WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: UW men's hoops hosts Florida
MADISON - The 20th-ranked Wisconsin men are getting ready to host Number-11 Florida tonight at the Kohl Center. Both teams are 1-0.
The Badgers are coming off an 11-point win over Saint John's last Friday night in Sioux Falls, South Dakota while Florida topped North Florida. Redshirt junior Duje Dukan is coming off a career game in which he had 15 points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. Dukan red-shirted last season after coming down with mononucleosis. He said it gave him a lot of confidence to have good playing time against a solid team like Saint John's. The game tips-off at 8p.m. and will be broadcast by ESPN2.
The Marquette University men's basketball team will host Grambling State tonight at the Bradley Center. MU Head Coach Buzz Williams has not established a firm starting lineup yet for his 17th-ranked Golden Eagles. He says it's not all that important in the early games of the season. Williams says the biggest thing is for the players to keep getting better. The Eagles will have plenty of chances to do that, and not just in games. Williams is planning three solid days of practice from tomorrow through Friday, to get Marquette ready for its Saturday battle against Number-10 Ohio State. Marquette edged Southern 63-56 last Friday night, with a school-record 53 free throw attempts.
The Milwaukee Bucks only have four players from the team that got swept by Miami in the first round of last season’s playoffs. And just one of those holdovers – forward John Henson -- is available tonight when the Bucks make their first trip to South Florida since last year's playoff debacle. The other three are out with injuries. Larry Sanders will miss six weeks with the thumb injury he suffered in a night crawl brawl nine days ago. Ersan Ilyasova remains out with a bad ankle. Ekpe Udoh had knee surgery during training camp. Some of the 11 new Milwaukee players are no better off. Luke Ridnour and Carlos Delfino have not played a second of the regular season yet, and Delfino says he'll be out for the year because he'll need a second surgery on a foot injury. Miami star LeBron James has had a nagging back problem, but he continues to play at a high level. He had 25 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds last Saturday in a rare Heat home loss to Boston. If the Bucks somehow win tonight, they'll hand Miami its first back-to-back home losses in three seasons. The Heat is 4-3. The Bucks are 2-3 after losing to Dallas last Saturday night. O.J. Mayo is Milwaukee's leading scorer, averaging almost 19 points a game.
The Green Bay Packers have been out-scored 83-46 in the fourth quarter this season -- and that, above everything else, is the issue that coach Mike McCarthy wants to address. He says the Packers are not playing their best football when it counts -- and while there's no drill to correct it, McCarthy says it's a frustrating trend that his team needs to focus on. One problem is a lack of proper tackling. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers says there have been two key third-down situations in the past two games in which Chicago and Philadelphia made first downs due to poor tackling. Capers says his defense has had legitimate shots to get players down, and they haven't -- and it has resulted in more time-off-the-clock in which the Packer offense can't do anything. The Green Bay defense now ranks 18th in the NFL in giving up 353 total yards per game. Capers said he would not make any major defensive personnel changes right now. He said M.D. Jennings would continue to play next to Morgan Burnett at the safety spots. Rookie backup Chris Banjo had 11 snaps in relief against the Eagles. The Packers take a 5-and-4 record into their next contest against the Giants on Sunday at New York.
Packers' tight end Jermichael Finley will reportedly have surgery on Friday for the neck injury he suffered against Cleveland on October 20th. Former Packers' tight end Mark Chmura mentioned the operation on his ESPN-Milwaukee radio show yesterday. Chmura ended his career with a devastating neck injury. He said he spoke with Finley, and the operation would treat a herniated disk by fusing the C-3 and C-4 vertebrae. Coach Mike McCarthy said he did not have an update on Finley's possible operation. He was listed as having a spinal contusion when he was put on season-ending injured reserve.
Andy Puccini of UW-Platteville, and Cole Klotz and Justin Howard of Whitewater are the WIAC football players of the week. Puccini, a junior running back, ran for 221 yards in Platteville's 20-10 victory over La Crosse last Saturday. He also had 25 receiving yards and a touchdown. It was the first time since 2006 that Platteville had a 200-yard single-game rusher. Klotz, a senior linebacker, had a team-high 11 tackles in Whitewater's 17-7 win over Stevens Point which guaranteed the Warhawks at least a share of the league crown. Howard, a junior, won the weekly special teams award by returning a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in Whitewater's victory. It was the longest in team history, and the second-longest ever in the WIAC. The league also gave its weekly honors to Kye Brodie of Stevens Point in men's hockey -- Kim Van Brunt of Eau Claire in women's hockey -- David Flickinger of La Crosse and Lisa Reed of Eau Claire in swimming -- Andrew Janny of La Crosse and Sierra Becker of Whitewater in diving -- and Mason Bohm of Platteville in wrestling.
LaCurt Evans and David Gonzalez of Concordia-Wisconsin have been named the football players-of-the-week in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, along with Tanner Behnke of Wisconsin Lutheran. Evans, a sophomore running back, rushed for a career-high 146 yards and three touchdowns in Concordia's 49-41 win over Aurora last Saturday. The win clinched at least a share of the NACC title, along with the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs. Gonzalez went 7-for-7 in extra points, as he broke the Concordia-Wisconsin record for PAT's in a season with 49. Behnke, a sophomore linebacker, had an interception and a fumble recovery for Wisconsin Lutheran in a 27-12 win over Rockford.
Five new members will be inducted next month into the UW-Platteville Athletic Hall-of-Fame. They include cross country coach Tom Antczak, who's in his 22nd season coaching the men's and women's programs -- and Ben Hoffmann, who's the only player in NCAA Division III history to be a part of two undefeated national championship teams with Platteville in the mid-to-late-1990's. The other inductees are All-American track-and-field standouts Bryan Cunningham, Chip Schneider, and Heather Kehl Breunig. Platteville's Hall-of-Fame ceremony takes place December seventh.