After watching UW today I didn't think they played very well. That's always weird to say after you watch them dismantle a team and win by 33 points. Several things stood out. I watched Brust take the ball to the left side of the rim on 4 separate occasions and he used his right hand to lay the ball up all 4 times. This was not encouraging, as better teams figured out his righthandedness last year and rendered him useless in much of Big Ten play. Brust also got his 2nd double double in points and rebounds. He has been tenacious on the glass this year, which is much needed with the loss of good rebounding guards Taylor and Gasser.
Ryan Evan's seems to be suffering from the senior step back. He is still taking the ill advised 18 foot jumpshots, but he is not getting the ball in the post like he did last year. He blocked several shots but many were on recovery plays that he won't make against better players. I am starting to wonder if his breakout year last season will be his bright spot. As with many of Bo's seniors, once the spotlight is on and they become the focus of the defense, they struggle. It's not that they have become worse, they just don't put up the same stats when they have to face the opponents best defenders.
As I watched them play I found myself wondering whose team is this? The answer was both obvious and unfortunate. This is Gasser's team. He was on crutches and on the court the entire time the team was warming up. He even went through the practice free throw line, although he didn't shoot. This team is still trying to get past his loss. So am I in case you didn't notice. Who's team will it be in a month?
I decided to watch the Florida game again as I watched it live in a bar and was distracted by conversation for most of the game. UW didn't play as badly as the blow out score would indicate. Florida is a really good team with a really good player. Patrick Young was a likely late lottery selection had he gone pro last summer. Florida is a team who knows who they are. They have guards that can score with the jumpsot, off the drive, and in transition, but this team runs through Young. I was struck that virtually every time Young was on the floor he was involved in the offense. When they went to the post it was to him. When they ran pick and roll, it was with him. When he wasn't on the floor they still tried to run the same stuff, but it wasn't just one player focused. UW did a good job on Young for the most part as Florida turned the ball over a ton trying to get him the ball.
Berggren is UWs best player, so it struck me that UW should be his team. I don't think there is any chance that this will happen. It is clear from the last two games that this will be Dekker's team. None of the 3 guards have what it takes to take control of this team. Bruiser and Evans are role playing guys who aren't going to take things over either. Berggren will have his moments but he needs someone to get him the ball. He's not like Leuer, who could create something no matter where he was on the floor. Dekker may not start a game this year, but make no mistake it will be his team by year's end. After UW took nothing but jumpshots for the first several possessions against Florida it was Dekker who came in and attacked the paint. Dekker showed his natural ability today when he stole a ball at the top of the key and threw down a huge dunk. He also showed his youth when he made an ill advised drive and turned the ball over on a charge. There will be growing pains, but this team will run through him before long.