I tuned into the live stream of last night's 101-92 Wisconsin victory over Ottawa University for most of the second half and really enjoyed myself. Sure, the Badgers almost, but not really, blew what was once a 20-point lead. But we also got exciting college basketball in freakin' August and saw the Badgers eclipse 100 points (as @jzenk42 pointed out on Twitter, they also gave up 92. Don't tell anyone!) We also rewarded with the sight of Bo Ryan, assuredly not about to let his team drop the first of its two games in Canada, reaming out a ref early in the second half and then having said ref walk him back to the bench.
The glue that held it all together was the broadcast work of SSN's Greg Gallagher and a color guy who's name I just unfortunately can't locate right now. Gallagher kept the thing light, soliciting shoutouts from readers and restaurant advice should he soon make a trip to Madison. He used words like "fliparoo" and expressions such as "the jello looks to be jiggling in the fridge," presumably in reference to a lead change.
Gallagher also did a fine job calling the action, which I suppose is the reason anyone's read this far into a morning-after recap. Sam Dekker again led the way for UW, scoring 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting, adding eight rebounds and seven assists. Ben Brust added 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting (5-of-9) from 3-point range. George Marshall had 15 points, August's breakout star Duje Dukan had 14 and Frank Kaminsky added 12.
Collectively, the Badgers shot 56.5 percent from the field, 57.7 percent form 3-point and 72.7 (16-of-22) from the foul line. The Gee-Gees (a racing term for the horse that breaks out of the gates first, as Phil explained yesterday) fared slightly worse (47.8/52/65.2 percent) and had two 20-point scorers, one with 14, but no one else with more than six.
Encouraging as these numbers are, you know we have to take them with several grains of salt. I saw at least one contrarian "Chill on the Duje Dukan hype" tweet, and I can imagine how many others delivered similar messages from salty Big Ten fans JEALOUS THAT THEIR TEAM WASN'T PLAYING IN CANADA.
So what we can take? Dekker looks good -- real good -- for one. He had this crazy, cross-paint tip-in off a missed free throw late in the second half that was a perfect summer reminder of his insane talent. From the limited portion I saw, he also seemed incredibly more assertive as the focal point of the offense. Marshall showed some nice touch and impressive vision on most of his three assists and it was nice seeing Josh Gasser out there again, who actually eclipsed his previously stated 8-to-12-minute limit with 17 minutes on the court and one three-pointer.
If you'd like more, check out UWBadgers.com's recaps above. I'll get to the links now, because as thrilled as I am to devote 500 words to August college basketball, we've got football in a week, yo.
Just kidding, one more thing. Gallagher referenced this SI.com article on the broadcast last night, and it's actually from Monday. If you ever wanted to convince a non-Wisconsin fan or outsider that UW basketball really isn't that boring, just send them this article by Andy Glockner.
J.J. Watt is literally eating a football in this picture. That makes perfect sense -- a heckuva lot more since than Russell Wilson's GQ spread, which is literally titled "Russell Wilson in the Season's Best Cable-Knit Sweaters." Not sure what else to say here.
Relatively speaking, Lewis' transition to safety was short-lived. He's back at running back now, where he's comfortable, but still unlikely to get much playing time considering the presence of James White and Melvin Gordon and the remarkable emergence of Corey Clement. Maybe, if anything, this keeps Derek Watt at fullback full-time, or mostly full-time?