Monday, November 22, 2004

Quick Thoughts on Nothing in Particular

1) If my trip to watch the Wisconsin football team play in Iowa City this past weekend taught me one thing, it’s that football season merely exists as a prelude to the real fun of college basketball season. If it taught me two things, it’s that football season merely exists as a prelude to the real fun of college basketball season, and a bus that carries 25 men and 40 cases of beer can be a beautiful thing.

2) I had the opportunity to stop in briefly to Iowa’s Carver Hawkeye Arena, one of my favorite arenas. While it isn’t the biggest place in the world, its sunken-into-the-ground design makes me think that it would be an absolute pit to play in if the Iowa fan base could find something to get excited about on the hardwood. I’m also fond of the building’s general architecture, which screams "I was built in 1983!" What that means per se, I can’t really put into words, but it certainly feels like a place that would have been absolutely cutting edge when I was 5 years old.

3) As has been widely reported now, Wisconsin center Greg Stiemsma will be out for an extended period of time with a foot injury. Six to eight weeks, to be exact. The prospect of Steimsma not coming back for 6-8 weeks scares me for two primary reasons. First, the Badgers could really use him this year. They have depth among their big men, but no one with quite his defensive presence. Secondly, Stiemsma needs to develop some kind of an offensive game, and will only do that with more court time. When I think of how pedestrian Stiemsma is on the offensive end, and how incredible he is on the defensive end, I can’t help but recall that Emeka Okafor was pretty worthless on the offensive end early in his career at UConn before busting out as an All-American. Maybe Stiemsma will never be quite that good, but it would sure be nice to give him the time to try and learn what to do. Maybe a medical redshirt could eventually solve this problem, thought part of me really wants to have Stiemsma around for the Big Ten season.

I’ll abbreviate this at 3 bullet points, rather than the 7 that I referred to in my last post, since to be honest, I didn’t have anything all that interesting to say anyway. This week should cure that, though, as both Duke and North Carolina play on TV, at the current moment it looks like an Iowa upset of Louisville is imminent, and the end of the week will bring with it the opportunity to see two live games with two groups of good friends. Man, I love the holidays.


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