Wednesday, November 01, 2006

UW-Parkside Rangers: No Picnic Basket Snatching On Their Watch

This blog got a chance to take in some College Hoops tonight. It was, in a word, X-treme. UW-Milwaukee, a young team but even so a 3-time defending Horizon League champ, got beaten by Division II UW-Parkside. 77-71 in a game Parkside led throughout. The Rangers' biggest lead was 30-16. This was an extreme zoom shot from this blog's upper deck seat. Still not a bad seat though.
UWM killed itself on the free throw line, an under-reported fact here.
The Panthers are very young, but it could be a long season. This team obviously tried to win the exhibition, falling short and hardly threatening. In the process, it was demonstrated that they had little command of the swing offense, often degenerating into a pickup game atmosphere where players ran into each other and didn't spread the floor.
One bright spot was Marcus Skinner (2nd from the left, above) who scored 17 points and was fairly dominant when he was in the game. Despite not being in foul trouble, Skinner didn't get what this blog would consider an amount of playing time commensurate with his abilities. Skinner had a decided height advantage over the Rangers, and he was using it very effectively. It is possible head coach Rob Jeter didn't want to exploit the height advantage against a Division II school, as the team would not learn as much from this strategy. The problem with that philosophy is that, even in an exhibition setting, it does not look good to one's fan base when you lose to a D-2 school. UWM's recent run of success raised expectations (probably unfairly), but its mid-major status means that sellout crowds aren't the norm, so turning off some fans with this kind of a loss is not a good sales pitch.
That said, this blog is sure that Rob Jeter knows what he's doing, so chances are this was more of an aberration than a sign of things to come. If nothing else, the UWM staff has a lot of game film with which to teach from. No one expected this type of a game from the Panthers, even knowing that the team returned less than 15 percent of its scoring from 2005-2006. The fact that such an inexperienced team would still be expected to blow out Parkside speaks to the respect college basketball fans have for Rob Jeter's program. Hopefully they turn it around, Pun City's got 15 more tickets to use at the Cell this year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does one end up in nosebleed seats to a UWM v. Parkside game?

- Moike

5:09 AM  
Blogger Cooler Brian said...

This can be answered 1 of 2 ways: A) They were my actual seats and I wanted to check them out; the combination of not being too bad and also having signed up for the contest which asks for your seat number kept me there.


B) It's a long, dark road that ends with you sitting in the nosebleed seats at a UWM-Parkside game, and it's really too frightening to go into specifics.

1:18 AM  

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