WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Borland's status for UW-Iowa game a gametime decision
MADISON - University of Wisconsin senior linebacker Chris Borland returned to practice yesterday for the first time since injuring his right hamstring almost two weeks ago at Illinois. Coach Gary Andersen expects Borland to play tomorrow at Iowa -- but he says it will be a game-time decision.
Borland completed most of yesterday's practice, and said he felt okay. He leads the Badgers with 57 total tackles and 35 solo tackles. If Borland doesn't go, Marcus Trotter will fill in. The Badgers do have a couple other options. Field linebacker Ethan Armstrong could move into the middle -- or Conor O'Neill or Derek Landisch could get a start. No matter what happens, Andersen says the Badgers will be fine at Borland's spot. Wisconsin will play the Hawkeyes for the first time since 2010 -- when the Badgers edged Iowa 31-30. Wisconsin is 5-2 overall this season, and 3-1 in the Big Ten. Iowa is 2-2 in the conference, and 5-3 overall. Kick-off is at 11 a.m. and the game will be broadcast on ABC.
The Green Bay Packers' secondary will be tested on Monday night, when they host the Chicago Bears. Brandon Marshall, in his second year in Chicago, leads the Bears' receiving corps with 46 catches and five touchdowns. Alshon Jeffrey has really come on for Chicago, as he leads the team in receiving yards with 560. Tight end Martellus Bennett is also a receiving threat, with four touchdown catches. The Packers' priority has been to contain the opponents' Number-One receiver, after Anquan Boldin of San Francisco torched the Packer secondary for 208 yards and a touchdown in the 49'ers season opening victory over Green Bay. The Packers have often double-teamed the opponents' top wide-out -- and they've had strong single coverage as well. Marshall was saying yesterday that Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler could return for the Packer game -- but Cutler is expected to be out, after pulling a groin a couple weeks ago. Veteran backup Josh McCown will fill in at quarterback. A Bears' victory on Monday night would create a three-way tie atop the NFC North Division. Right now, the Packers lead Detroit by a half-game and Chicago by one game. The Lions have their bye this weekend.
Green Bay Packers' outside linebacker Nick Perry did not practice yesterday, when the players started going over the game plan for Monday night's home contest with Chicago. Perry suffered a broken left foot in the Packers' October 13th win at Baltimore. Coach Mike McCarthy said this afternoon is not recovering as quickly as the team had hoped. Another starting linebacker, Brad Jones, fully participated in today's practice. Jones has been out since early this month with a bad hamstring. Third-year pro Jamari Lattimore has done a solid job replacing Jones on the inside next to A.J. Hawk. On offense, receiver James Jones sat out today, as he recovers from a knee injury. McCarthy said he would probably need the entire week's practice schedule again to decide whether Jones can play against the Bears. Tight end Ryan Taylor was a limited participant, after having knee surgery a few weeks ago.
Cousins will be on opposite sides of the field Monday night when the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears. Jordan Mills was drafted in the fifth-round in April, and he has started each of Chicago's seven games at right tackle. His cousin is Packers' corner Tramon Williams -- who has a good chance of running into Mills in one of his blitzes from the slot as a part of Green Bay's five-and-six-DB alignments. Mills is seven years younger than Williams. Both played at Napoleonville Assumption High School in Louisiana. Mills then went to Louisiana Tech, where he started 34 games in his college career. Williams is six inches shorter and 125 pounds lighter than the big Chicago lineman. Williams said he had not spoken to his cousin as of yesterday -- but he's looking forward to the contest. Williams says it's great to see the success Mills is having, and it will be good to see him. The Packers will try to hang onto first in the NFC North, while the Bears will try to dig their way out of third place.
Marquette is ranked 17th, and Wisconsin 20th in the pre-season AP men's college basketball media poll released this afternoon. The Golden Eagles were also ranked 17th in the pre-season coaches' poll released earlier this month by USA Today. Marquette went 26-9 a year ago, and made the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles are also the pre-season favorite to win the newly-revamped Big East Conference. Wisconsin's AP ranking is one place higher than the 21st in the coaches' poll. The Badgers went 23-12 last season under long-time head coach Bo Ryan, last season's Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year. Today, the Badgers were not included in the Top-Three of the coaches' predictions for this season. A media poll had Wisconsin fourth. Kentucky tops the AP pre-season poll, a narrow choice over Number-two Michigan State -- which is projected by both the media and the coaches to win the Big Ten.
Wisconsin is not projected to finish in the Top-Three of the Big Ten men's basketball standings. The league is held its Media Day near Chicago yesterday, where the coaches announced their selection of Michigan State as the unanimous preseason favorite. Tom Izzo's Spartans return four starters from a team that went 27-and-9 and made the NCAA Sweet-16 last season. Michigan is picked to take second, and Ohio State third. The Badgers were picked to finish fourth in a media poll released yesterday. Gary Harris of Michigan State was named as the league's pre-season player-of-the-year. No Badgers were listed in an All-Conference team selected by both the coaches and the media. On the women's side, Wisconsin was not projected to finish in the Top-Three in the Big Ten by either the coaches or the media. The Badgers went 12-19 overall last season under Bobbie Kelsey, who returns for a third year. Maggie Lewis of Penn State was named by both as the pre-season player-of-the-year. Again, no Badgers were listed in either of the all-conference teams. The closest thing to it was Samantha Logic. The former Racine J.I. Case High School star is now a junior at Iowa. She made the all-league media squad.
The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team says it will redshirt sophomore guard Zak Showalter and junior guard Jordan Smith this season. The Badgers confirmed earlier media reports that Showalter would sit out for the coming season. In a UW statement, Showalter is quoted as saying it makes sense to save a year of eligibility, considering the fact that the Badgers have nine guards on the roster. Showalter played at Germantown High School, but did not get much playing time in his freshman year. He appeared in 22 games, with totals of 37 points and 23 rebounds. Smith is a native Orono, Minnesota who has appeared in 17 games for the Badgers. He said that with all the depth at the guard spots, this would be a good year to work on his game while preserving a year of eligibility. While not playing, both said they would help their Wisconsin teammates prepare for their competition.
Milwaukee's John Hammond insists he is not the unnamed NBA general manager quoted as saying his team will tank this year to get a high draft pick next June. In ESPN-the-Magazine, the anonymous GM said quote, "Our team isn't good enough to win and we know it. So this season, we want to develop and evaluate our young players, let them learn from their mistakes -- and get us in a position to grab a great player. The best way for us to do that is to lose a lot of games." The GM said next year's draft is loaded with talent. And the executive said quote, "Sometimes my job is understand the value of losing." There's some speculation that Sam Hinkie of Philadelphia uttered those words. If he didn't, The Big Lead.com says the next likeliest GM's are Milwaukee's Hammond, Ryan McDonough of Phoenix, and Rob Hennigan of Orlando. Bucks' owner Herb Kohl has repeatedly said the Bucks won't tank to get a star next year. Some pundits say the Bucks need to maintain at least some level of success, so the taxpayers' concerns about paying for a new Milwaukee arena don't deteriorate any more than they already have.
The Milwaukee Bucks will be short at point guard tonight, when they play the Celtics in Boston. Starter Brandon Knight and top back-up Luke Ridnour are both listed as doubtful. Knight injured his right hamstring early in Wednesday night's season-opening loss at New York. That was after he hurt his left hamstring last month at Training Camp. Ridnour missed Wednesday night's game with back spasms, and he was sent back to Milwaukee yesterday to be checked out. Bucks' coach Larry Drew has not said who he'll start tonight. Second-round rookie Nate Wolters was the first off the bench after Knight got hurt the other night. He played 30 minutes at the point, and veteran shooting guard Gary Neal finished the game while leading the Bucks in scoring with 16.
When the Milwaukee Bucks were down by 25 points at halftime last night, coach Larry Drew told the players he didn't care if they lost. He just wanted them to play the way they're capable of. That's exactly what the Bucks did, as they erased New York's big lead with just over three minutes left -- only to fall victim to a final Knicks' run in a 90-to-83 Bucks' loss in their season opener. Afterward, Drew said he was proud of the way his team competed in the second half. He insisted, however, that the Bucks start their games stronger and share the basketball some more. Drew said his team has players that can make things happen -- but they're not built to maintain one-on-one isolation matchups. As Drew put it -- "Everybody has to contribute a little bit ... We don't have a Carmelo-type guy. That's not who we are." It was a sloppy opener on both sides. Milwaukee committed 24 turnovers. The Knicks gave the ball away 22 times.
Three Milwaukee Brewers were among 147 Major League players who filed for free agency yesterday. First baseman Corey Hart's name showed up on the first filing day, even though he said he wants to finish his career in Milwaukee. He undoubtedly wants to see what he's worth, after missing the entire season with surgery on both his knees. Infielder Yuniesky Betancourt and reliever Mike Gonzalez were the other Brewers to seek free agency. The list also includes eight former Milwaukee players -- pitchers Kameron Loe of Atlanta, LaTroy Hawkins of the Mets, Jamey Wright of Tampa, and Grant Balfour of Oakland -- infielders Cezar Isturis of Cincinnati, Lyle Overbay of the Yankees, and Jerry Hairston Junior of the Dodgers. Former Brewers' prospect Nelson Cruz of Texas was among the big outfield names filing for free agency. He served a 50-game suspension last season for his role in the Bio-Genesis PED scandal. Free agents can start negotiating with any club on Tuesday.
The UW-Milwaukee men's basketball team won an 80-52 home exhibition game last night against Division III Marian of Fond du Lac. The Panthers broke the game open in the second half with a 17-1 run. Four Milwaukee players scored in double-figures, led by Thierno Niang with 13. J.J. Panoske had a game-high nine rebounds. He and Austin Arians scored 12. Matt Tiby, a junior college transfer from Kirkwood, had 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocked shots in his UWM debut. Drew Binversie led Marian with 12 points. Milwaukee will open its regular season a week from tonight at Loyola.
After having last weekend off, the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team will host Lake Superior State tonight and tomorrow night. The Badgers are 2-2 overall, and they're ranked 13th by U.S. College Hockey Online. Lake Superior State comes in at 4-0, with a No. 12 ranking. The Lakers were also off last weekend. They did play an exhibition game on Tuesday, and defeated Laurentian of Canada 9-2. Wisconsin sophomore Nic Kerdiles comes in with a 16-game scoring streak. Badgers' coach Mike Eaves has the school record of 21 consecutive games with at least one point. That came in 1977-and-'78. Kerdiles' streak dates back to February 24th. He's had eight goals and 16 assists during that stretch. In women's hockey, the second-ranked Badgers will host Ohio State tomorrow and Sunday afternoons. Wisconsin has a four-game winning streak, after sweeping Lindenwood of Missouri last weekend.
Rhinelander native Dan Forsman is tied for 28th after the first round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in San Francisco. Forsman shot a three-over-par 74 yesterday, as the only playoff tournament got underway on the PGA Champions Tour. Thirty players are competing for the season-long Schwab Cup title. Forsman was 39th in standings coming in. Peter Senior has the first round lead at eight-under-63.
The University of Wisconsin men's soccer team extended its home unbeaten streak to 12 matches, with a 5-1 victory over Eastern Illinois Wednesday in Madison. Jacob Brindle scored three times for the Badgers' first hat trick since 2010. Despite a slippery turf at the McClimon Track/Soccer Complex, the Badgers increased their season total to 34 goals -- 13 more than in all of last season. Wisconsin improved to 11-3-2 overall. Eastern Illinois fell to 1-12-2.
The UW-Milwaukee men's soccer team has shut out seven opponents this fall, after a 1-0 victory at Northern Illinois during heavy rains last night. Laurie Bell scored the only goal of the match in the 74th minute, as the Panthers improved to 12-2-2 overall. Northern Illinois dropped to 4-11.
Edgewood College of Madison has won its first regular season women's soccer title in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference since 2005. Jenna Mineau scored the tying-and-winning goals for Edgewood last night in a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The Eagles improved to 7-4 in league play, and 10-9 overall. Edgewood earned the top-seed in next week's conference tournament. They earned a first-round bye, and will open at home in next Wednesday's semifinals.
Racine Prairie and the University School of Milwaukee won their semifinal games yesterday in a newly-created Division 4 at the boys' state high school soccer tournament. The University School needed two overtimes to eliminate Sturgeon Bay 1-0 in Milwaukee. Isaac Schlenker scored the game-winner at the 98-minute mark. Racine Prairie blanked Barron 2-0. Sam Hatem and Lucas Koenen scored in the second half. Prairie and the University School will now face each other tomorrow for the Division 4 title.
In the Division 3 semis, Green Bay Notre Dame took a 1-0 semifinal victory over Pewaukee in double OT. Kieran DeGroot scored the only goal in the 91st minute. Ashland eliminated McFarland 3-0. Brenton McPeak, Logan Tamke, and Zach Whiting scored for the winner. Ashland will face Notre Dame tomorrow for the D-3 crown. Semifinals will be played today in the top-two divisions. Cedarburg and Whitefish Bay will square off at noon in the first Division 2 contest, followed by Marshfield and Oregon. The Division 1 semis will be played this evening. Hartland Arrowhead takes on Muskego, and Madison West goes against Green Bay Preble. The tournament has no returning champions from last year. All divisions sent four schools for the first time.