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MSU at Wisconsin pregame dish: Mike Bruesewitz and ‘The curly top guy’ effect

MADISON, Wis. — Not every team has one, but every fan base knows one — that guy who annoys the heck out of you, unless he’s on your team. And often, he annoys your team, too.

It can be his demeanor, his look, his style of play. Usually it’s a combination. And he’s almost always irritatingly good.

For some, Ohio State’s Aaron Craft might be that player. Wisconsin sometimes seemingly has a roster full of them.

This year, perhaps more than ever, senior forward Mike Bruesewitz is that guy for the Badgers — a floppy-haired carrot-top with a face, that when he’s beating your team, just irks every fiber of your being.

(Fellow senior Jared Berggren, Wisconsin’s leading scorer, might be this guy for some.)

Bruesewitz is only averaging 7.4 and 5.1 rebounds. But he’s a player that does a little bit of everything, including hit one 3-pointer in each of this last six games, usually seemingly when it hurts most.

“It’s funny. I mean, I think he got under (the skin of) Indiana, (but) he really doesn’t get under mine,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Monday, dubbing Bruesewitz “the curly top guy,” on the eve of tonight’s game against the Badgers. “I kind of like the way he plays because he’s not a dirty player. He plays hard but he can do a lot of things; that’s what I like about him. He can put the ball on the floor, he can make a post pass, he can run the court, he can get a few rebounds, he’s got energy. He’s shooting the ball better from all areas.

“You know, I don’t want to make him out to be Superman but I really like the way he plays and I think in that system, he’s kind of the perfect guy. He’s got a demeanor about him where he’s semi happy-go-lucky within that to. For me, he’s fun to watch play. I hope I don’t enjoy it as much (Tuesday) night.”

The energy, the look, the demeanor — it’ll probably annoy Izzo tonight, too.

For a while, Bruesewitz lost the red hair, going with the shaved head. If I were his coach, I’d never let him do lose the mop again. Those red locks have to be worth a couple points a game, simply in terms of an opponent wanting to choke him more than they would otherwise.

I’ve often thought part of the reason Wisconsin wins — and Iowa used to under Tom Davis — is how frustrating they are to play against, beyond being good players.

And this seems to be more than an outsider’s perspective, because so many opponents are so frequently rattled by these guys.

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8 Responses to MSU at Wisconsin pregame dish: Mike Bruesewitz and ‘The curly top guy’ effect

  1. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    I am going to take a big picture view here, we are perfectly capable of beating this team on the road. And I think we are in pretty good shape. If we steal a road game this week than hold serve against Illinois and Minnesota at home we are 8-2 and in prime position. That is the formula hold serve at home and split on the road. This team as it proved against Kansas can win away from home against top competition once it dials in for fourty minutes. So in a way this week is not the high pressure season on the line week it would have been if we had not beaten Ohio State. The fact is that even at 7-3 after Minn we are very much alive around the turn for the back nine and we have a chance to do better than that.
    All in all I think there is a better chance of Izzo stealing a game this week than Gannett doubling your salary (IMHO)

    • avatar AAsparty says:

      I predict 18-20 MSU fouls tonight, can’t wait to see all the flops in Badgerland, it’ll look like the corner of 33rd and 3rd…

  2. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    This MSU team is all about effort, consistent defense and shooting. When the shots are falling and the defense solid for 40 minutes they are unbeatable. The seven man rotation has enough athleticism, speed, brute strength, and skills to play on par with anybody I’ve seen this year. There is more parity amongst the top 30 teams than in recent years. Hero to bum and back to hero all in the space of 40 minutes. Agree with 81, the chance to grab the ring again is there. Let’s hope this is like a few years ago when a young MSU team surprised the B1G and won it going away.

  3. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Have always wondered how Bo’s boys always manage to be among the leaders in scoring defense, FG %, 3 pt defense, turnover margin, rebounding, and overall pain in the wazoo. The pain in the wazoo part is inspired by their coach who definitely is one. I know it is in part the style of play on offense, but they get it done with guys I would not consider top tier or even near top. With a few exceptions they are solid but not exceptional. The carrot top is a prime example. Not great at anything just solid. A glue guy. A team that is a whole bottle of glue. The image of Wisconsin is a Jordan Taylor surrounded by a bunch of big lumbering guys from HS who turn into deadeye 3 pt shooters who on defense present an impenetrable wall. Based on their talent level they don’t deserve to be ranked. They’re probably about number 60 in that regard.

  4. avatar AtlSpartan says:

    I think Wisconsin is better than what everyone imagines. They aren’t as deadly from three as in other years, but then again they always seem to make big shots against us. What they have relied on in previous years, as Graham pointed out, was the ability to frustrate the other team. They did it to Raymar, did it to Summers, did it to a long list of Spartans that have gone through the Kohl Center. This years Spartan squad will be much more difficult to frustrate. We need to hit the boards hard tonight. We can get a bunch of 2nd chance garbage buckets and they really don’t run out that well, so we can send 4 to the boards.

  5. avatar 79 Spartan says:

    An astute point from Graham… our test will be how we perserver when they are clutching, grapping and holding with two hands and aren’t called for the foul and we get a couple of charges and touch fouls throughout the game.

    Plus I see a few travelling calls on us (hear that Nixer?) and maybe even a goaltending call.

    But I think we can handle it – 62-59 MSU with free throws making the difference.

  6. avatar MAB says:

    I’m hoping that the emergence of Payne as a scoring threat prevents some of the long scoring lulls that have plagued this team. The team looked impressive when it played inside out against OSU and I’m hoping that this becomes the offensive focus going forward.

  7. avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

    MSU held carrot top to 10 pts and 7 boards, not great, not horrible

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