Illini-Badgers Press Row Exchange


By Paul M. Banks and David K.

(PMB) I can’t wait to hear Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan get angry and go off on somebody in post-game. Is it me or does Illinois coach Bruce Weber sound like the squeaky voice teen from The Simpsons?

(DK) If the Badgers drop their 7th straight, I’m setting the odds of a Bo Blow-up at 3-2.  If I break-out into laughter during Weber’s post-game, it will be because of the Paul M. Banks impression of Weber, complete with the dead-on squeaky voice.

(PMB) Thanks man, I only lampoon those I love. The Badgers’ style of play is the reason people around the country think Big Ten basketball is slow-paced with final scores in the 50s for every game. To their credit, they do use “stallball” to reach the conference tourney finals pretty much every year.

(DK) Yeah, except this year, they can’t hit open shots which will land them a first round home game in the NIT- apparently both an invitational and tournament…???  By the way, Badgers are favored by four somehow.

(PMB) The oddsmakers in Vegas must be tripping on their own desert peyote. (With the tie-dyed “Grateful Red” student section right below, I had to make a psychedelic drug reference) What exactly is the difference between an invitational and tournament?

(DK) No idea… Your boy Steve Lavin is doing the game with Brent Musberger for ESPN without Erin Andrews. (That’s just a good excuse for you to put up an EA pic)  I’m really glad I’m not watching this game on the tube because then I would have to hear for the 57th time this season how “Dr.” Chester Frazier wants to be a coach after he’s done playing hoops.

(PMB) Well “Dr. Frazier” will have to do something after all the years he spent studying in medical school. There’s always a good reason to post an Erin Andrews picture, and we never need an excuse to mention my BFF Lav. I can’t believe we haven’t made a joke about Trent Meacham yet, the worst good player (or best awful player) in Big Ten history. But did you know he’s only committed four turnovers in 267 minutes of conference play?

(DK) Jason Bohannon has hit three 3’s already.  YOU’VE GOT TO GET A HAND UP ON BOHANNON!!!  Trent Meacham, not so much… just 4 of 25 in his last six games since knocking down 7 against Indiana.  Although I’m pretty sure I could drop 7 triples on the Hoosiers this year.  Badgers up 10… ruh roh!

(PMB) Yeah I’ve lost Illinois swagger here. Meacham’s great!….against teams that play no defense. I would make fun of Marcus Landry’s Kareem style goggles, but right now my team has their own issues.

(DK) You gotta love the rec-specs.  J-Bo just hit his fifth three of the first half, partially because Demetri McCamey is excelling at his typical half-hearted defensive effort (or lack thereof).  If Cames tried as hard on defense as he does at chucking up threes, he could actually be a good player.  I hope you get to hear Bo refer to someone as playing “like a man” tonight.

(PMB) Who are Bo’s “men,” the big slow white outside shooters (Mike Wilkinson, Andy Kowske, Brian Butch, Joe Krabbenhoft et al) that he LOVES to recruit?

(DK) Don’t forget about Greg Stiemsma.  Looks like the Badgers are going to get one in the “left hand column.”  (That’s another Bo-ism.)

(PMB) Illinois shooting 34% from the field and 11% from three will do that. I’m sure Weber will repeat the most tired of all sports clichés “don’t get too low after the losses, or too high after the wins, keep things even.” You were right about Mike Davis living and dying by the baseline jumper!

(DK) Don’t doubt my scouting reports.  That’s what happens when I’ve watched 160 college hoops games already this season.  I’ve been disappointed in what Alex Legion has, or actually has not contributed to the Illini this season.  I thought he would be more of an impact scorer, but still seems a little lost on the floor too often.

(PMB) If Illinois’ defense continues to be this awful, then the media covering Illinois might have to start talking about Michael Jordan’s kid playing at UI again- even though he never plays more than 10 minutes a game. Anybody here with NBA Draft potential? Could any underclassmen show up in a mock draft down the line?

(DK) I think Leuer has the most pro potential.  He’s 6-10, can shoot from the outside, put the ball on the floor, and has a nice set of moves on the block.  He will need to get stronger- which he definitely already has over his year and a half at Wisconsin.

McCamey and Davis are potential second round picks if they continue to develop.  Illini are hanging around.  Hey, did you hear Frazier wants to be a coach after he’s done playing?

(PMB) Did you hear that Michael Jordan’s son plays at UI? That Alex Legion de-commited from Michigan twice before transferring to Kentucky and then to Illinois?

(DK) So Legion pulled an Eric Gordon huh? (Insert Basketball Judas reference)  Illinois has the same problem the Badgers have had as of late.  If they are not hitting outside shots, they really don’t have anyone who can break you down off-the-dribble and attack the hoop.

(PMB) They lack a real go-to-guy; someone who can carry them, and now teams have figured out how to guard the Illini.

(DK) Yeah, if McCamey isn’t on fire, the Illini are very beatable.  Mike Tisdale just fouled out and was a complete non-factor tonight.  That doesn’t help Illinois either.

(PMB) Like you might have heard once or twice or three-thousand times, Tisdale is on a 6,000 calorie a day diet. Sometimes when I look around in a room full of sports writers, I think they share his dining habits. Speaking of unsightly, that’s how I feel about the Illini deficit. Given that the team you cover is dominating tonight, I’ll let you have the last word.

(DK) First of all, the Badgers aren’t “my” team.  Since I graduated from Marquette, they will always have my heart.  I have grown to appreciate and respect the Badgers, but will NEVER refer to them as “my” team.  Badgers win 63-50.  That’s three straight lackluster performances from YOUR boys.  Time to get a little worried…

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  1. Yes, I am worried. very. I’m sure Schmidtty is too

  2. Hey, I’m looking to purchase some Real Gear cuz I’m a Real Fan. Any idea where I might go? Where does Home Court Advantage start?

  3. Oh and the mere mention of the Badgers being David’s team made me throw up in my mouth a little

  4. paulmbanks says

    Great! then you can help suuport the site (and ESPN) by purchasing some!

  5. Peter Christian says

    Badgers didn’t look terrible. I’m shocked. Illinois on the other hand…

  6. The Statue of Harold Baines says


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