Anyway, here it is…the Phil Dawson Blog-Cast Experience…take a trip with me through the ups and downs of the sports landscape…I’ll bring you thoughts on “our” teams, some off the cuff topics that nobody else touches, that I’m a fan of (I Will talk MMA on here)..and a variety
of the best from the web, plus- interviews in and outside of the sports world…where everything important in your life is concerned.
It will be a long and hopefully strange trip. Let’s do this thang……
Phil Dawson the morning sports anchor for News/Talk 1310 WIBA and The Big 1070. He came to WIBA in 2006 to head up the Rapid Traffic Center. He is a Madison native who attended Verona Area High School before studying broadcasting at Winona State Universtiy, where he was sports director at KQAL for two years and part of the 2004 National Broadcasting Society chapter of the year. He also was the sports director of ESPN Radio in La Crosse for two years before making it back home. Phil also does play-by-play for high school football, is the back up voice for Wisconsin Badger Basketball, and is the in-house contest and game host at the Kohl Center, and if there is one man that can challenge Mike Heller as a Wisconsin Sports homer...that'd be Phil.
Outside of watching sports on tv, Phil enjoys putting down your favorite band. Playing video games for hours on end, and finding new places to throw-down on some food. He lifts, but only his chest and biceps, plus, you don't want him on your City League Hoops Team....BALL HOG!!! He is a certified rib-tasting judge, pig wreslter, and has an affinty towards Erin Andrews.
It felt like a Twilight Zone episode. There I was, doing the Lawton and Cates (gotta throw a sponsor mention) postgame show from the Kohl Center after Wisconsin had just lost to Virginia, and I’m taking phone calls, and all anyone wanted to complain about was the guard play.
Four out of the five calls that got on the air, each complaining about how the combination of Trae Jackson and George Marshall really didn’t do all that well, and that it was a real let down.
I felt lost, "No, No, No!!!" I was stunned. For a multitude of reasons, but the biggest being that those guards were a known-unknown, if you will.
Of course the guard play between those two is going to be shaky. Of course there are going to be bad decisions, missed opportunities, poor execution, and some flat out shake your head moments. They are in new roles this year. Believe me, the Wisconsin coaching staff knows the play will be up and down all year long…and I thought we, as fans, knew this too.
Jordan Flippin’ Taylor finished his career at Wisconsin as the ALL TIME leader in NCAA History in assist-turnover ratio. He didn’t make mistakes, it was shocking when he did. We got comfortable watching that the last 3 years, and in particular his last two, where mistakes were so few and far between it would make you look around the room saying, “did that just happen? Did Taylor really throw it away?”…that’s how good he was. Bo Ryan called what Taylor did here like fine wine, it will grow increasingly appreciated with time, and folks, that time is right now. Understand this please. (If you do…skip to the part about the Senior-Trio)
Understand this too…the guy who was supposed to help fill the gap is gone too. Josh Gasser would have been that tempo settling guard this team needs right now, but they don’t have him. It would be great if they did, but they don’t, so you move on.
Jackson and Marshall are not the issue, they are two young players learning and experiencing on the job and there will be growing pains, so know it, understand it, hope they learn from it, and blossom before our eyes. Expect the roller coaster with these two.
MEANWHILE – While the Coaching staff I’m sure can live with the mistakes that are going to happen with the young guards, the experienced Senior Trio front court needs to start delivering. Ryan Evans is a great story, and a true example of how Bo Ryan develops players. Ryan was at points frightening to watch as a younger player. I distinctly remember hoping he wouldn’t put the ball on the floor because it would lead to something bad, but that’s changed. Evan’s oozes confidence and know-how in the game of basketball, but he isn’t the best when it comes to making everyone around him better, and they need him to be that way, and for him it starts with defense and rebounding. Watching this year though so far, it seems he believes it starts on the offensive end. Ryan, you’ll get your points, don’t worry, but by helping everyone else, it will come even easier.
On the flip side, Jared Berggren, somehow needs to develop that aggressive streak. I called the game against Creighton and for a 7-8 minute stretch he was the best player on the floor, and that included McDermott. I don’t know how he can get it, but it needs to happen. Last night they needed toughness, and he just didn’t provide it. Toughness is not a stat, but rebounds are a toughness indicator, and he had two boards vs UVA. Rebounds are a desire stat, do you desire the basketball?? Desire, mixed with opportunity…it’s why Ben Brust leads the B1G in rebounding. He is ripping the ball away from his own teammates he wants it so much. Why doesn’t Jared?? That probably isn’t fair, because he does…but it has to come from within, a fight, a hunger, a desire, and as Senior, as a big-man, he can’t wait for the game to come to him. Initiate physicality, get mean!
And of course, the curious case of Mike Bruesewitz. It’s difficult to put into words the variety of ways Mike does help the team. It’s not one area, but we know he has the toughness, but numbers probably need to start matching. He played well vs Arkansas, a team that uses a trapping full court D, but vs UVA he was rendered somewhat useless on the offense end. He didn’t stick jumpers, he forced post shots, and whether it’s the guards opening things up for him, him just knocking down shots, he needs to find that offensive comfort zone…what is he going to provide on offense? Because, as soon as Sam Dekker starts figuring out the defense side of the ball, and he will, Sam will be cutting into those minutes.
The Senior Trio has to provide leadership. They have to provide consistency, they have to help those guards be better, by playing better. The guards will get better with time, but it’s something the Senior Trio doesn’t have, so they need to be better now.