johnwall1

 Who will win the MVC boys basketball this season? votes

 Tomah 0 votes
0%
 Sparta 0 votes
0%
 Onalaska 0 votes
0%
 Logan 0 votes
0%
 Central 2 votes
100%
 Holmen 0 votes
0%
 Aquinas 0 votes
0%
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Would love to hear from you guys around the MVC as to your thoughts on how this season will play out. Here's my very early take on it:

1. La Crosse Central - I picked this last year too, and they ended up tied for 3/4th place at 8-4. This team, with the state's top player, lost to Holmen and Onalaska twice and Aquinas once last year. I just can't see that happening again, simply too much talent. The key is will coach just turn the talent loose?

Prediction: 11-1

2. Onalaska - They play very hard and have loads of returning experience. Losing Hughes from last year's 2nd place team may really hurt them though, especially will hurt their depth as it will force a rather shallow bench to go even more shallow as one of those kids needs to become a starter. Can they overcome lack of size with their considerable skill? I think most nights they will.

Prediction: 9-3

3. Aquinas - Return a solid nucleus of players from a deep team that finished 8-4 last year. They have shooters all over the court, but a post presence, depth and team defense are all question marks.

Prediction: 8-4

4. Logan - Probably return the deepest team in the league, but that depth is coming from a team that had an awful overall record last season. Logan really needs it's upperclassmen to step up and get on the same page, something I didn't see happening at all last year.

Prediction: 7-5

5. Holmen - coach Blank probably got more out of last year's team than anyone could have imagined. They won the conference with limited talent, but did have a lot of size. This year, they return little talent, and a little size. You know they will play hard and slow teams down, that will get some wins, but I don't expect a special group of Vikings like last season's group.

Prediction: 5-7


6. Sparta - new coach, some returning players, but not a ton to work with

Prediction: 1-11

7. Tomah - this team doesn't return a lot of talent off last year's team. Long season.

Prediction: 1-11
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oldballcoach1
I agree with the order of finish and the predictions will be pretty close. Central is the obvious favorite and have the two best players in the conference. Anytime that happens, it is a huge leg up on anyone else. They do have a very difficult non-conference schedule with games against Kaukauna, Minneapolis De La Sale, and Stevens Point. Not sure they win any of those games, but that should be a good chance to prepare for those difficult tournament games. With them, it comes down to wanting to play defense and rebounding.

The Hughes injury will impact Onalaska and that will cost them a few games. They won't have much for depth and will have to slow the games down to adjust for that. Coach Kowal will always put a good game plan together and will be able to keep the team in games.

Aquinas and Logan are pretty similar with some talent. Something has just been missing for Logan the past few years and it is hard to put a finger on. They just haven't had the success they maybe should be having. Aquinas will love to shoot the 3 and as the old saying goes - "live by the 3 and die by the 3." When the ball is going in, great. But when it's not, I don't see them defending well enough to beat the top teams.

This may be the year Holmen goes below .500. I would guess Coach Blank will have to play some young and in-experienced kids, but he is a top level coach. He will have them competing hard, but they will struggle to score.

Tomah and Sparta - the story will probably stay the same. Sparta with a new coach and a couple of good returners may climb out of the basement, but may only be able to beat Tomah in the conference. It will once again be a long year in Tomah, and maybe a winless conference season is ahead.
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johnwall1
Tonight's games, everyone is playing except for Onalaska. Predictions:

Central over Menomomie in a close game, I don't see any blowout here by the #2 ranked team in D2.
Chippewa Falls over Logan. Logan may be more talented, but I believe they have a lot to figure out in the early part of the season
Aquinas over Wisconsin Rapids. Rapids may be a D1 school, but I look for Aquinas to get the victory
Mauston over Sparta. Sparta will be improved, and to be honest, I don't know much about Mauston, but will still take them to win
BRF over Tomah. I think Tomah is in for a rough season, and BRF is a quality team.
Marshfield over Holmen. See above Tomah comment, same.
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oldballcoach1
Menomonie has the potential to match-up pretty well with Central. Big and strong and the Stanley kid is a Division 1 athlete. Central should win - but it could be a closer game than people expect. Central has very little depth - so foul trouble could be a deciding factor for them in a lot of games.

Chippy got drilled by Sun Prairie over the weekend, but that isn't to much of a surprise. They have some good kids back - so it could be a tight game. A toss up. I will say Chippy by 5.

Don't sleep on Rapids. They are young, but athletic and are pretty well coached. Again, I am saying a toss up with a slight edge to Aquinas as the home team.

Marshfield should handle Holmen. 15 - 20 point win for them.

Mauston will have enough to get by Sparta, but it could be a 10 point game.

BRF should beat Tomah by 20.
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johnwall1
Central pressure wore down Menomonie. Not surprised at outcome, but thought it would have been closer.

Logan surprised me, they were in control from tip. Heard Chip had a number of injured contributors, which may have affected outcome a lot.

Aquinas hammered Rapids, who had just beaten Shawano. Aquinas will be hard to beat if Ancius plays to his potential. No depth, however.

Holmen started a 5'5 freshman due to illness and lack of talent. They'll win some games ugly, but have very little to work with.

Sparta and Tomah were as expected.

Now, Onalaska has games with WS and Chip this weekend. I fully expect a 2-0 start.

All in all, a good start for the top half of the MVC.
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johnwall1
2 weeks into the season, a few observations:

Central is going to be as tough as we thought. The move to a 1-3-1 pressing defense seems to be keeping Kobe engaged.

Logan beat a Chip Falls team that is 0-3, and was blown out by their other opponents, so not sure yet about Logan. Very talented and long.

Onalaska is a pleasant surprise. W/Hughes out, they haven't missed a beat. They sure like to chuck up the 3, and their first 2 opponents are questionable. GET game coming soon will be an indicator of what this team can do.

Aquinas off to a terrific 3-0 start, a couple of cupcake wins, and a dominating 17-pt win against a good Badger Conf team. They've beaten teams in D3, D2 and D1 already, and Chris Ancius seems primed for a huge season.

Holmen only 1 game, lost to Marshfield so hard to gauge. They started a 5'5 Freshman PG.

Tomah looks to really struggle, as predicted. Sparta has had some early success, but against questionable (Richland Center) competition.
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johnwall1
4 weeks in and we know more about the MVC teams:

Central remains undefeated, having taken care of the WVC and Big Rivers teams on their schedule rather easily. Big challenges come up for this team both in MVC play, and out with SPASH, Kaukauna, etc coming up. Chance for the Raiders to show they deserve their #2 ranking

Logan continues to be what we thought....very good at times, and awful (DCE game) at times. They seem to have found a consistent scorer off the bench in Siegel, but need their starters to come to play every night.

Onalaska seems to be feeling the loss of Hughes, now that their schedule has turned up. Losses to GET and PdC are not bad losses, those teams are both undefeated, but tough schedule is coming up at the WBY event and in conference play.

Aquinas early season roll continues, beating good large school Badger Conf teams. Only loss to good Regis team in OT. Aquinas has 5 players that can all really score, but their depth is a big question mark. Looks like this team will be a very tough out in D4, and may make some MVC noise.

Holmen, as we figured, has a very hard time scoring. Playing a mix of seniors and freshmen not a quality recipe for success. Their lone MVC win over Tomah appears to be in jeopardy, as they are rumored to have used an ineligible player in that game. Long season for the Vikings.

Sparta and Tomah are just not good, the rebuilding continues.
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johnwall1
A couple of big games this week. Central at Logan I think will be a very competitive game. I've still got Central, but expect a close one. Onalaska at Aquinas should also be a dandy, if Aquinas has Ancius back from injury I'll take Aquinas in a close game.
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juice2
Ona by 10
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juice2
Great couple of MVC games last Friday! Great season so far. Also really impressed with the Aquinas VR team. The coaches for Aquinas Varsity Reserve really impressed me against the Onalaska competition and Ona VR coach. Slight mismatch.
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juice2
I really like to watch the VR games, who are to be the next wave of coaches in the area. Some of them do amaze me though. For instance, Onalaska's VR coach, he would like to ask him two things - 1. Why yell at officials - Do you realize that VR games are littered with young and old mediocre officials? 2. It looks like your record is very important to you - You do realize that there is not a VR State Championship game?

Also, I took a keen eye to the Westby VR coach who in a game at Ona Luther was getting blown out and quietly sat on the bench but as soon as his kids started playing better and tightened the game - he then got off his chair and started coaching the hell out the game. You got coach that thing start to finish.

Just a few take aways
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johnwall1
My goodness look out for Logan. They beat Central on a buzzer beater....then beat Aquinas in OT, and followed that up 2 days later by pummeling Onalaska. Final score over ONA at +12 doesn't indicate the thorough whipping this game was. It was a physical mismatch from the opening tip. Logan's bigs are much too big/strong for Ona to handle. And Logan's guard (28 pts) far too quick and athletic for any of Ona's guards to handle.

I suspect Logan will have one more lull in their season, they are just now figuring out how to win, but come Regional, although I still favor Central, Logan has to be a considered a contender.

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johnwall1
johnwall1 wrote:
Would love to hear from you guys around the MVC as to your thoughts on how this season will play out. Here's my very early take on it:

1. La Crosse Central - I picked this last year too, and they ended up tied for 3/4th place at 8-4. This team, with the state's top player, lost to Holmen and Onalaska twice and Aquinas once last year. I just can't see that happening again, simply too much talent. The key is will coach just turn the talent loose?

Prediction: 11-1

2. Onalaska - They play very hard and have loads of returning experience. Losing Hughes from last year's 2nd place team may really hurt them though, especially will hurt their depth as it will force a rather shallow bench to go even more shallow as one of those kids needs to become a starter. Can they overcome lack of size with their considerable skill? I think most nights they will.

Prediction: 9-3

3. Aquinas - Return a solid nucleus of players from a deep team that finished 8-4 last year. They have shooters all over the court, but a post presence, depth and team defense are all question marks.

Prediction: 8-4

4. Logan - Probably return the deepest team in the league, but that depth is coming from a team that had an awful overall record last season. Logan really needs it's upperclassmen to step up and get on the same page, something I didn't see happening at all last year.

Prediction: 7-5

5. Holmen - coach Blank probably got more out of last year's team than anyone could have imagined. They won the conference with limited talent, but did have a lot of size. This year, they return little talent, and a little size. You know they will play hard and slow teams down, that will get some wins, but I don't expect a special group of Vikings like last season's group.

Prediction: 5-7


6. Sparta - new coach, some returning players, but not a ton to work with

Prediction: 1-11

7. Tomah - this team doesn't return a lot of talent off last year's team. Long season.

Prediction: 1-11


Another season is over, time to look back at pre-season prediction...not too far off. For a while, I thought I had underestimated Logan, but in the end I had it exactly correct, as I did with Central, Onalaska and Holmen. I overestimated Aquinas a bit, and underestimated Tomah a bit. Here's how it ended:

1. Central - 11-1
2. Onalaska - 9-3
3. Logan - 7-5
4. Aquinas - 6-6
5. Holmen - 5-7
6. Tomah - 4-8
7. Sparta - 0-12

Now it is WIAA time. I think Central advances out of this regional, although I'm unsure if they will beat Hortonville from the FVA conference if they do. I think Aquinas has a chance to make a nice run, if they can get past what on paper looks like a great Melrose team. Since we know we can only get one of our D2 teams through, hoping for Central, or whoever survives plus Aquinas and have 2 teams in Madison.


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