Archive for April, 2014


Badger Team: Next National Champ

What does it take to be a national champion in college basketball? Since Bo Ryan coached four national title teams in Div. III at UW-Platteville between 1991 and 1999, I’m sure he knows, and I suspect he is well-aware his current Badger squad has a real chance to go all the way in Div I.

This season, Wisconsin already demonstrated a physical ability, as they defeated some of the best, with wins over Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Michigan St., Oregon and now Arizona. The Badgers are tough enough to get the job done. Against Oregon, Dekker took hard blow to the jaw, and Jackson was literally thrown to the floor, but they got back up. They moved on.

Wisconsin is tough, because each starter can sink 3-point shots. Our smothering defense keeps most at bay. Even when an aspiring NBA player, like Joe Young of Oregon, tallies up 29 points (unconsciously and with his eyes closed I might add) the Badgers still win, because they avoid turnovers, draw fouls, sink free throws, work the clock, and confuse opponents with a well-balanced attack. Since no one knows which Badger may lead the scoring on a given day, opponents have a hard time defensively.

Even though UW has the physical ability to win it all, it won’t happen now at the Final Four level, unless we gain a psychological edge, by getting our minds right. TV talking heads, who know little about UW, will pigeonhole our guys, and after Arizona, they’ll talk up Kaminsky, as if he was the only Badger all season. They’ll ignore Brust, Gasser, Dekker and Jackson, as if they weren’t even on the court. But our guys can’t let that kind of talk get into their heads. Frank should never even think his performances alone will determine the outcome. It’s too heavy a burden to carry. Likewise, Ben, Josh, Sam and Traevon can never be led to believe they can be mediocre, since the media declared Frank will do it all. All five Badgers are equally essential to a win, and if one isn’t playing well, the other four must pick up the slack.

What most outsiders don’t know is the Badgers are a team of five players. The sum of the whole is greater than the individual parts. Wisconsin had a great season as a team. They advanced to the Final Four as a team. Now, if they continue to play as a team, they will win the National Championship. PS: Bo: No more technicals!