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.
After last week’s roster mayhem, the Herd experienced a more subdued week on the roster front. First, Joel Bolomboy was able to clear waivers from the Milwaukee Bucks and return to the Herd lineup. The next bit of roster fun came in the form of signing former Michigan State Spartan, Eron Harris.
Harris spent his junior and senior seasons in East Lansing, Michigan and made 46 starts for the Spartans over those two seasons. The guard shot 41 percent from three-point range and the Herd will be looking for him to help fill a James Young-sized hole.
In non-roster news, the G-League continues to expand their broadcasting footprint. The league originally signed on with Facebook Live for broadcasting and then eventually went on to add streaming site, Twitch, to their broadcasting roster. Now they add the United Kingdom-based television channel, Eleven Sports, to that suddenly expanding roster.
The #NBAGLeague & global sports provider ELEVEN SPORTS have announced a new partnership that will include the exclusive presentation of up to 120 LIVE regular season games during the 2017-18 season.— NBA G League (@nbagleague) January 9, 2018
Coverage begins tomorrow with #GLeagueShowcase: https://t.co/nzIKrxNhqZ pic.twitter.com/0xCmcfPCE8
Eleven Sports currently holds NBA rights for live broadcasting in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Singapore. The G-League partnership will include those three countries as well as the United States and Taiwan. Eleven Sports is available on DirecTV as well as Playstation Vue for United States viewers. This is great for the G-League in adding more options for viewers with poor internet connections from all over the globe.
The annual G-League Showcase took place this past week in Mississauga, Ontario where the Toronto Raptors affiliate, Raptors 905, play their games. The showcase featured all 26 teams playing two games in front of a swarm of NBA scouts and front office personnel.
4 days. 26 games. 26 teams. With @NBA eyes watching.— NBA G League (@nbagleague) January 8, 2018
The 14th annual #GLeagueShowcase is here! Tune in to the marquee event of the NBA G League season, Jan. 10-13 in Mississauga, Ontario: https://t.co/4ecBsvzdrE pic.twitter.com/OuyP0HNMmN
That’s enough chit-chat about the showcase, let’s see how the Herd performed in the Great White North.
Wednesday, January 10th vs. Texas Legends (Dallas Mavericks)
The Herd kicked off their showcase history with a disappointing 124-113 loss to the Legends. Free from his two-way contract, Joel Bolomboy grabbed 18 rebounds, 10 of which were offensive, and scored 24 points. He made nearly two-thirds of his field goal attempts and even shot a three-pointer!
Cliff Alexander got in on the double-double action with 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. His 24 minutes of game time included a thunderous dunk late in the fourth quarter. Xavier Munford scored a game-high 26 points on an inefficient 21 shots. X did drain three three-pointers which accounted for half of the Herd’s total three-point shots made.
Friday, January 12th vs. Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)
Not wanting to leave Canada shutout of the win column, the Herd came out and registered a nail biting 93-92 victory over the Austin Spurs. Xavier Munford scored the game winning bucket with 12 seconds left and finished the night with 18 points on 50 percent shooting. Between this jumper and the buzzer-beater to open the season, X has shown his knack for coming with the big bucket.
Joel Bolomboy led the Herd in scoring, notching 27 points on 10/12 shooting from the floor. Bolomboy missed only one free throw and grabbed 26 total rebounds during the showcase and certainly would be the Herd’s showcase MVP, if such an award existed. JeQuan Lewis came one point and one assist shy from recording a double-double and Cliff Alexander, once again, was a force off the bench tallying 16 points.
The Herd enter this week with a one game division lead and will have three chances to pad that lead as they play three games against sub-500 teams. The games can be heard on 99.1FM in Oshkosh and 95.3FM in the Fox Cities and seen on Facebook Live, Twitch, and Eleven Sports. So let’s dive into this week’s upcoming Herd action.
Wednesday, January 17th vs. Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets)
The Herd will be taking on the Swarm for the final time this season and they currently hold a 1-1 record against them. The one win the Swarm were able to get was due to a Malik Monk cameo over the holiday season. Well, Malik Monk ain’t walking through the doors and the Herd ain’t dropping this one at home.
Friday, January 19th/Saturday, January 20th @/vs. Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls)
A weekend home and home series with the Hoffman Estates-based Bulls will close the season series between these two division rivals. The two have split the pair of games they have played already, with the home team walking away victorious each time. The Herd will steal a win in Illinois on Friday night and then come right back and run the Bulls off the court during a rowdy Saturday night in Oshkosh.
Just as I predicted (but got the games switched up) the Herd went 1-1 during their week in Ontario. This week, I have the Herd going 3-0 as they continue to mesh with their new-ish roster.
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.