Skipping Sleep, Watching Hoops
Two quick points before I get to my abbreviated Badger points from the evening:
1) Rob Jeter’s dismissal of Avery Smith yesterday from the UWM roster was one of the least surprising, and yet most bizarre developments of recent note. Any time your team’s leading scorer from the prior season tells the press that his suspension is really just a leave of absence, and the head coach responds to those comments by noting “That is absolutely false,” you know you’ve got a comically volatile situation on your hands. I guess this was just the logical conclusion.
2) My friend Terry has wanted me to get his name on my blog for some time. I’ve tried to calmly explain to him that I think random shout-outs are lame, and usually only talk about friends after they make entertaining comments when I’m watching a game with them. Then I offered to go to a high school game with him in suburban Madison, near where he lives. But since Terry took the time to mock me on his own website, and was persistent in drunkenly berating me at a friend’s wedding reception recently, he’s getting the shout-out that he’s always wanted. But I’m still making you go to a high school game with me, Terry. I’ll see you at Middleton sometime in December...
On to the Badgers. I was tied up with some other things prior to the Badger game, and thus, had to take in the game in a late-night DVR session. Hence, my thoughts are abbreviated today, due both to a lack of time, and a general punch-drunkenness that sets in for me around midnight on a weeknight.
1) When I saw Brian Butch make a steal at the top of the key, the first thing that went through my mind after I got over the sheer amazement that something like that had happened was that it must feel really bad to be the guy that let that happen. Somewhere on Water Street in Eau Claire this weekend there’s going to be a guy whose friends are giving him endless crap for getting picked by Brian Butch.
2) Marcus Landry cracked double figures in scoring last night, but still seems largely anonymous to me when he’s out there, which runs quite contrary to the idea thrown aroung that he’s going to be the guy who steps up his game and becomes the go-to guy this year. I’m still not sure how much of a step forward I’m expecting from Landry this year. On one hand, I’m encouraged by this article from a few days ago which points out that he’s eating better and not commuting between Madison and Milwaukee (I’ve done it to a lesser extent, and it can wear on you) all the time anymore. However, I’ve also got in the back of my head all the articles last year which discussed Alando Tucker’s leadership ability, and talked about Tucker forcing Landry out of bed for workouts. Without his teammate/personal trainer around anymore, I’m interested to see how hard Landry goes after things.
3) Is the bizarre stripe of skin on J.P. Gavinski’s head the result of him requesting a bizarre haircut, or the result of someone at the College Barber going a little overboard with their clippers?
4) Not sure who was running the control room for the broadcast last night, but I wasn’t real crazy about the camera angles used for breakaway dunks. On the aforementioned Butch breakaway, and a later Marcus Landry breakaway, we were treated to the behind the basket camera angle, rather than the standard halfcourt camera. Count me as someone who likes to watch a guy in mid-air, rather than just seeing a guy flying at me on TV.
5) The announcers upped the legend of Tanner Bronson last night by mistakenly asserting that he began with the team his freshman year as a ball boy, before correcting themselves and noting that he was a team manager. I'm still trying to figure out if that slip up shows less respect to Bronson, or to team managers in general.
So with those quickie points, the exhibition season is over. Fortunately, my next set of Wisconsin thoughts will come after I make my first trip to see the team in person this weekend. Should be fun...