Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wisconsin vs. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo: Even Worse Than Expected

Last night, I sat down with every intention of closely watching the Wisconsin-Cal Poly game and compiling comments. As I sat down to take in the game, I opened up my Blue Ribbon Yearbook to get some background on Cal Poly. Turns out, they were picked to finish dead last in the Big West Conference (which is not exactly the west coast equivalent of the Big East, in case you were wondering). Their grade for Bench/Depth was “F,” marking one of the only times that I’ve ever seen such a harsh assessment in the Blue Ribbon Yearbook.

And even with this indictment of the team by the gold standard of college basketball publications, Cal Poly still played worse than I expected. The only semi-run that they made during the game came around the 8-minute mark of the first half, when they suddenly went to the Marathon Oil/Athletes in Action offense and just started tossing up threes. But going Marathon Oil seldom works for more than a couple of minutes. This might have been the worst performance that I’ve seen by a division one basketball team since the infamous Chicago State team that I saw at the Kohl Center as a student near the start of the decade. Highlights of that awful Chicago State team included most of the team laughing and joking on the bench during their lopsided defeat, and a team manager who openly conversed with the Wisconsin student section during the game about his exploits as a player for the Chicago State football team, which did not actually exist. Because Cal Poly’s team actually appeared to care about the game, I still rank them as better than Chicago State. But it’s a pretty low standard.

Didn’t see the game? Well, here’s all that you need to know–in the closing minutes of the game last night J.P. Gavinski rolled to the basket and threw down a thunderous dunk. I always enjoy seeing Gavinski and love it when he does well in garbage time, but even I must admit that a team has really mailed it in if Gavinski is looking that good. Yes, though, I still pumped my fists and let out a scream when he threw that sweet dunk down. It was an exciting night in my living room.

So no, there’s not much more to say about last night. When a game gets that out of hand that fast, there aren’t a lot of legitimate things to be gleaned from a game. Perhaps the only good thing that can be said about last night’s contest is that the Badgers got a much needed night off during exam week. Now if only they’d wrap up those pesky tests and start playing again, I’d be a happy man.

Back tomorrow with my final thoughts on Jeronne Maymom, which should not be all that surprising.


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