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What's Happened To Boys Basketball In Central Wisconsin?

by Tom King

With the start of the high school boys basketball tournament tonight in Divisions 2,3,4,& 5 it may be a good time to look at the health of the sport here in Central Wisconsin. If you look at the state wide rankings you are hard pressed to find any local teams mentioned. Stevens Point is loaded with talent and are ranked 5th in D-1. Division 4 has Auburndale, Abbotsford and Pacelli in the Top 10...but that's it. Now I'm not one to put too much stock in the state poll. Most of the people voting in the poll havent even seen most of the teams play...but it does give you a snapshot about what the rest of the state thinks about the quality of hoops being played here. It wasnt too long ago that Central Wisconsin was, at least, a little more representative. What's going on? Who knows...some kids are gravitating to other sports...burn out factor from playing year round for others...just one of those cycles where there are not alot of stand out players. Style of play also factors into it. Many coaches, realizing that they may not have the talent to play an uptempo brand of basketball will slow things down. Think Dick Bennett or early Bo Ryan ball. Take the air out on offense...play zone on defense and keep the score down...in other words boring. Kids dont want to play that style and fans don't want to watch that style. I understand the coaches perspective...I do...you want to develop players and still win games. I'm not sure that players are developing as much as we'd like playing the slow-down brand of hoops...and until they do Central Wisconsin will continue to be ignored by the rest of the state.

The boys basketball playoffs begin tonight...i'll be at the Wausau East gym as they host Lakeland in a D-2 opener. The Lumberjacks beat the Thunderbirds earlier this season but its win or go home tonight.

The high school hockey tournament continues tonight and among the marquee matchups Stevens Point plays at Wausau West. The Central Wisconsin Storm girls team also has a home game at Greenheck against Point/Rapids.

The Badgers face Indiana tonight...you can hear the game on WSAU with the pre-game show at 7pm

The Pointer womens basketball team begins WIAC Tournament play hosting Platteville. They need to win this tournament to get into the NCAA D-3 tournament..

The Bucks beat the 76ers by 20 last night. OJ Mayo hit 7 3 pointers in the win and scored 25 points.

Are you watching True Detective yet? What are you waiting for. if you only watch one new show this year...make it this one.

Songs of The Day   (from my I-pod)

Molina-Creedence Clearwater Revival (1972) a single from the Pedulum album. It sounds simple but listen to the bass line and the drumming. CCR had one of the best rock rythmn sections ever in Stu Cook and Doug Clifford...they dont get nearly enough credit.

Molly-O-Steve Earle (2011) a tune from his album "I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive which was produced by the awesome T-Bone Burnett. A new song that sounds 100 years old