Milwaukee Splits a Pair of Games in Indiana, Looks to Western Michigan

Well this current four game roady is only three games in, but we still have a chance to manage 2-2. After losing at Marquette we picked up a very close win in Valparaiso, IN we headed off to Indianapolis to face a resurgent Butler team.

The Valpo game was a tough battle, with Valpo's best showing Milwaukee why the Crusaders are a contender again in the Horizon League. Milwaukee started out slow, but finished strong and made some key shots (it was almost the same style of Butler game, only we were on the Butler end... but that is discussed below).

Tony Meier led our attack with 17pts on (3-5 from 3pt). Kaylon Williams continued his near-average triple double lines with a 10pts, 9rbs, 7ast night. And James Haarsma added 10. Overall, it was a good game to show our resilience and get back into games and hold on, but then there was Butler...

At Hinkle. we started out hot and managed a to stay well ahead (5-8 points) until the end. But what seemed like a sure thing for our 4th conference win.Unfortunately, we let Butler continue to creep back and eventually they grabbed the lead on a Chase Stigall three pointer with just 42 seconds left and we, who had fought so hard all game, ended up on the losing end. 54-50 was the final.... The one that got away.

You'll always have a few of those, I guess. But this team? I thought for sure we'd prevent a Butler come-back.

You can say what you want about making free throws, but this team has just been shooting the rock pretty bad in general. Until we get consistently hot, we can be the best in League.

If Ja'Rob McCallum came back that would help, but we have some great shooters who are just not getting the best open looks or aren't shooting anywhere near as good as they normally do (a couple of threes by Evan or Paris and we hold on to the Butler game.. a couple of  3's in the MU game- and we could have been right there with the Eagles).

The bottom line is that our defense is playing championship worthy. Our offense is being run correctly and people are getting shots, but until those shots start to fall a lot more... our chances to be great fall as well.

Go can win with good defense, but you have to have an above-average offense to match it. Point margins are what ultimately decide games- not the amount of points your opponent scores. f you play enough 2 point games, you're going to have a lot of losses that coulda/woulda/shoulda been wins.

We have the shooters. And they will have dozens and dozens of additional chances to prove they can change games (or in the case of Butler hold on to games). We won a games and lost one. Not bad for the road, but not what we wanted of course.

On to Kalamazoo and our final game in this early road trip to play the Western Michigan Broncos of the MAC Conference. Western Michigan (5-8), have played some tough teams (their 8 losses included #5 Duke and #19 Gonzaga).

I don't buy that this game is a "trap" game or unimportant because we should only be focused on conference now that any pipe dream of an at-large bid resume have evaporated. Yes, it may be true that this game at WMU doesn't mean much in the conference standings.

But every win builds confidence, and that's something you need to sustain winning streaks and maintain the mentality that no one can beat you. The Green Bay Packers are currently playing mostly 2nd string key positions players against Detroit in a similar ("non-essential" win). Maybe they can afford to do that.. but they started their season 14-0-- we didn't.

Let's get to 11-5 and come home to grab some more W's.