Morning State Sports Briefs: Williams looks to reach new contract with MarquetteWisconsin News
-- Marquette University men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams expects to reach an agreement on a new contract by tomorrow, when he leaves for the Final Four in Houston.
MILWAUKEE - Marquette University men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams expects to reach an agreement on a new contract by tomorrow, when he leaves for the Final Four in Houston.
Williams said negotiations began in earnest on Monday, and they’ve gotten to the point where a deal is close. His name came up for openings at several schools – and reports said he was the top name on Oklahoma’s list after Jeff Capel was fired earlier this month. The 38-year-old Williams is 69-37 after three seasons at Marquette. He’s under a six-year contract – and media reports say his new deal could pay him over two-million-dollars a year. Williams led the Golden Eagles to a 22-15 record this past season. They made the NCAA’s Sweet-16 for the first time since 2003.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff hopes are on life support as they play at Toronto tonight. The Bucks are two games behind Charlotte and three behind Indiana for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. And with only nine games left, Milwaukee needs a winning streak while Charlotte and the Pacers falter. Bucks’ coach Scott Skiles has seen a lack of production from his bench lately – and he’s been shortening his rotation. Players like Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts have not had much time on the floor. And Skiles is trying to give more minutes to Michael Redd and Drew Gooden – both of whom returned on Monday night after long bouts with injuries. Redd played his first game in 14 months, with four assists in the Bucks’ one-point loss to Charlotte. Gooden had eight rebounds and two points on Monday, as he returned for the first time since late January after a left foot injury. Skiles says he’s trying to use the combinations that will help the Bucks win. But he hasn’t had much success at that lately, as Milwaukee has lost six of its last nine.
University of Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips says he’ll be ready to compete for the starting spot once the pre-season camp comes around in August. Phillips, who will be a junior this fall, is coming off a pair of major injuries to his right knee. And he’s been limited to passing drills at the Badgers’ spring practices – the fourth of which was held yesterday. Phillips was hoping to return from a torn ACL last season when he aggravated the injury at practice. He underwent surgery last November. Now, he says he’s trying to get as mentally-engaged as possible, and get as much physical work as he can. Jon Budmayr, who will be a sophomore in the fall, has been working with the Badgers’ number-one offense. Freshman Joel Brennan is the number-two quarterback for the moment. Freshman walk-on Joel Stave has the third spot for now.
Former UW-Milwaukee coach Bob Gansler has been elected to the National Soccer Hall-of-Fame. Gansler was on the Builders’ Ballot, after he coached the 1990 U.S. team in its first World Cup appearance in 40 years. He also coached the former Milwaukee Rampage when they won the outdoor “A”-League championship in 1997.