Two weeks ago Gene Steratore made the ‘controversial’ Dez Bryant call that many would say sent the Packers to the NFC Championship, here’s what I thought. Either way Steratore is a decorated referee and a multi-sport official. As the Badgers take on Iowa, a matchup with 160 games between the two teams, the Badgers lead the series by just ONE game. Gene Steratore called the shots. That’s right. Two weeks later Gene flips to his other “day job” and is calling the other Wisconsin team still playing January games.
The Badgers, coming off a tough loss in the armpit of the country and a decent win versus the one-dimensional Cornhuskers (looking at you Pettaway), looked to show their conference dominance against the Top 25 Iowa Hawkeyes. They did. With Traevon out, Keonig is stepped up showing that he’s worthy of leading the Championship hungry Badgers.
In the first half, the Badgers dominated. Leading 35-17 at half. Mostly due to the team’s passing diligence and 3-point shooting. FGs only 36% in the first half, but shooting a sharp 40% from downtown which carried through the entire game.
Yes, tonight was the night of the 3-ball for the Badgers. High percentage shooting all across the board. We learned a little more about the team’s depth as well. Zak Showalter came in during the lineup where we would normally see Jackson and Keonig together. He came in, played Badger ball, and gave us a good look at what he’ll have to offer next year.
Badger Basketball. Shotclock grinding, long-possession, LOW TURNOVER basketball. Badgers tie a team low ONE turnover in this Big Ten matchup and even that turnover was just a shotclock violation. Great to see as we ramp up conference play.
Steratore, relatively quiet tonight, was mentioned only once in a discussion regarding the 7’1″ Iowa Center, Adam Woodbury. Multiple times during this game Woodbury was shown poking Badger players in the eye. Once against Nigel Hayes and again with Frank Kaminsky. He later elbowed Duje Dukan in the head. No fouls called against Woodbury. The commentators mentioned that Steratore should have called foul on those plays, but thought Gene might bring it up to the NCAA for potential disciplinary action.
Overall Steratore is a jack of all trades. He’s sharp, on point, and makes the tough calls. I’m glad to see him officiating Wisconsin sports. Especially when we roll Big Ten rivals 82-50.
Go Big Red.