Welcome to “Kulning the Herd,” our weekly recap and preview of everything going on with the Milwaukee Bucks’ G-League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. What is kulning exactly? It’s an old Scandinavian herding call/song form. Take a listen to a small sample here.
The Wisconsin Herd are officially part of the professional basketball lexicon and they burst onto the scene with one of the best ways to win a game in all of sports: a buzzer beating three-pointer. They followed that Hollywood-esque premiere by taking two of their next three games to start the season 3-1. The Herd find themselves tied with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for second place in the Central Division.
Let’s dive a little deeper into how the Herd find themselves two games over .500 after the first week.
Monday, November 6th @ Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets)
As noted above, the Herd won their first ever game, 115-113, on a buzzer beating three-pointer from Xavier Munford. The game winning shot put an exclamation point on a furious fourth quarter comeback that saw the Herd eviscerate a 13-point deficit heading into the final quarter.
Munford lead the Herd in scoring and assists, tallying 25 and nine. X’s scoring total was followed closely by James Young (22 points) and Joel Bolomboy (21 points), Bolomboy added a team high nine rebounds as well. Gary Payton II was MIA due to him taking over Greg Monroe’s vacant roster spot with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Wednesday, November 8th @ Salt Lake City Stars (Utah Jazz)
Head Coach, Jordan Brady, lead the Herd to a 103-97 victory over his former club. The Herd raced out to a 16-point halftime lead over the Stars despite both two-way contract players (Payton II and Bolomboy) on Milwaukee’s roster. Unfortunately, that lead began to erode as the second half went on. The Herd trailed for a moment late in the fourth, but clutch defense and enough made free throws, squashed a Salt Lake City comeback.
Double-double for Dunigan!! Big Mike racked up 24 points & 10 rebounds in the 103-97 W vs. Salt Lake. pic.twitter.com/s7y6HqaAg4— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) November 9, 2017
Former Farragut Academy standout, Michael Dunigan, posted his first double-double of the season with 24 points and 10 rebounds, all of which came off the defensive glass. Game 1’s hero, Xavier Munford, lead the Herd in scoring again, this time registering 26 points on the night.
Friday, November 10th @ Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors)
The Herd recorded their first ever loss in franchise history, dropping their contest in Monterey Bay, 111-82. GPII returned to make his Herd debut and lead the team in scoring with 29 points, including this fast break slam:
Big slam by Gary Payton II, but we've got work to do in the 2nd half, Herd fans! pic.twitter.com/iNRd6muY1m— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) November 11, 2017
Xaveir Munford was the only other member of the Herd to reach double figures in scoring as he recorded 18 points on the night. The Warriors converted on 54 percent of their field goals attempts as they replicated their parent franchise on Friday night.
Saturday, November 11th @ Reno Bighorns (Sacramento Kings)
Munford capped off his incredible start to the season by dropping a season high 31 points as the Herd held on against the Bighorns, 106-102. In the “Sons to All-Star point guards” battle, GPII finished with an 11/7/3 line while David Stockton (son of John) recorded a 17/3/4 stat line. The two combined to go 1/9 from three-point range, so it was a bit of an underwhelming night for the two all things considered.
The Herd closed out their four game road trip with a great win 24 hours after getting run off the court. The Herd are now stampeding home to Wisconsin to open up their home schedule.
Just two games lie in wake for the Herd this week and both of them are home games. Well, the games will be played in Milwaukee at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and not in Oshkosh, but a home away from home nonetheless! The games can be heard on 99.1FM in Oshkosh and 95.3FM in the Fox Cities and seen on Facebook Live. So let’s dive into this week’s Herd action.
Friday, November 17th vs. Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls)
The Herd home opener will take place at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, and if you are in the Milwaukee area, you can come on down to Fourth Street and see the affiliate squad live and in person. The Bulls are coming off a week that saw them go 1-2, with all three game being decided by seven points or less. Former Wisconsin Badger, Duje Dukan, is on the Windy City roster and will return to the Dairy State. The Herd are rolling and it is their first game in Wisconsin, so I think they win big over the Bulls.
Saturday, November 18th vs. Maine Red Claws (Boston Celtics)
This match-up will also be played at the Bradley Center, however, you will not be able to catch it in person. The Red Claws have darted out to a 3-0 start, but Saturday night in Milwaukee they will go back to New England with an L. The Herd sweep their “home” weekend series and show no signs of letting up.
Last week, I predicted the Herd would go 1-3 on their road trip, and boy am I glad they proved me wrong there. This week I am more optimistic as the team opens up their home schedule and gets more time to practice and work out the bugs. The Herd will go 2-0 next week and you can write that down in pen.
Any predictions of your own? General comments or questions about the Herd, or even the G-League? Share them in the comments below and stop by next week as we recap the games above and look forward to week number three of the Herd’s inaugural season.