(Update) Afternoon State Sports Briefs: UWGB's Wojta looks to be high draft pickWisconsin Sports
-- Julie Wojta is expected to become the first UW-Green Bay basketball player to be drafted in the WNBA on Monday. But the big question is how high she’ll go.
GREEN BAY - Julie Wojta is expected to become the first UW-Green Bay basketball player to be drafted in the WNBA on Monday. But the big question is how high she’ll go.
ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo, who played for seven years in the WNBA, figures that she’ll go between the ninth-and-12th spots in the first round. But Lobo says she’s heard that the second round is also a possibility. But wherever she’s drafted, Lobo says the 6-foot Wojta will have to get re-acquainted with the guard spot in the pros, after flourishing at forward during her senior year. Still, Lobo says Wojta brings a lot to the table, after getting 100 assists and 100 steals in a season and shooting 42-percent from three-point range. But it’s tough to make a WNBA roster. Only 36 players get drafted. The 12 teams only had a total 26 draft picks on their rosters a year ago – and just 16 of them played in more than 25 contests last season. Wojta was among 15 players invited to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol Connecticut for Monday’s night. It starts at one p.m. and will be shown on ESPN2.
Former University of Wisconsin goal-tender Brian Elliott will sit on the bench tonight for Game-One of the Saint Louis Blues’ NHL playoff series with San Jose. Elliott led the league with a one-point-five-six goals-against average in the regular season, and he had a team-record nine shutouts. But he’s been dealing with an undisclosed upper body injury – and Blues’ coach Ken Hitchcock decided to start Jaroslav Halak instead. Halak is more experienced in the post-season, with 21 playoff starts to Elliott’s four. And Halak was fifth in the NHL this year with a one-point-nine-seven goals-against-average.
Pewaukee native Mark Wilson shot a two-over-par 73 today in his first round at the PGA tournament at Hilton Head South Carolina. Also, Madison’s Jerry Kelly was two over after 14 holes of his opening round. Both were tied for 66th as of late afternoon, six strokes behind clubhouse leader Chad Campbell.
Wisconsin’s two teams in the Midwest League will open new series tonight. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are back at Appleton against the Peoria Chiefs. That’s after the Rattlers lost at Burlington last night, 3-2. The Beloit Snappers are at Clinton Iowa to take on the Lumber-kings. The Snappers are coming off a 3-2 victory at Kane County yesterday. Also tonight, Quad Cities plays at Cedar Rapids. Kane County is at Burlington. Fort Wayne travels to Great Lakes. Lake County hosts Bowling Green. Dayton plays at South Bend. And Lansing is at West Michigan. Cedar Rapids leads the Western Division at 5-1 in the early going. Beloit is 3-3, and Wisconsin is 2-4. Lansing leads the East. The Lugnuts are the Midwest League’s only unbeaten team at 6-0.
On the PGA Champions Tour, Andy North of Madison will join Rhinelander native Dan Forsman at the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am at Tampa Bay. The three-round tournament begins tomorrow at the TPC course in Lutz, Florida.
University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema says two doctors agree on the extent of the nerve damage that’s been plaguing quarterback Jon Budmayr. The coach says both doctors reached the same conclusion – and the question now is how to treat the problem. Budmayr has had nerve damage in his throwing arm-and-shoulder. He missed all of last season – and he was making progress when his right hand became numb again a few weeks ago. Budmayr was red-shirted as a freshman in 2009. If he cannot play this fall, he hopes to return in 2013 for his fifth year in school.
The UW-Green Bay softball team split a double-header at Minnesota. The Gophers won yesterday’s opener 7-0, and the Phoenix took the nightcap 5-2. Sara Moulton tossed a three-hitter for Minnesota in Game-One, while striking out 11. Miranda Reinke belted a three-run homer in Game-Two for Green Bay. The Phoenix are now 13-14. Minnesota ended the day at 22-14.
Paul Swanson of UW-Green Bay has been named the Horizon League men’s tennis player-of-the-week. Swanson, a senior, won a pair of singles matches last week against Youngstown State and Cleveland State.