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Wisconsin: The Most Boring Team in America

  • DeangeloVickers said... (original post)

    This was my favorite quote:

    "He doesn't want a fair fight, because he knows he'd lose. By limiting opportunities and forcing an unfamiliar style, Ryan, like an idiot in an argument, brings the opponent to Wisconsin's level and beats them with experience. "

    It must be the short attention span (or lack of reading skills) of tRCMB to not see this brought up yet.

    what is unfair about playing to your strengths to give yourselves the advantage on the court? Every coach does this. There is plenty to criticize Boob and Wisconsin for but this isn't one of them.

    I guess Paul Westhead was an idiot back in the day at Loyola Marymount for playing to his strengths and running his opponents out of the gym.

    Damn, I feel dirty actually defending Boob.

    This post was edited by Enrico Palazzo 3 years ago

    "If you have the right to be offended I have the right to offend you." - Ricky Gervais

  • Enrico Palazzo said... (original post)

    what is unfair about playing to your strengths to give yourselves the advantage on the court? Every coach does this. There is plenty to criticize Boob and Wisconsin for but this isn't one of them.

    I guess Paul Westhead was an idiot back in the day at Loyola Marymount for playing to his strengths and running his opponents out of the gym.

    It'd be the equivalent of watching a boxing fight played in a ring covered in molasses. Sure, it may not be "unfair", but it'd be damn boring to watch and an insult to the sport. And what does it say about your program if your "strength" is your ability to deflate the game more so than any other program?

  • spartans17 said... (original post)

    It'd be the equivalent of watching a boxing fight played in a ring covered in molasses. Sure, it may not be "unfair", but it'd be damn boring to watch and an insult to the sport. And what does it say about your program if your "strength" is your ability to deflate the game more so than any other program?

    if you win it doesn't matter how you play, IMO. Everybody loved Princeton when they were winning NCAA tourney games, beating UCLA 45-43. Ask Michigan how well things went when they let LMU dictate the pace of the game in 1990.

    Using your boxing analogy, should finesse fighter who is technically superior and tries to out-box their opponent, even though it's "boring" or sit there and go toe to toe with a power puncher even though you know they'll likely end up on their back within 2 rounds, because it's more exciting for the fans?

    BTW, the DoucheBagers currently average more points per game than Arizona, Nebraska, Alabama, UCLA and 150 other D1 teams.

    "If you have the right to be offended I have the right to offend you." - Ricky Gervais

  • gbhmt said... (original post)

    A lot of people would argue that the 98-01 MSU teams played the very type of game you and this writer dislike so much. MSU under Izzo has won ugly more often than it has won with flash and scoring.

    I don't recall MSU ever intentionally deadening the basketball during offensive possessions? Do you?

    There's a difference between winning ugly and what Wisconsin does. One could even say that the majority of games in college basketball involve some team "winning ugly". That's not the point here. The point is a team, that has had YEARS to perfect its strategy in a major college basketball conference, WILLINGLY chooses to deflate the game. Perhaps Izzo did do so in his first few years (although I would argue otherwise), however his methods have evolved and now, if he has the personnel, his teams run at will.

  • Enrico Palazzo said... (original post)

    if you win it doesn't matter how you play, IMO. Everybody loved Princeton when they were winning NCAA tourney games, beating UCLA 45-43. Ask Michigan how well things went when they let LMU dictate the pace of the game in 1990.

    Using your boxing analogy, should finesse fighter who is technically superior and tries to out-box their opponent, even though it's "boring" or sit there and go toe to toe with a power puncher even though you know they'll likely end up on their back within 2 rounds, because it's more exciting for the fans?

    BTW, the DoucheBagers currently average more points per game than Arizona, Nebraska, Alabama, UCLA and 150 other D1 teams.

    You are entirely missing the point here. Princeton is disadvantaged in terms of the types of athletes they can attract and who they can recruit. If teams with an inherent disadvantage choose to slow games down, more power to them. Hell, it's a smart move on their part. By equating the two, are you saying that Wisconsin has an inherent skill disadvantage against most teams they play, that necessitates that they shorten the game? If you ARE saying that, then I wouldn't have an argument against you. But how many Badger fans do you know that would admit to their program being so talent and skill deprived, that they need to shorten games in order to win?

    That is a terrible analogy. My point has nothing to do with contrasting styles of playing basketball. My point has to do with an individual purposefully NOT playing the sport that they are being watched to play in order to negate the advantage their opponent has over them, be it athleticism-based, finesse-based, power-based or whatever. Now if you want to argue that not playing basketball is as legitimate a "style of play" as are finesse-based teams or power-based teams, then I have nothing to say to you.

    Once again you miss the point. This isn't about who can put more points on the board; the Badgers are extremely efficient on the offensive end once they get their offense in gear. Wouldn't fans like to see that offense in gear for 20 more possessions per game if they could? Would that not be a better representation of the sport, than a team that willingly (even with superior talent) asks its players to not play offense for the majority of their possession time?

  • Gus Chiggins

    red_cedar said... (original post)

    Isn't forcing an uptempo game just as "unfair"? UNC wants as many possessions as possible so their athleticism will get the most chances to wear out their opponent. Are you really trying to claim that a fast pace is honorable and a slow pace is dishonorable?

    Increasing tempo and possessions isn't necessarily about wearing out an opponent. It is more about reducing variance. That is to say, the better team will be proven out as possessions increase. This is essentially the rationale for playoff series in professional sports, as statistical variance will regress to the mean over time. By increasing possessions, it is less likely the worse team will beat the better team. This is why you generally see the best teams attempting to play a higher possession game.

    Strangely, Wisconsin chooses to play a low possession game despite having more talent than most of its opponents. In essence, they are slowing tempo as a strategy, limiting their advantage against worse teams for the sake of competing with better teams. In my opinion, this strategy really limits their ability to become a truly dominant team. In other words, they are voluntarily allowing variance to have a greater effect on the game. While their average efficiency per possession may be high, over a short sample size, they may produce at a far less efficient rate or an opponent may produce at a far more efficient rate. In either case, they are subject to an upset. It is the same principle that allows them to beat better teams. So, it is a live by the sword, die by the sword situation.

    To make matters worse, they rely heavily on jump shooting, especially three point jump shooting. Over a short sample size, jump shooting is subject to much larger swings (i.e. variance). You don't have to look far to understand how this plays out. Last year against Butler, Wisconsin only scored one basket and six total points over a fifteen minute stretch. Against Penn State, they went eleven minutes with only one basket. Against Cornell two years ago, they went six minutes in the second half without scoring a single point. And against, Wofford they had several four minutes scoreless droughts, causing them to almost lose to a thirteen seed.

    So for me, it isn't so much dishonorable as it is risky, which seems counter intuitive. Since B10 coaches have adjusted to his style, he has won one B10 title over the last eight years. And of course, he has only been able to reach one elite eight. But at Wisconsin, the risk is worth the results, as being competitive in the B10 and winning a couple NCAA tournament games gets you deified in Madison. After spending half a century in the wilderness, Bo Ryan has taken Wisconsin to the mound top.

    This post was edited by Gus Chiggins 3 years ago

  • Gus Chiggins said... (original post)

    Increasing tempo and possessions isn't necessarily about wearing out an opponent. It is more about reducing variance. That is to say, the better team will be proven out as possessions increase. This is essentially the rationale for playoff series in professional sports, as statistical variance will regress to the mean over time. By increasing possessions, it is less likely the worse team will beat the better team. This is why you generally see the best teams attempting to play a higher possession game.

    Strangely, Wisconsin chooses to play a low possession game despite having more talent than most of its opponents. In essence, they are slowing tempo as a strategy, limiting their advantage against worse teams for the sake of competing with better teams. In my opinion, this strategy really limits their ability to become a truly dominant team. In other words, they are voluntarily allowing variance to have a greater effect on the game. While their average efficiency per possession may be high, over a short sample size, they may produce at a far less efficient rate or an opponent may produce at a far more efficient rate. In either case, they are subject to an upset. It is the same principal that allows them to beat better teams. So, it is a live by the sword, die by the sword situation.

    To make matters worse, they really heavily on jump shooting, especially three point jump shooting. Over a short sample size, jump shooting is subject to much larger swings (i.e. variance). You don't have to look far to understand how this plays out. Last year against Butler, Wisconsin only scored one basket and six total points over a fifteen minute stretch. Against Penn State, they went eleven minutes with only one basket. Against Cornell, they went six minutes in the second half without scoring a single point. Against, Wofford they had several four minutes scoreless droughts, almost losing to a thirteen seed.

    So for me, it isn't so much dishonorable as it is actually risky. Since B10 coaches have adjusted to his style, he has won one B10 title over the last eight years. And of course, he has only been able to reach one elite eight. But at Wisconsin, the risk is worth the results, as being competitive in the B10 and winning a couple NCAA tournament games gets you deified in Madison. After spending half a century in the wilderness, Bo Ryan has taken Wisconsin to the mound top.

    Extremely well said.

  • Gus Chiggins said... (original post)

    Increasing tempo and possessions isn't necessarily about wearing out an opponent. It is more about reducing variance. That is to say, the better team will be proven out as possessions increase. This is essentially the rationale for playoff series in professional sports, as statistical variance will regress to the mean over time. By increasing possessions, it is less likely the worse team will beat the better team. This is why you generally see the best teams attempting to play a higher possession game.

    Strangely, Wisconsin chooses to play a low possession game despite having more talent than most of its opponents. In essence, they are slowing tempo as a strategy, limiting their advantage against worse teams for the sake of competing with better teams. In my opinion, this strategy really limits their ability to become a truly dominant team. In other words, they are voluntarily allowing variance to have a greater effect on the game. While their average efficiency per possession may be high, over a short sample size, they may produce at a far less efficient rate or an opponent may produce at a far more efficient rate. In either case, they are subject to an upset. It is the same principal that allows them to beat better teams. So, it is a live by the sword, die by the sword situation.

    To make matters worse, they really heavily on jump shooting, especially three point jump shooting. Over a short sample size, jump shooting is subject to much larger swings (i.e. variance). You don't have to look far to understand how this plays out. Last year against Butler, Wisconsin only scored one basket and six total points over a fifteen minute stretch. Against Penn State, they went eleven minutes with only one basket. Against Cornell, they went six minutes in the second half without scoring a single point. Against, Wofford they had several four minutes scoreless droughts, almost losing to a thirteen seed.

    So for me, it isn't so much dishonorable as it is actually risky. Since B10 coaches have adjusted to his style, he has won one B10 title over the last eight years. And of course, he has only been able to reach one elite eight. But at Wisconsin, the risk is worth the results, as being competitive in the B10 and winning a couple NCAA tournament games gets you deified in Madison. After spending half a century in the wilderness, Bo Ryan has taken Wisconsin to the mound top.

    +1 - Supremely stated, sir.

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  • rookmsu said... (original post)

    The entire program is built upon falling down and looking up at the officials, begging for a call. It's chickenshit.

    I understand that you don't like UW hoops and are entitled to your opinion, but this just makes you look foolish.

  • UsedToBeBrad said... (original post)

    There's no "fair" or "unfair" in this argument. The point is, people play and watch sports as a measure of athleticism and skill. What Bo does is limit the athleticism of other team's in an attempt to even the playing field with his less athletic/skilled teams.

    There's nothing wrong with it per se, it's just not what I (or many others) enjoy about sports.

    I was responding to a quote that said Bo Ryan "doesn't want a fair fight, because he knows he'd lose." So yes, part of the critique is that the Wisconsin approach is not fair to their opponents.

    Draymond Green, Magic Johnson, and Oscar Robertson are the only players to have two triple-doubles in the NCAA Tournament.

  • Chitown_Badger said... (original post)

    I understand that you don't like UW hoops and are entitled to your opinion, but this just makes you look foolish.

    Not really. Their entire defensive strategy is built on exaggerating contact to draw charges and discourage teams from driving. I think it's chickenshit. I am not alone, and I don't mean that from an RCMB perspective. The block/charge/flop issue is a major problem in college ball and Wisconsin is among the foremost practicioners of flopping.

    Anyone. Anyplace. Anytime.

  • Giant Moose said... (original post)

    What you mean it's not exciting watching them bow out in the first weekend just about every year to a way worse seeded team?

    Making it to the second weekend 4 times in 10 appearances is not "bowing out in the first weekend just about every year." I'd wager there are not too many teams in this country that have made the tourney 10 straight years and gotten to week two four of those years.

    For comparison sake, MSU has made it to the second round 5 times in the past 10 years*

    *This post is intended only to discredit the above claim. It does not in any way imply that UW has had more success than MSU in March.

  • gbhmt said... (original post)

    A lot of people would argue that the 98-01 MSU teams played the very type of game you and this writer dislike so much. MSU under Izzo has won ugly more often than it has won with flash and scoring.

    I disagree. Those 98-01 teams would run you out of the gym if given the chance. They weren't like the Dukies or UM who fire up 40 threes a night, but the offensive talent on those teams will never be touched by anything that Choad Ryan will trot out there.

    IMO those 98-01 teams may have played low scoring games because coaches were terrified of giving our team a chance to run, so they'd play a plodding offense and when the ball was shot 4 guys would rush back while 1 challenged for a rebound. MSU could send 5 to the glass against UW, not get the rebound and be in no real danger of getting caught because UW will walk it up, pass around the perimeter for 30 seconds and then fire up a three or let the one guard they have on the roster that can dribble try and force something or draw a foul.

    signature image signature image signature image

    "losing Caleb Benenoch is a blow that Dantonio will never recover from. Izzo has lost it as well. Hoke and Beilein own the state." -Tpain

  • Gus Chiggins

    I'd also like to add that this is essentially the same strategy John Beilein has used throughout his time at WVU and UM, although his tempo is generally slightly quicker but not significantly. In fact, John Beilein teams are almost always in the bottom fifth in tempo in division one. Obviously, UM uses much more movement, transition and dribble penetration. But offensive system aside, they rely on the same underlying principles--short bench, low turnovers, jump-shooting and slow tempo.

  • Chitown_Badger said... (original post)

    Making it to the second weekend 4 times in 10 appearances is not "bowing out in the first weekend just about every year." I'd wager there are not too many teams in this country that have made the tourney 10 straight years and gotten to week two four of those years.

    For comparison sake, MSU has made it to the second round 5 times in the past 10 years*

    *This post is intended only to discredit the above claim. It does not in any way imply that UW has had more success than MSU in March.

    Why has Wisconsin only once beaten a team seeded higher than themselves? Is it because Bo Ryan is a fraud of a coach, your program just blows in general or flopping doesn't work in the tournament? Serious answers only please.

  • UsedToBeBrad said... (original post)

    There's no "fair" or "unfair" in this argument. The point is, people play and watch sports as a measure of athleticism and skill. What Bo does is limit the athleticism of other team's in an attempt to even the playing field with his less athletic/skilled teams.

    There's nothing wrong with it per se, it's just not what I (or many others) enjoy about sports.

    You're right...he does do more with less. He really gets the best out of his players.

    (Wait for it....lol)

  • spartans17 said... (original post)

    Extremely well said.

    Except the foundation of it is completely wrong.

  • Gus Chiggins

    Chitown_Badger said... (original post)

    Except the foundation of it is completely wrong.

    How so? Probably too far over a fanboy's head, which isn't saying much when it is up his ass.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Gus Chiggins 3 years ago

  • RBW Spartan said... (original post)

    His resume in march is a bit underwhelming? How about one of the worst PASE ever? Beating a grand total of one higher ranked team?

    He actually has a well above average PASE.

  • Chitown_Badger said... (original post)

    Except the foundation of it is completely wrong.

    Please type up a refuting argument then. Thanks.

  • Chitown_Badger said... (original post)

    Making it to the second weekend 4 times in 10 appearances is not "bowing out in the first weekend just about every year." I'd wager there are not too many teams in this country that have made the tourney 10 straight years and gotten to week two four of those years.

    For comparison sake, MSU has made it to the second round 5 times in the past 10 years*

    *This post is intended only to discredit the above claim. It does not in any way imply that UW has had more success than MSU in March.

    First of all, MSU has only failed to make it to the 2nd round 4 times in the past 10 years, not the 5 you claimed. But if you are claiming failing to make the 2nd weekend, then yeah it's 5.

    When MSU failed to make the 2nd weekend:

    2011: #10 MSU lost to #7 UCLA
    2007: #9 MSU lost to #1 UNC
    2006: #6 MSU lost to #11 George Mason
    2004: #7 MSU lost to #10 Nevada
    2002: #10 MSU lost to #7 NC State

    MSU was upset twice. In 2004 a 10 beating 7 wasn't that outlandish, and in 2006 George Mason beating MSU was a big surprise when it happened, but when Mason made the Final Four with the run they had, it didn't make it that bad.

    When Wisconsin failed to make the 2nd weekend:

    2010: #4 UW lost to #12 Cornell lol
    2009: #12 UW lost to #4 Xavier
    2007: #2 UW lost to #7 UNLV lol
    2006: #9 UW lost to #8 Arizona
    2004: #6 UW lost to #3 Pitt
    2002: #8 UW lost to #1 Maryland
    2001: #6 UW lost to #11 Georgia State lol

    Wisconsin had 3 bad losses (Georgia State in 2001, UNLV in 2007 and Cornell in 2010). All 3 teams that beat Wisconsin lost their very next games, so it's not like they were a George Mason type of Cinderella story, either.

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  • Gus Chiggins said... (original post)

    How so? Probably too far over a fanboy's head, which isn't saying much when it is up his ass.

    Because it's less about the number of possessions and more about the points per possession (ie. offensive efficiency). Up tempo teams believe that they are more efficient at a faster pace, teams like UW believe they are more efficient at a slower pace. The style of play does not determine how "good" a team is...being able to impose your style on another team and being more efficient on the offensive end does. There are plenty of teams that push an up tempo style of play but are horse shit and get run out of the gym on a nightly basis.

  • Giant Moose said... (original post)

    First of all, MSU has only failed to make it to the 2nd round 4 times in the past 10 years, not the 5 you claimed. But if you are claiming failing to make the 2nd weekend, then yeah it's 5.

    When MSU failed to make the 2nd weekend:

    2011: #10 MSU lost to #7 UCLA 2007: #9 MSU lost to #1 UNC 2006: #6 MSU lost to #11 George Mason 2004: #7 MSU lost to #10 Nevada 2002: #10 MSU lost to #7 NC State

    MSU was upset twice. In 2004 a 10 beating 7 wasn't that outlandish, and in 2006 George Mason beating MSU was a big surprise when it happened, but when Mason made the Final Four with the run they had, it didn't make it that bad.

    When Wisconsin failed to make the 2nd weekend:

    2010: #4 UW lost to #12 Cornell lol2009: #12 UW lost to #4 Xavier 2007: #2 UW lost to #7 UNLV lol2006: #9 UW lost to #8 Arizona 2004: #6 UW lost to #3 Pitt 2002: #8 UW lost to #1 Maryland 2001: #6 UW lost to #11 Georgia State lol

    Wisconsin had 3 bad losses (Georgia State in 2001, UNLV in 2007 and Cornell in 2010). All 3 teams that beat Wisconsin lost their very next games, so it's not like they were a George Mason type of Cinderella story, either.

    You said the "first weekend", that consists of the first and second rounds. That's why that was the information I posted.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Chitown_Badger 3 years ago

  • Chitown_Badger said... (original post)

    You said the "first weekend", that consists of the first and second rounds. That's why that was the information I posted.

    When MSU loses in the tournament, it's not usually considered a bad loss. When Wisconsin loses in the NCAA tournament, they have a tendency to lose to teams they shouldn't.

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  • Chitown_Badger said... (original post)

    Because it's less about the number of possessions and more about the points per possession (ie. offensive efficiency). Up tempo teams believe that they are more efficient at a faster pace, teams like UW believe they are more efficient at a slower pace. The style of play does not determine how "good" a team is...being able to impose your style on another team and being more efficient on the offensive end does. There are plenty of teams that push an up tempo style of play but are horse shit and get run out of the gym on a nightly basis.

    A slower tempo implies that they are probing the defense, patiently waiting for an offensive opportunity. That is not the case with Wisconsin. They, more or less, kill the shot clock until there are 10 seconds left in order to shorten the game. That isn't slow tempo; it's deliberately turning a 40-minute contest into a 30-minute contest so that actual basketball factors, such as skill, talent and athleticism, play less of a role in who wins the game.