WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS: UW men's hoops team wraps-up Canadian tour
TORONTO - The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team ended a 4-1 Canadian tour with a 113-105 victory over “A-“Game Hoops yesterday in Toronto.
Center Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers with 26 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and three blocked shots. Sam Dekker also had a double-double for Wisconsin with 23 points and 10 boards.
The UW-Green Bay men’s basketball squad opened a three-game exhibition tour in the Bahamas with an 81-69 victory last night over the Bahamas’ All-Stars in Nassau. The Phoenix were down 6-2 before they took the lead for good with six straight points. Four Green Bay players scored in double-figures, led by Keifer Sykes with 20. Green Bay will play the Cybots tonight.
Milwaukee Bucks’ center Larry Sanders promises to keep his temper in check this season. He was among the NBA leaders with 14 technical fouls a year ago – and his anger over calls led to several ejections. The Bucks’ new head coach, Larry Drew, said he took Sanders out to dinner and talked about the problem. Sanders says he has spoken with a lot of people about keeping his head focused on winning while he’s on the floor. He said it’s what his perspective should be. Both Sanders and Drew talked about the subject yesterday, when the Bucks held a news conference to announce Sanders’ signing of a four-year, $44-million-dollar contract extension.
Former Indiana Pacers’ general manager David Morway has been named the assistant GM with the Milwaukee Bucks. He’ll serve under John Hammond, who announced the hiring yesterday. Morway spent 14 years with the Pacers, and was their G-M from 2009 through last summer. Morway has also served in a Major League Baseball front office with the San Diego Padres as an assistant general manager in the 1980’s.
The Green Bay Packers insist that quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be ready for the regular season – even though he’s not getting nearly as much work in the pre-season as he has in the past. Rodgers has played five series in three exhibition games, completing 17-of-24 passes in 45 snaps for 237 yards, no touchdowns, and a passer rating of 102-point-three. He’s had close to 80 snaps in the pre-season in each of the last four years. Quarterbacks’ coach Ben McAdoo says the coaches have a plan to make sure that Rodgers is up-to-speed on September 8th, when the Packers open their regular season at San Francisco. Head coach Mike McCarthy says Rodgers is ready right now, even if he doesn’t take a snap in Thursday night’s pre-season finale at Kansas City – which he might not. McCarthy says he wants to get through today’s practice before deciding whether Rodgers will play against the Chiefs. Yesterday, the 2011 MVP was on the scout team, giving the Number-One defense a look at what the Chiefs might bring. Rodgers said it gave him a chance to throw to receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson – both of whom missed a good chunk of Training Camp with injuries. Meanwhile, corner Tramon Williams was back on the field after he bruised a knee-bone on July 27th. Williams says it’s possible he’ll be ready for the 49’ers, but he’s not sure yet. The Packers are having their final public practice of camp today.
Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy says there’s still a chance that Giorgio Tavecchio could be the Green Bay Packers’ regular season kicker, even though he was cut yesterday. NFL teams have until three this afternoon to cut their rosters from 90 players to 75. McCarthy said it’s a numbers’ game at this point, but the kicking competition is not over yet. The coach told Tavecchio to stay by his phone, in case six-year veteran Mason Crosby and newcomer Zach Ramirez both struggle at today’s final Training Camp practice – and-or Thursday night’s exhibition finale at Kansas City. Ramirez was signed on Sunday after Crosby had three rough stretches during camp. Tavecchio says he’d love to stay with the Packers, but it’s out of his control for now. Cleveland, Arizona, Tampa Bay, and the New York Jets are still choosing kickers – and either Tavecchio or Crosby could wind up at one of those places in quick order if they’re cut.
The status of the University of Wisconsin offensive line is still up-in-the-air going into Saturday’s season opener against UMass at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers don’t know if center Dan Voltz can play, after he injured a hamstring on August 14th. If not, redshirt junior Dallas Lewallen would start at center instead of his normal left guard spot. Left tackle Ryan Groy would move to the guard spot. And redshirt sophomore Tyler Marz could get a rare start at left tackle. Coach Gary Andersen said Marz took advantage of the opportunities he was given at the team’s pre-season camp this year. Marz played in 10 games last year, but was not a starter. He was an extra blocker in Wisconsin’s “barge” formation. As for Voltz, Andersen says he’ll know more about his condition after today’s practice. The coach said Voltz was running at 70-percent at the end of last week. The Badgers unveiled its depth chart today for Saturday’s game. It lists Joel Stave and Curt Phillips as possible starters at quarterback. On defense, Tyler Dippel or Pat Muldoon will start at one of the defensive end positions. The punt returner’s job also remains up in the air, with receiver Jared Abbrederis competing against receiver Kenzel Doe.
Hartland Arrowhead is ranked No. 1 among large schools in the first AP high school football poll of the season. A statewide media panel ranks the teams in three divisions, according to each school’s enrollment. At playoff time, the contenders are placed in seven equally-sized divisions. Arrowhead is last year’s Division 1 champion. Kimberly is ranked second in the large school division, followed by Sun Prairie and defending Division 2 titlist Mequon Homestead. In the medium schools, West De Pere opens the year at No. 1, followed by reigning Division 3 champ Waukesha Catholic Memorial, Waupaca, and Wisconsin Lutheran. Among the small schools, Edgar is No. 1. Defending Division 6 champ Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs is ranked second, followed by Lancaster and Division 5 titlist Amherst.
What’s bad for Ryan Braun is good for Khris Davis. The rookie Davis has taken the Milwaukee Brewers’ left field job while Braun serves a season-ending drug suspension. Davis is on an 11-game hitting streak in which he’s batted .432 with five homers and 10 RBI’s. That has raised his season average to .333 in 93 plate appearances, with an impressive on-base-plus-slugging-percentage of one-point-one-two-five. Davis has also batted .375 since being called up for third time this season on July 23rd, a day after Braun was given his suspension. He credits steady playing time for his recent success. Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke says Davis is a solid hitter who works the count well, is selective with his pitches, and is aggressive without being a hacker. The Brewers are coming off a series at Cincinnati in which they took two-of-three. Tonight, they open a series at Pittsburgh. Right-hander Kyle Lohse will start against Pirates’ right-hander Jeff Locke.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will try to regain first place in the National League Central tonight, when they open a three-game home series against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Pirates dropped to second last night, a half-game back. Pittsburgh and Milwaukee were both idle, while Saint Louis moved into the division lead with an 8-6 win over Cincinnati. On the other end of the standings, the Brewers are now two-and-a-half games ahead of last place Chicago, after the Cubs lost. But the Brewers will most likely finish no higher than their current fourth, as they’re 16 games behind third-place Cincinnati. Right-hander Kyle Lohse will start for Milwaukee tonight against Pirates’ right-hander Jeff Locke.
Brewers’ pitching prospect Johnny Hellweg has been named to the Triple-“A” All-Pacific Coast League team. The Nashville right-hander is 11-and-5, with a league-leading .688 winning percentage as the minor league season winds down. Hellweg has started 22 games for Nashville, with a 3.16 ERA. Opponents have hit .226 against him. Hellweg struggled in a short stint with Milwaukee this summer. He went 0-and-3 for the Crew with an ERA of almost 11. He’s expected to be one of the Crew’s September call-ups.
In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will host Kane County this afternoon, after the Rattlers beat Cougars 4-2 last night near Appleton. The Beloit Snappers will host Clinton again tonight, on the heels of a 6-5 Beloit victory. Also, Western Division-leading Cedar Rapids will host Peoria tonight. Burlington entertains Quad Cities. All eight teams in the Eastern Division are off.
Katie Drabot of Cedarburg helped Team USA win the 800-meter freestyle relay at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai. Drabot was part of a U.S. foursome which set a meet record yesterday, with a time of seven-minutes, :59.42 seconds. It was the first time in meet history that a time of under eight-minutes was recorded. Australia finished second at 8:03.07.
Some former University of Wisconsin rowers helped their American teams advance yesterday at the World Championships in South Korea. Ex-Badger Vicky Opitz from Middleton helped the U.S. women’s-eight advance to the title race on Sunday, with a victory in their opening heat. Former Badger Ross James helped the men’s-eight move on to the finals on Sunday with a second-place finish in their heat. Earlier, Grant James helped the Americans advance to the men’s four finals on Thursday. Kristin Hedstrom won her heat to move on to Thursday’s final in the women’s lightweight double sculls. And Andrew Gallagher will get his final chance today to make the semi-finals in the men’s quadruple sculls.
Steve Stricker of Madison has dropped to 14th place in the new World Golf Rankings. Stricker took a pass on this year’s Fed-Ex Cup playoffs, as part of a limited schedule which has kept him at home with his family more often in 2013. Stricker was 13th in the world a week ago. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson, who was eliminated from the playoffs this past weekend, dropped four spots in the World rankings to Number-130. Jerry Kelly of Madison, who missed the cut last weekend but still advanced to the second round of the playoffs, dropped two spots in the World this week to 179th. Tiger Woods is still the World Number-One. Adam Scott, who won the Barclays’ playoff opener, moved up two places to second.