WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wojciechowski hires his first assistant at Marquette
MILWAUKEE -- The new men's basketball coach at Marquette has hired his first assistant. Steve Wojciechowski brought in his former Duke teammate Chris Carrawell yesterday. Carrawell has spent the last three years as an assistant with the Springfield Armor of the N-B-A's Development league. Before that, he had a variety of jobs with Duke right after he played with the Blue Devils. Carrawell was the A-C-C player of the year in 2000, and was a first-team All-American. Wojciechowski said his former teammate has a great understanding of the game, and his personality will foster strong relationships with the players. Marquette hired Wojciechowski a week ago to replace Buzz Williams. Wojo had been an assistant at Duke for 15 years after his playing days there.
A Milwaukee native is leaving North Texas as a national champion. Phillip Nolan started and played 19 minutes for U-Conn last night, when the Huskies beat Kentucky 60-to-54 to win the N-C-A-A men's basketball title. U-Conn never trailed, and led by as many as 15 in the first half. The Huskies made an improbable run through the tournament as the only Number-seven seed to win the national trophy. It's the fourth title for U-Conn since 1999, after the Huskies were forced to sit out the tournament a year ago due to academic problems. Nolan went scoreless in the championship game, but his physical presence was felt by his Connecticut teammates. He had one steal, a rebound, and four personal fouls. The 6-10 Nolan went to Milwaukee Riverside and Vincent high schools. The sophomore forward averaged almost three-and-a-half points in his 40 games this season, with nearly two-and-a-half rebounds per night and eight total steals. Huskies' senior guard Shabazz Napier was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. He had 22 points, six rebounds, and three assists in last night's finale.
The Milwaukee Bucks appear to have sealed the N-B-A's worst record, and the best chance to win the top pick at the league's Draft Lottery on May 20th. The Bucks are three games behind Philadelphia with five games left. If the Sixers don't win another game, the Bucks would have to go 3-and-2 to tie Philly for the worst season record. If that happens, a random drawing would be held for the top lottery position. In any event, Milwaukee will have anywhere from 224-to-250 chances out of a-thousand to pull the correct ping-pong ball which would give them the Number-One draft choice in June. The Bucks last had the top overall draft pick in 2005, when they picked Andrew Bogut from Utah. In 1994, Milwaukee used the top pick on Purdue's Glenn Robinson. The Bucks have lost five straight going into their next game tomorrow night at home against Indiana.
For the second series in a row, the Milwaukee Brewers will be the opposition for a team's home opener. The Brewers and Phillies were supposed to play yesterday, but a rainy forecast delayed Philadelphia's opener until this afternoon at 3:05. Right-hander Kyle Lohse will start against Kyle Kendrick -- who will make his second straight home opening start for the Phillies. The Phils went 3-and-3 in their first six road contests. Milwaukee is 4-and-2 after a three-game sweep at Boston this past weekend. Despite the winning record, the Crew has not been good at clutch-hitting -- except for third baseman Aramis Ramirez. He's 6-for-8 so far with runners in scoring position. The rest of the Brewers have 10 hits in 58 at-bats with runners at second and-or third, for an average of .172 in that department.
It was 40 years ago today when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's career home run record. The former Milwaukee Braves' and Brewers' slugger will be honored tonight, before the Atlanta Braves play their home opener against the New York Mets. Aaron belted his 715th career homer on April 8th of 1974. Race relations were not what they were today, and the African-American Aaron was the subject of threats and hate mail for daring to break Babe Ruth's long-time record. Tonight, the 80-year-old Aaron will get a chance to savor his accomplishment when some of his old friends show up for the ceremony -- like his ex-teammate Dusty Baker. Aaron said he now has a bigger appreciation for fans who are still celebrating his career.
Matt Kenseth of Cambridge remains at Number-Two in the NASCAR Sprint Cup season point standings. That's after he placed seventh yesterday at the rain-delayed Duck Commander-500 in Fort Worth Texas. Kenseth started 26th, and he jumped up the leader-board to earn his fifth Top-10 finish in seven races this season. Paul Menard of Eau Claire also cracked the Top-10 in the point standings. He's at Number-10, after he finished ninth yesterday. Danica Patrick, who was born in Beloit, placed 27th at Fort Worth. She stays in the 29th spot in the standings. Travis Kvapil of Janesville was 37th in the 500, and he rose one spot in the point totals to 37th. Jeff Gordon, who placed second yesterday, is the new points leader. Dale Earnhardt Junior dropped from first-to-sixth.