By Dylan Burkhardt | Uncategorized | Posted on January 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm
Pete from the Purdue Basketball Blog agreed to answer some questions about Purdue’s season and their upcoming match-up with Michigan. You can find my answers to his questions here.
From my point of view, one of Purdue’s biggest problems has been their lack of quality point guard play. Has this been a problem? What is the latest on Lewis Jackson and what is Purdue doing to make up for their lack of a true point guard?
6’5 freshman Kelsey Barlow recently replaced senior Keaton Grant at point and had a solid game (12 pts, an assist and 2 TO’s). Barlow should do an adequate job while Lewjack recovers. To be completely honest he reminds me a lot of Manny Harris as his size creates mismatches against other PG’s. He’s not quite pulling the triple doubles like Harris yet though, haha. Unfortunately, TO’s are the risk when starting a freshmen at PG.
Grant can still help out at point. Despite losing the starting spot, he’s still an all-around good player capable of doing a lot of thing good (but nothing great). He’s more of a shooting guard that takes the ball up. Behind them is former walk-on Mark Wohlford. He can provide 6-8 minutes of efficient basketball. Between the three of them, the point guard position is average. Obviously we are anxious for Lewjack to return, but it’s not our #1 concern among our other issues the team is facing.
Lewjack is still in recovery mode and there’s been speculation that he might be available in early February. But obviously nobody knows this early how long it will take… People have tossed around the word red-shirt, but if he is made available the day before the NCAA tournament, I’d put money on him playing.
Michigan had the chance to revive their season almost overnight. After leading Wisconsin on their own floor for 37 minutes, and leading by 9 points with 9 minutes to play, the win was there for the taking. But in a refrain that has become all too familiar to Michigan fans this year, Michigan couldn’t make the plays when it counted to secure a victory and came up short.
While Michigan couldn’t make the plays, Trevon Hughes and Rob Wilson made enough to guide Wisconsin to the win. Hughes scored 16 second half points including a pair of huge three pointers. Hughes was joined by Rob Wilson, a guy who Hughes praised for his play on Wisconsin’s scout team in his post-game interview. Wilson scored a career high 13 points, 11 of which came in the second half.
DeShawn Sims was absolutely phenomenal yet again. Michigan gave him the ball early and often and he was dominant in the first half. He finished 9 of 14 on the night for 23 points with 13 rebounds (12 defensive). Sims didn’t score a lot of points versus UConn but for the second game in a row he was very impressive on the defensive glass, rebounding 33% of Wisconsin’s missed shots by himself.
The rest of the Wolverines must not have found the trip to Madison worth their time. They combined to shoot 8 of 33 for a dreadful 24%. Role players aren’t supposed to play well on the road, but performances like Zack Novak’s 0-6, Stu Douglass’ 2-8, or the one point that the bench mustered just aren’t good enough to win games.
Who: Michigan (10-7, 3-2) vs. Wisconsin (14-4, 4-2) Where: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisc When: January 20th, 8:30 PM EST TV: BTN
Radio: MGoBlue, WWJ 950 AM/WTKA 1050 AM
Line: Wisconsin by 9 Stats: Live TFS Opposition Blogs:Hoops Marinara Pomeroy Profile Preview Content:Interview
No Big Ten road game is easy but the trip to Madison is exceptionally painful for just about every Big Ten team. The Badgers’ numbers at home are staggering. 130-10 since Bo Ryan arrived and only seven different teams have won there. Michigan hasn’t won in Madison since 1999 and John Beilein has yet to beat Bo Ryan during his tenure in Ann Arbor.
Sounds like the perfect opportunity to pick up a road win, right?
After watching Michigan’s game against Connecticut it was obvious that there was one player who needed the “every play counts” treatment: Zack Novak. Some of the most common clichés in basketball are thrown around about Novak, things like “glue guy”, “makes plays that don’t show up in the box score”, “grit and hustle”, etc. The thing is, in Novak’s case they tend to be true.
Note: All links are to videos which will play inline with the page. (I think they should be working now)
Novak began the game matched up with 6-foot-9 240 pound Alex Oriakhi. To compare, Novak is listed at 6-foot-5 210 pounds but there’s no way he is actually 6-foot-5. On the first possession of the game, UConn exploited the mismatch. With Novak attempting to front the post, UConn lobbed the ball inside to Oriakhi who missed a layup after Harris and Sims arrived with help. But UConn stole the outlet pass and Oriakhi followed up Jerome Dyson’s missed layup with an easy tip-dunk over Novak.
Throughout the game Novak guarded a number of UConn big men including Alex Oriakhi, Gavin Edwards, and Ater Majok, all listed over 6-foot-9. Michigan also switched screens quite a bit, leaving Novak to guard Stanley Robinson quite a bit as well. When Novak was switched onto one of UConn’s guards, he looked to switch with a guard as soon as possible to avoid being taken off the dribble.
What has Wisconsin done to cope with losing Jon Leuer to injury? Also, what’s the latest on Leuer’s injury status, when is he expected to return?
In the absence of Leuer, Wisconsin has committed to small ball. Bo Ryan is starting sophomore Jordan Taylor in a three-guard approach right now. The Badgers used this look a lot before, but now Taylor is being asked to take on about 10 of Leuer’s 28 mpg right off the top. Bo has also indicated his rotation will be more situational without Leuer, depending on the quickness and size of the opponent. Leuer will be replaced by committee.
Some are predicting Leuer could return in 4-6 weeks from last Tuesday’s surgery, but I really doubt you will see him back during the Big Ten regular season. The bone he broke in the left wrist is a tricky one medically (it’s complicated), so I think they will play it safe. But most people are expecting that he will be able to play in the Big Ten tournament.