WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Rice Lake native Wally Ellenson announces he's transferring to Marquette
University of Minnesota guard-and-forward Wally Ellenson has transferred to Marquette. The native of Rice Lake in northwest Wisconsin will have two years of eligibility, after he sits out the next season as required by N-C-A-A transfer rules. Ellenson is a 6-6 swingman who averaged two points and just under one rebound for the Gophers in his sophomore season. He said Marquette is a great fit for him -- and he'd love for his brother to be one of his teammates. Henry Ellenson will be a senior at Rice Lake this fall, and he's already pondering scholarship offers from some major schools. He made his Marquette visit last weekend. Wally Ellenson is the third player to transfer to the Golden Eagles since Steve Wojciechowski became the new head coach in April. Loyola Marymount forward Gabe Levin will sit out this season under the transfer policy. Graduate student Matt Carlino, a guard from B-Y-U, will play this year.
The first-place Milwaukee Brewers are in the tightest four-team division race in the Majors. Three clubs are within seven games of the Crew in the National League Central. The Brewers have a three-game losing streak for the first time since mid-May, after falling at Toronto yesterday 7-to-4. The Saint Louis Cardinals moved a game closer to first, with a 2-nothing win at San Francisco. The Cards are now five-and-a-half behind the Crew. Pittsburgh is now third. The Pirates are six games back after beating Arizona 5-1. Cincinnati is a close fourth, seven back after falling to San Diego 3-nothing. All four Central contenders are above .500, the only division in the Majors with that many. And the race could get tighter this weekend, when the Brewers play at Cincinnati in a three-game set starting tomorrow. Milwaukee has today off, after being swept for the first time this year in the two-game Toronto series. Yesterday, Edwin Encarnacion hit a walk-off three-run homer off Brandon Kintzler. It left Will Smith with the loss because he put the winning run on base. Ryan Braun hit a two-run triple. Both managers were ejected in the eighth inning for arguing separate calls. Milwaukee's Ron Roenicke and Toronto's John Gibbons both got the boot. Toronto's win kept the Blue Jays a game ahead of second-place Baltimore in the American League East.
The Bucks' new coach shied away from discussing the circumstances that brought him to Milwaukee. At his introductory news conference yesterday, Jason Kidd brushed aside the tensions which led to his departure from the Brooklyn Nets. There were reports that he pushed hard to add a basketball operations post to his coaching job -- and he abruptly left when it didn't work out. Yesterday, owner Marc Lasry confirmed that Kidd's agent was the one to contact him and co-owner Wesley Edens about the now-infamous job interview that took place last Friday behind Bucks' general manager John Hammond's back. The owners called that a mistake, and promised to work closely with Hammond in the future. Hammond, for his part, spoke more aggressively about the Bucks' mission under the new owners than under previous owner Herb Kohl. The G-M made it clear that putting out a competitive and entertaining small market team was no longer enough. Hammond said the goal now is to "win and win big." Kidd said his one year with the Nets was a real education. His team went 44-and-38, making the second round of the playoffs. Lasry called the hiring of Kidd a "real coup" for the Bucks. The new coach said he looks forward to putting a young team on the path toward winning.
Green Bay nose tackle Ryan Pickett still believes he can contribute at age 34 -- and he hopes the Packers will give him that chance. The free agent defensive lineman tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel there's a "100-percent chance" he'll play somewhere in the N-F-L this fall. Pickett said he's been talking with several teams but wouldn't say which ones. He said he realizes the Packers are moving forward with younger linemen, some of which are more toned than the 340-pound Pickett. But the 13-year N-F-L veteran believes he can still play -- and he wants another shot at a Super Bowl ring. Wherever he goes, Pickett says he wants it to be with a contender. He expects somebody to sign him before training camps open in late July.