Morning State Sports Briefs: UW men's hoops hosts MichiganWisconsin Sports
-- The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team will host Michigan tonight at the Kohl Center. Both teams are 11-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team will host Michigan tonight at the Kohl Center. Both are 11-and-3 overall and 1-and-1 in the Big Ten.
The Badgers have beaten the Wolverines six straight times in the last three years. But forward Jon Leuer says Michigan is a more balanced team now – and they have more players who can penetrate and find open jump shots. The Wolverines are the youngest team in the Big Ten with four freshmen and no seniors. But sophomore guard Darius Morris has vastly improved, and Michigan has six players averaging seven-to-16 points a game. Morris started 19 contests last year and averaged just over four points. But this year, he’s scoring 16 a night – and he’s third in the nation in assists with almost eight per game. Morris has also raised his three-point percentage from 18 a year ago to 34-percent this season. Four Wolverines are making at least a third of their three-pointers. Badgers’ associate head coach Greg Gard says it’s risky to leave Michigan’s shooters open on the perimeter.
Racine native Caron Butler is expected to be out for the season with the Dallas Mavericks. He had surgery yesterday to fix a ruptured right patellar tendon he suffered on New Year’s Night against the Bucks in Milwaukee. Butler was going up for a potential rebound when he grabbed his right knee. And he fell awkwardly on his left ankle as a number of his relatives looked on. He managed to walk off the floor. Butler has averaged 15 points and four rebounds in 29 games for Dallas this season.
Amadou Fofana of UW-Eau Claire was named to the men’s national small college Team-of-the-Week by D3hoops.com. Fofana, a senior center, shot 61-percent in three games for Eau Claire during the holidays. He averaged 17 points, six rebounds, and two blocked shots in those contests.
University of Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst was reportedly given a formal offer yesterday to run the offense at Texas. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel quoted a source as saying Chryst has “some tough decisions to make.” The 45-year-old Chryst has run the offense at Madison for the last six years – and he spent a year as the Badgers’ tight ends coach in 2002 before going to Oregon State as an assistant for two years. The Journal-Sentinel says UW athletic director Barry Alvarez is preparing a new package for Chryst which could give him a big raise. He made just over $360,000 this year. Chryst fought off persistent rumors at the Rose Bowl that he was headed to Texas. He said he was comfortable at Wisconsin, and was lucky for that.
The New York Jets say a lawsuit filed by two message therapists against the team and Brett Favre is “completely without merit.” Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole filed their suit on Monday, claiming sexual harassment and job discrimination. They said they lost their part-time jobs after complaining about sexually-suggestive text messages Favre allegedly sent to them when he played for the Jets in 2008. Among other things, the lawsuit said the Jets’ locker room and training camp were a quote, “hot-bed of sexism and inappropriate behavior. And Scavo said she was never offered work from the Jets again after her husband called to demand an apology from Favre. But the Jets said the plaintiffs quote, “never reported the allegations to the Jets, either during or after the conclusion of their work.” And the team said it believes it will prevail in court. Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, has not commented.
Masters’ speed-skaters from around the country will compete in suburban Milwaukee this weekend. The first Masters’ International/USA Masters Single Distance Championships will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Pettit National Ice Center in West Allis. The skaters are 30-to-75 years old, and will compete in races from 500 to five-thousand meters.