo were in the mix, but I think he will be at some point. Flowers looked OK. He didn’t look for his offense much, and looked a bit “wide-eyed” at times, but I think he’ll be able to contribute in a Mike-Kelley style this year. Solid ball-handling and good defense. Kam Taylor is not short on confidence, you’re right about that. I thought there were a couple times where he was a little too aggressive and turned the ball over, but you can see the potential. And he can shoot it. His first 2 shots were 3’s and he drained them. And he’s exceptionally quick. It should be fun to watch him develop. Chambliss handled the point at times and he’s capable, but I think his best position is clearly the 2. Clayton can handle the ball a little, but he’d be more of a stop-gap point guard to fill a couple minutes, not a long-term solution. Again, I’ll feel better when Boo is back, but I think a combination of Taylor, Flowers, and Chambliss can get the job done.

--Butch did look good. I commented to Chris that he looked a little like Mader in appearance, which at this point, is great. Last year, he was clearly the skinny kid on the floor. He looks noticeably bigger. His game is much better than Mader’s, which probably didn’t need to be noted. There were 2 or three times when he made a move in the paint, got fouled, and still finished. And as a 7-footer, he was 1-2 from 3-point land with a good-looking stroke. I was very happy.

--Stiemsma looked good at times and looked like a freshman at times. There were times where he looked a little anxious and didn’t “let the game come to him”. But he also blocked 2 shots and grabbed 7 boards in 16 minutes. Granted, against a smaller team, but still. He’s only going to get better as the season progresses.

Boy, there’s a lot I could say, but I think I’ll end with this. It’s going to be a fun year. The variety of lineups we can put out there is ridiculous. At one point, there was a Stiemsma, Butch, Morley, Wilkinson, Chamliss lineup on the floor. 7-0, 7-0, 6-8, 6-9, and 6-1??? Damn, that’s tall! I like the lineup when we have Wilkinson, Tucker, Nixon, Taylor, and Butch. Gives us a lot of height, but Tucker and Nixon can get out and defend, too. There’s just a million different possibilities…even more when Boo comes back. Like I said, it should be fun.


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