If it’s possible, I think the Badger basketball team is better than their 18-5 record suggests. Even when they’ve lost this season they’ve looked solid. This team just appears to be focused, rock steady and consistent. Of course, great guard play will do that for a team, and having a pair of seniors like Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes together with a mature-beyond-his-years sophomore like Jordan Taylor have certainly given the Badgers that.

But there is something else about this team, something I can’t quite put my finger on, something intangible that has allowed this group to be resilient enough to withstand the loss of Jon Leuer, their second leading scorer and a big body that is in short supply, going 5-2 since he went down with a wrist injury. I suppose some of the credit could go to Bo Ryan and his staff, and I imagine that his steadiness is part of the reason that this year’s team has been so solid. But this group, for whatever reason, seems to have more backbone and grit then Ryan’s previous teams (which, it should be noted, rarely lacked for these qualities).

Whatever the reason, I have found myself getting more and more swept up with the 2009-10 installment of the Badgers. Maybe this is because I didn’t see this coming prior to the season–they have certainly exceeded my expectations so far. The excitement is building for me, particularly when I wonder how good they might be should Jon Leuer be able to play later this season.

This is a situation worth monitoring.

via Zugzwang .

 

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  • http://mike BigSnakeMan

    I’m sure part of the positive vibe comes from the fact that they are exceeding most people’s expectations; especially with Leuer out. But you’re right. There does seem to be a level of maturity and consistency about this team that wasn’t there previously, as evidenced by last year’s 6 game losing streak. And I don’t get the sense that they’ve peaked yet. Their lack of size may still come back to haunt them but it affects them less than it would other teams because of the system they run.

  • Jon

    The value of experienced guards is really being shown with the Badgers. There is a confidence this year that certainly wasn’t there a year ago. Last year’s squad went into panic mode once the shot clock went below 10 seconds. This year they get a good shot just about every time the shot clock runs down. Good coaching and good guard play.