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 officially get under way this week as they kick off their affiliation existence with four consecutive road games. Before we dive in to the schedule, let’s recap the busy off-season the Oshkosh-based team has had leading up to their first game.
The Herd named Jordan Brady their first official head coach back in early-August. The 34 year old has had a nomadic start to his coaching career with consecutive one season D-League stops in Des Moines, Iowa, Bakersfield, California, Los Angeles, California, Boise, Idaho, and finally Salt Lake City, Utah. Do moving companies have punch cards where a certain number of moves earns you a free move? Brady has certainly been a friend to the moving companies, but hopefully he can throw down some roots in Oshkosh and stay with the Herd for more than one season. Such is life as a coach.
The Herd will be playing their home games in Menominee Nation Arena, however, the new arena has experienced some delays to its incredibly tight construction schedule. The Herd will play their first three games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee before making the permanent jump to Oshkosh on December 1st.
Speaking of BMO Harris, the bank will continue its sponsorship within the Milwaukee Bucks organization by plastering their logo on the Herd’s jerseys.
I am typically not a fan of the player name being under the number, but with the massive G-League logo taking up the shoulder blade real estate I guess there is no other choice. The stitching on the nameplates really stick out though.
The Herd finalized their roster on Thursday and their are some familiar names and faces among the list of 12. Two-way contract holders, Gary Payton II and Joel Bolomboy, are obviously among those making the final cut. The list is also comprised of Bucks Summer League player, JeQuan Lewis, and Fan Fest open scrimmage player, Xavier Munford. James Young finds himself on the roster after signing a training camp deal with the Bucks two months ago.
Looking ahead to the Herd’s opening week of games, we will see the team on the road for the entire week. The four games can be listened to on 99.1FM in Oshkosh and 95.3FM in the Fox Cities. Only Herd home games will be televised locally, however, every Herd game will be available for your viewing pleasure on Facebook Live. So let’s dive into this week’s Herd action.
Monday, November 6th @ Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets)
The Vipers are coming off an opening season loss to the Oklahoma City Blue (Oklahoma City Thunder) and will be looking to sink their teeth into the doe-eyed Herd. Opening game jitters probably get the best of the Herd and they drop this one.
Wednesday, November 8th @ Salt Lake City Stars (Utah Jazz)
Coach Brady takes on his former club as the Stars got waxed by the Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs) by 43 points in the opener. Yes, a 43 point blowout to begin the year. I think the Herd will go into SLC and come out with their first G-League victory. Former Buck cult hero, Nate Wolters, is on the Stars roster.
Friday, November 10th @ Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors)
The Warriors got off to a 1-1 start to their season knocking off the Agua Caliente Clippers (Los Angeles Clippers) in the opener and then dropping a close one to the South Bay Lakers (Los Angeles Lakers). I got the Herd coming up short in this one based solely on the Warriors having the coolest G-League logo.
Saturday, November 11th @ Reno Bighorns (Sacramento Kings)
The Bighorns feature former Kentucky great, Aaron Harrison, as well as the spawn of John Stockton, David Stockton. The point guard match-up between the sons of All-Star point guards, GPII and Stockton, will be the highlight here. With this being the end of a long road trip on top of a back-to-back, I have the Herd faltering late in this one.
According to my calculations, the Herd will start their campaign with a 1-3 record. 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 two of the Herd’s inaugural season.