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 week started off with positive news coming from the NBA announcing that G-League games will be even more accessible for fans to watch online by partnering with streaming site Twitch:
The NBA has reached a deal with Twitch to broadcast live NBA G-League games.https://t.co/BjVtLlI6O4— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) December 13, 2017
The broadcasting wasted no time as select games from this past weekend were live streamed on Twitch.
Friday the 15th was “National Ugly Sweater Day” and the Herd celebrated by giving out ugly sweater koozies:
Doors open at 6 p.m.! First 1.5K fans get an ugly sweater can koozie, c/o @4imprint. ❄️ #MoreDeerToFear pic.twitter.com/O4fyZCdobq— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) December 15, 2017
This is a reminder that Friday night’s Bucks game against the Charlotte Hornets will feature the “B Sweater Koozie” giveaway. Tis the season for koozies!
In more recent news, Milwaukee Bucks two-way player, Gary Payton II, will hit his 45 day NBA roster limit on Monday the 18th. The Bucks already have a plan in motion to waive the soon to be former Herd guard. The Bucks will have an open two-way contract slot with Joel Bolomboy occupying the other. Maybe the stellar play of James Young and Xavier Munford warrants a two-way contract nod?
Wednesday, December 13th @ Erie Bayhawks (Atlanta Hawks)
On the banks of Lake Erie, the Herd let a halftime lead slip through their hands as the Bayhawks outscored the Herd by 20 points in the second half. The second half spurt propelled Erie to a 115-99 victory for what was the first of two meetings this week between the teams.
.@xaviermunford put up 28 points in the Herd's 115-99 loss. pic.twitter.com/seuQVF6GC4— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) December 14, 2017
Xavier Munford continued to be the guy for Wisconsin as he scored a game high 28 points and dished out eight assists. Cliff Alexander recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and collecting 12 rebounds. The Herd shot just 27 percent from three-point range and were unable to overcome their cold shooting night.
Friday, December 15th vs. Sioux Falls Skyforce (Miami Heat)
Another weekend Friday night game in Oshkosh led to another Herd home victory. They outscored Sioux Falls by 19 points in the fourth quarter to seal the 117-108 win. Joel Bolomboy recorded a double-double, scoring only 12 points, but scooping up 14 rebounds.
.@Bucks Two-Way player @Bolomboy21 notched a double-double for the Herd: 12 points & 14 rebounds in the Herd's 117-108 win. #MoreDeerToFear pic.twitter.com/TYD77J50j0— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) December 16, 2017
It sounds like a broken record, but once again Xavier Munford led the Herd in scoring. This time the former Rhode Island great notched 26 points on 10/15 shooting from the floor. Both Cameron Oliver and JeQuan Lewis burst out onto the scene scoring 24 and 20 points respectively while combining to go 17/23 from the floor.
Saturday, December 16th vs. Erie Bayhawks (Atlanta Hawks)
The Herd had revenge on their minds as they faced the Bayhawks for the second time in four days. Wisconsin let Erie snatch a victory from them before but on Saturday night, the Herd did the snatching in a 111-110 victory. James Young found his groove and collected a double-double, netting 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Back-to-back Ws for your Wisconsin Herd! Join us for our 2017 home finale at @MenomineeArena on Wednesday. #HerdUp pic.twitter.com/qIyT1J7wpD— Wisconsin Herd (@WisconsinHerd) December 17, 2017
Joel Bolomboy followed up his double-double performance by recording his second straight double-double. He improved his scoring output from 12 to 21 points while securing 11 rebounds. Xavier Munford did not lead the team in scoring, but he did collect another 20 point game. X scored 22 points and saw half of those points come from the free throw line where he made 11 of his 15 attempts.
Two 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 and Twitch. So let’s dive into this week’s upcoming Herd action.
Wednesday, December 20th vs. Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons)
Two weeks ago the Herd went into Grand Rapids and got out of their with a close 91-86 victory. Former Wisconsin Badgers star, Bronson Koenig, returns to his home state in what will most likely be another sell out crowd with Wisconsin students on winter break. The Herd will blow past the Drive and reassert to Grand Rapids that their beer, and basketball, is inferior to Wisconsin.
Saturday, December 23rd @ Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks)
The Herd will have a weekend road game for the first time all month as they head to the New York City suburbs. This will also be the first Herd game to be broadcast on Twitch, so mark your calendars! The Knicks are loaded with former Big-Ten stars, including another former Badger in Nigel Hayes. Former Michigan stand-out, Trey Burke, and Iowa eye-poker, Adam Woodbury, join Hayes on the Knicks roster. The Knicks are in first place in the Atlantic division and I think the Herd will drop this one.
Last week I had the Herd down to go 2-1 and they proved me right! With only two games on the docket I have the team going 1-1. That road game against the Knicks will really give us an insight into where the Herd stand in the G-League hierarchy.
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.