The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 10
January 14 – Wisconsin vs Maryland
I got off work the same time as normal, around 3 ish. I ran home really quick and then had to head off to a doctor’s appointment at 4 p.m. I hate going to the doctor’s like everyone else. I especially hate going to the doctor’s when they don’t call you into the back to see you until literally 5 p.m. So yes, the wait was an entire hour.…… We didn’t leave until like 5:35. After the appointment the wife and I picked up the little ones from her parents, we stopped by Royal Farms for gas and an 8 piece of chicken, mac and cheese and western fries with cheese and then finally we went home. Luckily the game was not until 8:30.
I left my house at 6:30 to head to College park. I picked up my credential and parking pass from the hotel on campus and zig-zagged through the back of campus to the garage, which is roughly a half mile from the arena. Not a big issue. I don’t mind walking. It was just tough because of the ice everywhere. I walked like a 75 year old with two replaced hips, just to make sure I didn’t eat it. Being a 27 year old that’s had 3 knee surgeries, 2 slipped discs in my back, 2 kids and I’ve been married for almost 8 years…… I feel like a 75 year old anyway.
The game started out very bad for the Badgers of Wisconsin. Maryland dominated the first half. They were more aggressive on offense and defense. They held Wisconsin to just 15 points and they were 0-8 from three. Only three players scored. Ethan Happ had 6, Brad Davison had 5 and D’mitrik Trice had 4. For Maryland Bruno Fernando had success in the paint. When he was doubled he would find the open man. He has vastly improved his patience in the post since last season. He still has some moments, but this game was solid. Eric Ayala had a solid half with 8 points and a couple of three-pointers. Jalen Smith had an active 7 points and 5 rebounds. Good start for Maryland as they built a 33-15 halftime lead.
The second half was much of the same early. Maryland went up by as much as 21 points. Like I said…. it was early. Then came the onslaught of three-pointers from Wisconsin. Wisconsin made eleven in the second half. Trice made three, Davison made two and Nate “Big Shot-Big Balls” Reuvers made four. Trice and Reuvers were a nightmare for Maryland in the pick and roll. Fernando was out with foul trouble for majority of the second half and Maryland didn’t have an answer on defense for the pick and pop combo. On offense Maryland stopped playing inside and out without Bruno. They ended up just scoring a ton from the free throw line. Wisconsin actually took the lead late 60-59 with two minutes left. They completed the comeback. It seemed like Maryland would just flounder away and just lose it totally in the end. They went on about a ten minute span without a made field goal in the second half. Then with a flair for the dramatic Anthony Cowan made a deep three-pointer with under a minute left to take the lead back 62-60. Maryland would go on to win 64-60.
Cowan would finish with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists. He also had five turnovers. Sometimes he is just a little wild in the lane. For Wisconsin, “Big Shot-Big Balls” Reuvers had 18 points, seven rebounds. He had two wide-open shots from deep in the last couple of possessions to take the lead but they just didn’t fall. Reuvers was playing out of his mind. I enjoyed watching him hype himself up he drain three after three.
SIDE NOTE – After the press conference, I made the long icy trek back to the garage to my vehicle. I listened to some Sirius XM radio on the way home. As I approached my house, Margaritaville by Jimmy was playing. I then proceeded to eat some fried chicken and cheese fries before going to bed a 12:45 a.m. Amazingly, it was a very good decision. My stomach felt fine at 5:45 the next morning.