Wednesday, March 02, 2005

High School Tourney and Wisconsin-Indiana

It’s a late night, but I’m still going to do a roundup. I took in the Wauwatosa East-Milwaukee Marshall game with some friends, before returning home with said friends to watch the Wisconsin-Indiana game. Here are my thoughts, in roughly chronological order:

1) As some of you out there may know by now, it makes my day when a game is punctuated with good uniforms. So last night it was a nice treat, as upon walking into the Tosa East gymnasium the first thing that I said to my friend was “Wow, those Marshall uniforms are great.” Indeed, the powder blue and red unis were probably the best I’ve seen all season, with the exception of the UW-Green Bay uniforms.

2) Prior to the game itself, I ran into Tosa East’s athletic director, who’s the father of one of my close friends. Contrary to my analysis in the last update here, he expressed some concern that Tosa East might lose, citing the fact that Marshall had only lost to very solid teams in the city. I thought he made an intriguing point, and wondered if Marshall could pull this one out. Then the game started, and I put that notion to rest.

3) Right before tip-off, of course, players generally shake hands with one another. One of the Marshall players took it one step further, shaking hands with one of the refs. It was a nice gesture to someone whose hand no one would want to shake post-game, after a poorly called game. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen refs actively noting that they needed to make some make-up calls, but that’s what it seemed like was going on at this game. As usual, though, the ineptitude cut both ways, and seemed to even itself out.

4) In the first two minutes of the game, Marshall coach Phil Jones (formerly of Bay View fame) looked angry for no reason in particular. If I was a gambling man, I’d have put money on him getting a technical foul at some point in the evening. And he did, early in the second quarter. Heck, I’d be angry too if I’d had to have moved to Marshall from Bay View like Jones did.

5) On the roster, one of Jones’ listed assistant coaches was Donald “Lou” Chapman, a stellar guard for Bay View a few years back when Bay View was the most talented team in the area. Yes, I’m getting to that annoying point where I’ll soon be telling young people about the playing prowess of bench coaches back in their playing days.

6) Bay View only had 8 players suited up (and only 9 listed on the roster). Given this fact, I watched in amazement as they put on a full-court press for the entire first half. Who does this with only 8 guys? It didn’t matter much, anyway, since the game was essentially over by the time the 4th quarter rolled around, but I’ve never seen a team with a 3-man bench press before.

7) Lots of time for Tosa East subs in this game, and plenty of rest for the starters before King. That had to be a best case scenario for the Red Raiders—a 79-50 game that was over almost before it began.

8) One final comment on Marshall—their offense was perplexing. Near the end of the game, I noticed one of their players’ sole job seemed to be to stand in the corner on the baseline and try to get the attention of the point guard while pointing at the ceiling and calling for and alley-oop. Once this didn’t occur, it was time to run full speed at the hoop looking for a rebound off of whatever shot went up. Not the most inspired small forward play I’ve ever seen.

9) Back at the homestead, the Wisconsin-Indiana game had been DVR’d, so myself and two friends began enjoying it. I’ve never been happier watching Mike Wilkinson play in that first half. The man couldn’t miss. I’ve probably said it before, but I’m a tad worried for the Badgers next season when he’s not there to bail them out with his consistency.

10) Is it just me, of does Mike Davis look like the kind of guy that belongs to a yacht club? I know he lives in Indiana, where such a thing would pretty much be impossible, but still, he just has this face that makes me want to throw a fake captain’s hat on him.

11) D.J. White’s a freshman, and a very good one at that. But looking at White’s face, could anyone honestly say that he looks like a freshman. His body has the skills of a young man his age, but White’s face looks like that of a 35-year-old guy that hangs out at the playground. Either way, he’s going to be a force in the Big Ten for awile.

12) Michael Flowers is getting more minutes—the revolution is coming. I reiterate for the 80th time, by this time next year, Badger fans will be in love with this guy.

13) I love DVR—I didn’t start watching the game until 8:45pm, and I was caught up to real time by 9:50pm. It’s like I created an extra 45 minutes in my life by more efficient viewing. Of course, I’m happy to say that I used those extra 45 minutes to watch more basketball.

14) So there’s 15 seconds left in the game, the ballgame is tied, the Badgers have the ball, and call a timeout. Then they proceed to have Alando Tucker take a perimeter shot. Not exactly that plan that Bo Ryan had, if you ask me. But I guess it worked out, with two miracle rebounds and a put-back by none other than Tucker himself.

15) Post game, I went to check high school scores, and was interested to see that Marquette High had lost by 12 to Milwaukee Riverside. So I guess I’ve seen the last of Alexis Pease, and now need to find some other high school kid with great footwork to rave over. It seems almost unfair that I only got to watch this kid for 4 years.

16) I thought the end of the Wisconsin game was good, and then I saw the end of the Clemson-Virginia Tech game. I won’t explain how the last couple plays of the game went down, but if I’m a Virginia Tech fan, I’m still struggling to recover from that kick to the groin.

That’s it for today. It’s off to the Bradley Center tonight for what’s likely to be my last regular-season Marquette game of the year.


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