Opinion

Happy hour hoops 2021 edition: Minnesota

The Green Bay Phoenix mens basketball team returns to the court on Wednesday evening in Minneapolis when they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The game was moved from its original 7:00 PM tip time to 4:00 PM to air on the Big Ten Network, which provides a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the happy hour time slot with a drinking game. Green Bay won our inaugural happy hour last year 84-81 in overtime against Oakland.

Are we a good luck charm? Who knows. But with the Phoenix off to a 2-8 start and entering Wednesday night’s game ranked 322nd in KenPom – a metric that they have only finished 200+ five times since the ratings began back in 1997 – its not like we need another reason to drink.

So grab your beverage of choice and get started on some Christmas spirits. Pomeroy’s site has Minnesota favored by 18.

Big Ten Network broadcast mentions Bo Ryan – 1 drink

  • Yes, Will Ryan is Green Bay’s head coach. This one is only a matter of how many times the current head coach’s dad is brought up. Make sure to take a drink each time.

Kamari McGee gets to the paint – 1 drink

  • The true freshman from Racine has come on strong in the past two games scoring a career high 19 points at UMKC following it up with a 14-point performance at Kansas State in his first career start. Despite being listed at 6’0”, he’s one of the better guards in the conference at getting to the rim with more than a third of his shot attempts coming at or near the basket according to BartTorvik.com, adding another dimension to the Green Bay offense since he can either finish at the rim, drive and kick, or draw a foul.

Two for two at the free throw line – 2 drinks

  • The Phoenix have been getting to the free throw line more often lately – they’re averaging more than 20 attempts per game over their last three games – and when they get there they’ve been knocking them down. Green Bay ranks 68th in the country in free throw percentage knocking down 74.5% of their attempts from the line.

Luke Loewe turnover – 2 drinks

  • We have to spotlight one Minnesota player, right? Who better than the Fond du Lac native taking advantage of his free COVID year to play one final season in Minneapolis. The former Ripon and Fond du Lac high school star was a top target of former head coach Linc Darner but ultimately committed to William and Mary where he played four solid seasons before transferring to Minnesota this past summer. Loewe doesn’t turn it over much so this one may be irrelevant.

Commentator mentions Lucas Stieber is Dick Bennett’s grandson / Tony Bennett’s nephew – 3 drinks

  • Did you know that Lucas Stieber is the grandson of UWGB coaching legend Dick Bennett, and that UWGB legend and Virginia head coach Tony Bennett is his uncle? This is mentioned in every single road game so if Stieber plays – he missed Green Bay’s last game against Kansas State due to illness – this one will be brought up, potentially more than once.
  • Edit: Stieber has been ruled out according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, but we will still keep this one on here just in case.

Green Bay made three pointer – 3 drinks

  • Outside shooting has been a massive struggle for the Phoenix this year. They currently rank 339th out of 350 Division I teams in three-point field goal percentage knocking down just 26.5% of their attempts. To make things trickier, Minnesota ranks 12th in the country in three-point defense allowing opponents to make 26.0% of their attempts. Savor these hard-earned three drinks.

Manny Ansong dunk – 4 drinks

  • Dunks are cool, everyone can drink to that. Especially when the 6’4” Ansong throws them down. He’s currently 3rd in the Horizon League in total dunks so far this season with 10 according to Torvik.

Two walk-ons on the floor together – 4 drinks

  • Walk-on Ryan Claflin is one of the first Green Bay players off the bench this season and averaging nearly 15 minutes per game. If him and fellow walk-on Nate Jenkins, who has appeared in eight of the Phoenix ten games so far this season – are on the floor at the same time, take four drinks.

Broadcast makes a Jared Swanson reference – 5 drinks

  • Assistant coaches don’t usually get a lot of love on TV broadcasts so this one may be a long shot, but if Green Bay assistant coach Jared Swanson gets mentioned take five drinks as a shout out to the Minnesota native. Swanson played his high school basketball at Morris Area HS in Morris, MN and finished his collegiate playing career at Concordia – Minnesota. He came to Green Bay from Northern State where he was an assistant and coached current Minnesota forward Parker Fox, who is unfortunately out for the season after suffering an ACL injury.

Broadcast makes a football joke – Finish your drink

  • Yes, Green Bay vs Minnesota is also a big NFC North rivalry. If the broadcast crew takes the low hanging fruit – example: Gophers have a 14-point lead and the play-by-play guy says “Minnesota leads Green Bay by two touchdowns” or something dumb like that, finish your drink.

Go Pack Go and Go Phoenix.

Categories: Opinion

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