Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Driver gets street named after him in Green Bay
GREEN BAY - Like other Titletown heroes before him, Donald Driver will have a street named after him in Green Bay. Mayor Jim Schmitt told several thousand fans at Driver's retirement ceremony today that a small street near the Titletown Brewing Company will be named "Donald Driver Way."
The brewery and restaurant are located on the west edge of the city's downtown. Also, Schmitt said the statue of a Packers' receiver in front of the restaurant will be changed from Number-88 to Driver's Number-80. Governor Scott Walker also attended the ceremony, after Driver invited him. The governor said Driver has done a fantastic job entertaining Wisconsinites between his 14 years as a Packer and his victory on "Dancing With the Stars." Packers' CEO Mark Murphy and coach Mike McCarthy also made remarks at the ceremony. And general manager Ted Thompson said Driver has been a blessing for the team - and he said the contributions by Driver and his wife Betina have been "phenomenal." The 38-year-old Driver told the crowd that he walks away from the game knowing that he gave all he could, so quote, "I owe it to the fans and this fine organization not to tarnish the legacy that they've established in me and my family." He leaves as the Packers' all-time leader in catches and receiving yards.
The University of Wisconsin lost out on Marcus Ball, a defensive back from Westerville, Ohio., on National Signing Day. At a press conference at his high school, Ball announced he is going to attend Arizona State.Ball had verball committed to Wisconsin under former head coach Brett Bielema but Bielema's departure re-opened his recruiting and as a result Ball, whose brother plays at UW-Madison, he decided to go elsewhere. At his press-conference announcing the Class of 2013 to the media, new UW head coach Gary Andersen says the program may sign additional players with the remaining scholarships they have.
The Milwaukee Brewers finally announced the re-signing of veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez today. The two sides agreed last week to a one-and-a-half million dollar contract for 2013. But Gonzalez needed to pass a physical - and prove he's okay after tearing an ACL knee ligament last May. And the Brewers needed to find a spot for him on their 40-man roster. That was taken care of when San Diego claimed reliever Fautino De Los Santos off waivers. The Brewers acquired De Los Santos last July in a trade that sent catcher George Kottaras to Oakland. De Los Santos, a right-hander, finished the year at Triple-"A" Nashville where he went 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA.
The chief attorney who helped Ryan Braun get his drug suspension overturned said his group relied very little on Tony Bosch's expertise, as they appealed Braun's punishment. Bosch was the operator of a now-defunct anti-aging clinic in Miami which reportedly listed the Brewers' All-Star on several documents. The clinic is linked to reports of players getting performance-enhancing drugs. But Braun denied ever taking drugs from the Bio-Genesis firm - and that Bosch only provided technical drug information for the appeal of his 50-game suspension last year. The chief attorney for Braun in that case, David Cornwell, said he has always relied on experts from another scientific group in Nashville in defending players. And he said that Bosch's contributions to Braun's case were quote, "negligible." Yahoo Sports said Bio-Genesis was owed $20-30,000 for advising Braun's legal team. Braun said there was a dispute over the fee - and that's why it was listed in the reports.
It's been over a decade since the Milwaukee Bucks have won their annual contest in Salt Lake City - and they'll try to end a 10-game losing streak at Utah tonight. The Jazz are five games above .500, and they've won 12-of-their-last-17 including a seven-point overtime home win over Sacramento on Monday night. The Bucks are four games above the break-even point. They ended a two-game road winning streak last night with a 112-to-104 loss at Denver. Guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis only made 11-of-36 combined shots - and they were 0-for-8 from three-point range. The Bucks are last in the NBA in giving up fast-break points, with an average of 15-and-a-half per night. Denver picked up 33 points in transition last evening. Bucks' shot-blocking leader Larry Sanders appears questionable, after he fell hard on his back and hip against the Nuggets. He said after the game that X-rays showed nothing severe. Former Buck Mo Williams has been out since December 22nd for Utah with a thumb injury - and he's not expected back for another couple weeks. Gordon Hayward could miss his sixth straight game for the Jazz tonight with a sprained shoulder.
Milwaukee Bucks' forward Larry Sanders is listed as questionable for tonight's game at Utah. Sanders, the NBA's leading shot-blocker, hurt his back and right hip on a hard fall late in last night's Milwaukee loss at Denver. Sanders underwent more tests today. A team spokesman said they were all negative, but the 6-11 Sanders was still sore from his fall. The Bucks will try to end 10 straight losses in Salt Lake City. Milwaukee only plays there once a year.
The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team will begin the second half of their Big Ten schedule tonight, when they host Iowa. The Badgers are 6-3 in the conference, and 15-7 overall after a six-point win at Illinois last Saturday. Bo Ryan's team has won two-of-its-last-three. Iowa is 3-6 in the conference and 14-8 overall. The Hawkeyes beat the Badgers by four at Iowa City on January 19th. Wisconsin senior forward Mike Bruesewitz has been solid on defense, but he admits that his right leg is still not 100-percent after he gashed it during a scrimmage last fall. He lost a month of practice time before the season began - and he says he's not hitting his jump shot as consistently as he did before the injury. But Bruesewitz is putting up better numbers than a year ago in Big Ten play. He's shooting 42-percent overall and 35-and-a-half from three-point range - and Bruesewitz is averaging around eight points and seven rebounds per contest.
The Marquette University men's basketball team will play at South Florida tonight. The Golden Eagles do not expect the Bulls to retaliate against forward Davante Gardner, who elbowed Zach LeDay in the head as they fought for the ball in Marquette's 13-point home win over South Florida on January 28th. A second-degree flagrant foul was called against Gardner. The Big East reviewed the play, and did not give further punishment to Gardner or his Marquette team. Eagles coach Buzz Williams says Gardner is not a malicious player, and he does not expect any carry-over. Neither do the Marquette players. The 24th-ranked Golden Eagles are a half-game behind Syracuse for the Big East Conference lead, after losing by 19 points at Louisville on Super Bowl Sunday. Marquette comes in at 6-2 in the conference and 15-and-5 overall. The Eagles have won eight-of-their-last-10. South Florida is 1-8 in league games, and 10-11 overall.
UW-Stevens Point has a one-and-a-half game lead in the WIAC men's basketball standings, despite losing their last two games. The 15th-ranked Pointers will try to end that losing string tonight when they host U-W Oshkosh. Point's at 11-2 in league play. Whitewater, which is ranked 16th by D3hoops.com, is tied for second with Stout at 9-3. Whitewater hosts Platteville tonight. Stout is at La Crosse. And Superior entertains River Falls. On the women's side, Whitewater will try to hang onto a half-game conference lead tonight. The unranked Warhawks are 10-2, while No. 16 Stevens Point is at 10-3 along with 24th-ranked Superior. Whitewater travels to Platteville. The Pointers are at Oshkosh. Superior plays at River Falls. And La Crosse is at Stout.
Saint Norbert will try to hold onto first place in the Midwest Conference men's basketball race tonight. The Green Knights are 12-2, a half-game ahead of 12-3 Grinnell. Carroll is two games back in third. Grinnell is off tonight, while other teams play men's and women's double-headers. Saint Norbert hosts Carroll. Beloit plays at Lawrence. And Ripon entertains Lake Forest. Cornell leads the Midwest women's standings at 13-1. Monmouth is second at 12-and-3, while Saint Norbert is third at 10-4.
In the Northern Athletics Conference, the Concordia-Mequon men's team will try to move into a first-place tie in the North Division when it plays at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Concordia is 10-3, a half-game behind Lakeland which plays tomorrow night. Marian is at Edgewood this evening. Wisconsin Lutheran is at Benedictine. And South Division champion Aurora hosts Rockford. The NAC women have the night off.
In the CCIW, Carthage hosts Elmhurst tonight in Kenosha. The Red Men will try to even their 10-and-11 overall mark. They're 5-5 in league play. The 25th-ranked Carthage women travel to Elmhurst tonight. The Lady Reds are 10-0 in the conference, and 18-3 overall.
Cory Zimmerman and Michelle Matter, both of Ripon College, have been named the Midwest Conference indoor track athletes-of-the-week. Zimmerman, a senior, placed second in the 800-meters at the Stevens Point Invitational. His time of 1:56 is the best in the Midwest Conference this season. Matter, a senior, broke two of her own school records at the Point Invitational. She won the three-thousand-meters in 10:20-point-85, breaking her previous mark by 13 seconds. And Matter broke her own record in the mile run by two seconds, while placing second in that event. Also, Jack Michael of Carroll was named the men's tennis player-of-the-week. The sophomore won both his singles and doubles matches against Carthage.
After 13 years, Joe Cawley has resigned as the women's volleyball coach at Concordia University in Mequon. Cawley worked part-time, and athletic director Rob Barnhill says the school will hire a full-time volleyball coach to take over this fall. Associate athletic director Stacey Brunner-Jones says Cawley has been a teacher, a mentor, and a friend to every athlete and coaching colleague that he's dealt with. Cawley's teams were 104-69 in the Northern Athletics Conference, and 221-219 overall. His best season was in 2010, when the Falcons won the league title with an 11-1 mark.