WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Marquette reportedly hires Wojciechowski as new hoops coach
MILWAUKEE - Marquette University called an afternoon news conference to announce the hiring of Steve Wojciechowski as its new men's basketball coach. Various media reports said the 37-year-old Duke assistant head coach was hired to replace Buzz Williams, who left 11 days ago for Virginia Tech.
Wojciechowski becomes the second Duke assistant in two years to get a head coaching job in a top conference. Chris Collins left a year ago to join Northwestern in the Big Ten. Marquette was picked to win the Big East regular season title in its newly-organized group this past season. However, the Golden Eagles finished sixth. And at 17-15, they failed to make the NCAA Tournament field for the first time in nine years. Wojciechowski fits the mold of Marquette's head coaches in recent years. Four of the school's last five coaches came from the ranks of the assistants -- including Williams himself, who served under Tom Crean for a year before serving as the Eagles' head man for six seasons.
Milwaukee Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio says Ryan Braun will continue to be a good citizen, and continue his community service efforts. Braun received a standing ovation from the 45-thousand-plus at Miller Park yesterday, in his first at-bat after his 65-game drug suspension from a year ago. In response to the reception, Attanasio told the game's TV broadcasters quote, "I think the fans are telling you what we all think in the community. Ryan admitted he did something wrong, took his punishment -- then from that point forward, did everything he needed to do, much of which he had done previous." The Brewers' owner says it's always been known that Braun is a good baseball player and quote, "We expect to see that this season, too." Braun himself said he was grateful for the home fans' welcome. The Brewers beat Atlanta in their season opener, 2-0. Game-Two of their series is tonight at Miller Park.
The Milwaukee Brewers can go 2-0 with another victory over the Atlanta Braves tonight at Miller Park. Right-hander Kyle Lohse will start for the Crew against southpaw Alex Wood. Lohse went 11-10 in his first year with Milwaukee, and it took about half the season to catch his stride. That's because he didn't sign with the Brewers until the final week of Spring Training in 2013. Lohse didn't have the greatest spring this year, either, with a 5.49 ERA in five starts. However, he was pleased with his final Arizona performance, giving up two runs and five hits in five innings against Cincinnati last Thursday. Lohse said he felt good, executed most of his pitches, and left camp on a good note. The Braves are putting up Wood, a 23-year-old left-hander who went 3-3 in his first year in the Majors in 2013. The Braves continue to struggle at Miller Park, losing nine of their last 10 games in Milwaukee.
Brewers' fans pay less than most to root-root-root for the home team. According to the Opening Day Fan Cost Index, the Brewers have the 18th-lowest average ticket price among the 30 Major League teams, at just under $25. Boston and New York Yankees' fans pay the most, both at just over $50 a seat. Arizona has the cheapest average ticket price at close to $18. Also, the Brewers have the 22nd-lowest price of taking a family of four to the ball game. The Index quotes a figure of $177 for four average tickets, two small beers, four small sodas, four hot dogs, two adult caps, two game programs, and parking for one vehicle. It's much more expensive at Fenway Park in Boston, where a family of four pays 350-dollars to see their World Series champion Red Sox.
The Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer team has been given more time to decide if it wants to keep playing, and to keep its home field at the U.S. Cellular Arena. The Wave has been in a state of flux since the Major Indoor Soccer League fell apart last month. The commissioner of the Professional Arena Soccer League said he would welcome Milwaukee into its league -- but the team has not made a decision. The Wisconsin Center District Board originally gave the Wave until today to decide its future, after its lease at the "Cell" expired on March 16th. The board is now giving the team until May to determine its future. The district said it wanted to know if the Wave and its owner Sue Black wanted an extension of its current lease, a new one-year arrangement, or something long-term. Black has not commented. Meanwhile, the Wave is looking for a new coach after Keith Tozer -- the head man for 22 years -- resigned late last week. He told reporters today he was not fired, and parted ways on good terms.
The Milwaukee Bucks got the better end of the deal when they traded Brandon Jennings to Detroit last summer for Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Viacheslav Kravtsov. The Bucks completed their four-game season series with Detroit last evening. Milwaukee went 1-3 against the Pistons, but the swap of each team's point guard proved to be in the Bucks' favor. Third-year pro Brandon Knight leads Milwaukee in scoring with 17-and-a-half points a game. Jennings averages almost 16 points and eight assists for a Detroit team that was expecting to make the playoffs, but is five-and-a-half games out of contention with only nine regular season contests left. The Pistons thought they were just throwing in Middleton to help seal the trade -- but the second-year pro has been a surprise for Milwaukee, averaging almost 12 points a game. Coach Larry Drew said Middleton did not play much last year in Detroit, so he wasn't sure what he could do -- but he's been a nice addition to the Bucks. As for Kravtsov, he left for Phoenix earlier in the season.
Jared Fon of UW-Whitewater is the WIAC's baseball position player of the week, and Joe Pavlovich of Oshkosh gets the weekly pitching honors. Fon, a senior infielder, batted .548 in 31 at-bats last week with two homers, two triples, four doubles, 12 RBI's, and eleven runs scored. Pavlovich, a junior right-hander, threw eight shutout innings for Oshkosh in an 11-0 win over Thomas College of Maine. In softball, Carley Rote of Platteville is the WIAC's position player of the week, and Miranda Morrison of Stevens Point is the honored hurler. Rote, a sophomore outfielder, batted .615 in four games with three RBI's and six runs scored. Morrison, a freshman right-hander, threw eight-and-a-third scoreless innings in three relief outings at a tournament in Decatur, Illinois.
Brett Nohr of Saint Norbert College in De Pere has been named the Midwest Conference baseball pitcher of the week. Nohr, a sophomore, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Grinnell last Sunday. He ended up with a three-hitter, giving up a walk and striking out five.
Beau Burgert of Concordia-Wisconsin is the baseball position player of the week in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. And Garrick Day of Wisconsin Lutheran is the week's top pitcher. Burgert, a senior catcher, hit a grand slam last week and batted .533 in four games with a total of nine RBI's. Day, a senior, threw an eight-inning shutout against Lakeland, giving up six hits with a walk and two strikeouts. In softball, Wisconsin Lutheran swept the weekly conference awards. Senior Emily Sievert is the position player of the week, after going 5-for-9 with three homers and eight RBI's. Kendra Thomas of Wisconsin Lutheran is the league's honored pitcher. The senior threw a shutout and two other complete games, with an ERA for the week of two-point-three-three. The NACC also recognized Joe Buichl of the Milwaukee School of Engineering in outdoor track, and Austin Papenthien of Edgewood in men's tennis.