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Marquette University men's basketball. C+. Marquette has pretty much been exposed this last week. First the loss Thursday at Louisville, then they go to UConn and get their lack of an inside game exploited. At the beginning of the season it seemed that Marquette could go as far as their three talented guards could take them, like when Villanova made that run the other year with Lowry, Foye, and someone else. But Crean has not recruited a lot of quality at the inside positions since he's been at Marquette and it is starting to show. Now that Dominic James is game to game with an injured wrist and the Warriors are not hitting from outside on a consistent anymore, more opponents are looking to exploit those inside deficiencies. Lazar Haywood (forward, best post threat) is a good Alondo Tucker tweener type player but he's only going to be so effective when they have to play teams like Georgetown or Louisville. AP voters have picked up on this too and dropped Marquette to #21 in the latest poll. If the guards don't suddenly get hot or if one of the interior guys like Ousmane Barro doesn't develop a more effective game they might start dropping a lot of games in the Big East.
University of Wisconsin men's basketball. B+ 'Sconsin still rolling haven't lost a game since falling to Marquette at home in December. A 6-0 start to the Big Ten schedule is a pretty nice cushion. True tests coming up are a trip to Purdue this Saturday and a visit from Indiana and Eric Gordon at the Kohl Center on the 31st. Marcus Landry continues to develop his game but I am concerned that Brian Butch seems to be in danger of regressing. He doesn't seem to be aggresivley looking for his game like in the beginning of the season. Concerning because teams that go far during tournament time always have that second or third option when the main guy isn't producing and Butch has to fill that role for this team.
Packers. A+ It's taken me until yesterday really to get over Sunday's loss. Funny too how the general public in Wisconsin (at least Milwaukee) reacted to it. From the media angle there was the obligatory post game wrap-up and coverage on the news the morning after but that was it. Amongst my friends who are Packer fans it was like an unspoken understanding that there was no real desire or need to discuss what happened. What a great season though. Sure they laid a giant turd at home in the NFC championship game but I prefer to look at this from a seasonal perspective rather than just the last game played. Who would have thought at the beginning of this season that the Pack would be one game away from playing in another Super Bowl. Wisconsin was pretty much disgusted in September with how Randy Moss got away and the job performance of Ted Thompson. We expected nothing, less than nothing. We didn't care if it was Favre's last year or not. All it seemed we had to look forward to was a seriouly unproven Aaron Rodgers and more high draft picks for Thompson to squander on players like Ahmad Carrol. So on the season as a whole I gotta give them the highest grade as this year's most overachieving team.
Bucks. D+ Something positive for the Bucks this week? The play of Andrew Bogut continues to improve. He's shooting 61.1% from the field since the beginning of January good for second best in the leauge. The Bucks though continue to dwell in deep in the conference standings at the 11 spot, 4-6 in their last 10. They just got pasted by the Suns Tuesday when Nash posted his season high of 37 (the Bucks are always good for individual player to get their season and career highs on, for example Karl Malone, David Robinson, and I think Vince Carter). Anyway since I couldn't think of another way to work this link in, I think this guy's intelligence is comparable to Larry Harris.
Brewers. C+ Brewers just signed a 32-year old switch hitting infielder who's upside is supposed to be that he is really versatile. Yeeaah. They have also managed to avoid arbitration with one of their bullpen anchors Chris Capuano. Dave Bush and J. J. Hardy left to sign. So the Crew is doing a pretty good job of keeping their core together and shoring up a couple of weaknesses just like Doug Melvin claimed the strategy was.