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 in their inaugural season, but they have already busted out a throwback uniform set.
Want a throwback souvenir? At tonight’s game you can bid on the players’ Flyers jerseys, worn by the Herd! #MoreDeerToFear pic.twitter.com/bs3XSG5dib— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) December 10, 2017
That jersey belongs to the Wisconsin Flyers of Continental Basketball Association fame. The Flyers only stayed in Oshkosh for a handful of seasons, but man did they look great while on the court in those jerseys. After Oshkosh, the team moved to Rochester, New York and then finally settled in Omaha, Nebraska.
Let’s rewind the calendar and take a look back at how the Herd handled their business on the court this past week.
Monday, December 4th @ Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons)
The week started off across Lake Michigan as the Herd traveled to Grand Rapids against their Central Division rival and came away with a 91-86 victory. Xavier Munford led the Herd in their charge against the Drive, posting a final line of 29 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists.
Almost a triple-double for X (29 PTS, 9 AST, 8 REB)!!@xaviermunford & the Herd are back in action in Oshkosh on Wednesday! pic.twitter.com/CYN9f1RwHu— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) December 5, 2017
Munford lit it up from beyond the arc converting on five of his seven three-point attempts. Munford also tallied a team high 41 minutes of game time. Cliff Alexander continued to dominate coming off the bench as he collected 21 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the floor on top of corralling eight rebounds.
Wednesday, December 6th vs. Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)
In their previous meeting, the Herd outlasted the 87ers in Delaware. Unfortunately, they could not repeat their performance from two weeks ago and dropped Wednesday night’s affair 135-112. Xavier Munford scored a game high 28 points, but only on one of four shooting from three-point range.
Herd falls to @Sevens 112-135.@xaviermunford led the team with 28 PTS while @SpaceCamm had a career-high 25 PTS. #MoreDeerToFear pic.twitter.com/ew101tsKsQ— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) December 7, 2017
Former Nevada Wolfpack great, Cameron Oliver, recorded a career-high 25 points on a scintillating night of shooting, going 11 of 15 from the floor. Fouls doomed the Herd as evidenced by Delaware shooting 41(!) free throws and making 35 of them. Tough to climb back into a game when the other team lives at the charity stripe.
Friday, December 8th vs. Oklahoma City Blue (Oklahoma City Thunder)
The Herd did not send fans home feeling blue on Friday night as they squeaked out a nail biting 113-111 win. Cliff Alexander had the game winning old fashioned three-point play with under 10 seconds remaining.
.@CAlexander coming in CLUTCH tonight and takes us to a WIN!!!— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) December 9, 2017
Final Score: 1️⃣1️⃣3️⃣-1️⃣1️⃣1️⃣#HerdUp #YaHerd pic.twitter.com/EG1XhifKb8
Alexander finished the contest with 22 points and eight rebounds. He only converted four of his nine free throw attempts, but he made the one that mattered. Xavier Munford led the Herd in scoring, again, carding a 25 point performance on 53 percent shooting from the floor. James Young returned to his scoring ways and was even one rebound shy of a double-double as he finished with a 22/9/5 line on the night.
Saturday, December 9th vs. Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets)
While donning their Wisconsin Flyers throwbacks, the Herd’s late Friday night magic could not continue on into Saturday night as they dropped a close one to the Nets, 109-105. Building off of his 22 point game, James Young led the team in scoring with 25 points and shooting 50 percent from three-point range.
Not the finish we wanted. Herd fall to Long Island Nets (109-105).— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) December 10, 2017
Back at it on Wednesday vs. the BayHawks. #MoreDeerToFear pic.twitter.com/VTJrGMMTdR
Cliff Alexander capped of his fantastic week with another explosive performance. This time the former Kansas Jayhawk recorded 24 points and converted on 73 percent of his field goals. Cameron Oliver recorded a double-double in a 11 point, 10 rebound performance.
Three games this week, with another pair of Friday and Saturday night home games. 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 upcoming Herd action.
Wednesday, December 13th @ Erie Bayhawks (Atlanta Hawks)
The Bayhawks currently stand at a paltry 5-10 record with their last five games ending in a defeat. Call me a pessimist, but I think the Bayhawks snap their streak in what will probably be a sleepy, weeknight game for the Herd as they will take awhile to shake the rust off.
Friday, December 15th vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Miami Heat)
Imagine being signed to a two-way contract with the Miami Heat and having to travel between Miami and Sioux Falls, South Dakota during the winter. That would motivate the heck out of me to stay in Miami for as long as possible. I have a feeling the Herd will have no problem in dispatching the Skyforce back to South Dakota.
Saturday, December 16th vs. Erie Bayhawks (Atlanta Hawks)
In what will be their second meeting of the week against the Bayhawks, the Herd will wipe the floor with the team from Erie, Pennsylvania and complete the weekend home sweep. The weekend home games have featured a raucous crowd at Menominee Nation Arena and it’s great having another back-to-back weekend set.
I was correct in prognosticating that Herd would go 2-2 this past week and I have a feeling they will go 2-1 as they take on inferior opponents and seem to really be gelling as a unit.
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 four of the Herd’s inaugural season.