Afternoon State Sports Briefs: NCAA suspends UW freshman hockey playerWisconsin Sports
-- University of Wisconsin men’s hockey coach Mike Eaves says the UW will appeal an NCAA decision from last week, in which freshman forward Nic Kerdiles was ruled ineligible for the season.
MADISON - University of Wisconsin men’s hockey coach Mike Eaves says the UW will appeal an NCAA decision from last week, in which freshman forward Nic Kerdiles was ruled ineligible for the season.
School officials would not comment on the nature of the violation, but deputy athletic director Sean Frazier calls the ruling “unprecedented.” According to the Wisconsin State Journal, a photo turned up from agent Ian Pulver’s Twitter account showing Kerdiles and two other clients holding up a specific energy drink. The paper said the photo could have meant that Kerdiles was being marketed by the agent – or promoting the energy drink. If the NCAA ruling stands, the Wisconsin State Journal says it’s likely that Kerdiles might leave school and continue his development elsewhere – possibility with a Canadian junior league team. Kerdiles is a second-round draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks. The 15th-ranked Badgers, meanwhile, will open their season on Friday night in Green Bay against Northern Michigan at the Resch Center.
University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez says he’s in negotiations to schedule a football game with top-ranked Alabama in 2015. Alvarez told an audience in Mobile, Alabama last night that the talks have been ongoing. He said quote, “I can’t announce anything, but we’re still talking about playing the game … We haven’t signed anything, but we are in discussion.”
Aaron Rodgers is not having the MVP season he had a year ago – and it showed during Sunday’s loss at Indianapolis. Rodgers had decent numbers, throwing for 243 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. But he overthrew Jordy Nelson on what would have been a sure touchdown. And Rodgers was sacked five times – four of which came in the final quarter while the Colts were roaring back from a 21-3 halftime deficit. Now, with running back Cedric Benson possibly out for the season with a reported Lisfranc foot injury, Packer Nation will look even more to Rodgers to wipe off the rust and get the Packers going. But the coaches say Rodgers is doing what he can. Coach Mike McCarthy said his quarterback has had a solid year compared to his standards – but the Packers are a different team than a year ago, when he set all kinds of passing records. And despite the loss of Benson, McCarthy says he still wants performance from his other running backs – and he does not want Rodgers throwing 50 times a game. He’s been sacked 21 times this season, second-most in the NFL. And there are renewed concerns that Rodgers is hanging onto the ball for too long, but McCarthy says that’s just an opinion. Offensive coordinator Tom Clements says he doesn’t want Rodgers throwing too soon if he can scramble. Rodgers was Green Bay’s leading rusher last Sunday with 57 yards on five carries. The Packer players are off today. The 2-3 Pack will start practicing tomorrow for their next game on Sunday night at undefeated Houston.
Green Bay Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby was not on his normal rhythm when he missed two field goal attempts from over 50 yards out during Sunday’s loss at Indianapolis. The final miss from 51 came in the closing seconds of the Colts’ 30-27 comeback win over the Pack. Special teams’ coach Shawn Slocum said Crosby planted his foot too close to the ball on both occasions – and it caused him to pull his final attempt very wide to the left. It was the first kicks Crosby had missed all season. He had made all five of his attempts going into last Sunday – and that includes a Packer Lambeau Field-record 54-yarder against Chicago on September 13th. Slocum doesn’t agree with the notion that Crosby would have been automatic at Indy had he been closer. And while Crosby was upset afterward, Slocum says he’ll be ready to go on Sunday night when the Packers play at undefeated Houston.
Former Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger Prince Fielder will try to advance to his second straight League Championship Series tonight. Fielder and his Detroit Tigers will try to sweep the A’s in Oakland in Game-Three of their American League Division Series. Fielder is just 1-for-8 in the first two contests, with a walk and a strikeout. He helped the Brewers get to within two victories of the World Series a year ago, when the Crew lost to Saint Louis in the National League title series. Oakland catcher George Kottaras – who was traded from the Brewers this summer – is getting some playoff action for the second year in a row. He was a pinch-hitter in Game-One and started Game-Two, going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts. Madison native Pat Neshek, who recently lost his newborn son, threw a perfect two-thirds of an inning of relief for the A’s in Game-One. Ex-Brewer Grant Balfour was the losing pitcher in Game-Two for Oakland, giving up the deciding run in a 5-4 finish. The Tigers hope to get a repeat appearance in the ALCS, where they lost to Texas a year ago.
The NBA exhibition season is a time for coaches to settle on their starting lineups – and Milwaukee Bucks’ coach Scott Skiles says it will be a gradual process as the month goes on. The Bucks will play their pre-season opener tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Canto, Ohio. They’ll then host the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. The Bucks have a large group of power forward and centers that Skiles will want to get a look at. But as the pre-season goes on, he says it makes sense to give more minutes to the players who will be in the rotation when the regular season begins in just over three weeks. Skiles also wants the Bucks to show off their abilities on offense, and sharpen up the defensive skills that the coach is focusing on this year. There will be a familiar face on the Cavaliers’ side. Former University of Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer was with the Bucks a year ago, before he was traded to Houston. The Rockets cut him, and the Cavs picked up Leuer on waivers.
The UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team has won 14 straight regular season titles – and experts predict nothing different from the Phoenix this year. Green Bay received all but two first-place votes in the pre-season poll by coaches, sports information directors, and media members. Detroit is picked to finish second. UW-Milwaukee is predicted to take seventh among the nine league teams under the Panthers’ new coach, Kyle Rechlicz. Kevin Borseth is back at the helm in Green Bay, after leaving to coach at Michigan for five years. He inherits four starters from a Phoenix squad that went 31-2 a year ago, and made the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Adrian Ritchie of the Phoenix was named to the All-Horizon League pre-season first team. Green Bay’s Lydia Bauer made the all-League second team, along with Milwaukee’s Sami Tucker. UWM returns three starters from a year ago. Kim Demmings of Wright State was named the Pre-season Player-of-the-Year.
For the second year in a row, Kaitlyn Strehlow of Wisconsin Lutheran has been named the women’s tennis player-of-the-year in the Northern Athletics Conference. She was 10-1 overall at the Number-One singles spot, and 8-0 in league play. Strehlow, a senior, was also named to her third NAC All-Conference team. Morgan Wilson of Edgewood College was named the Freshman-of-the-Year after going 12-3 overall. Ben Oestreich of Edgewood has been named the coach-of-the-year, after leading the Eagles to their fifth straight league title with an 11-0 mark. Strehlow’s teammate Kathryn Hendee of Wisconsin Lutheran also made the all-conference squad, as did Wilson and her Edgewood teammates Amber Cook and Laura Olsen. Three players on Concordia-Mequon made the all-League squad – Jackie Ward, Julie Spransy, and Callie Reinke. Two Marian players were also honored – Reilly Connaher and Ann Goyke.
Bryce Corrigan of UW-Platteville, Tyler Naatz of Stout, and Tra Ross of Eau Claire have been named the WIAC’s football players-of-the-week. Corrigan, a sophomore quarterback, was also named the national offensive player-of-the-week by in Division III by NCAA.com He completed 86-percent of his passes for 412 yards in Platteville’s 40-10 rout of La Crosse. Naatz, a sophomore defensive back, had an interception deep in Stevens Point territory late in Stout’s 31-14 win over the Pointers. He was also in on a sack. Ross, a freshman receiver, was given the special teams’ honors for returning seven kickoffs for 128 yards.
The WIAC also recognized Josh Kaul of La Crosse in men’s cross country – Brad Streich and Mbodje Sarr, both of Platteville, in men’s soccer – Kim Jobke of Stevens Point and Avery Schneider of Oshkosh in women’s soccer – Stephanie Kirchner of Platteville in volleyball – Taylor Heltne of Eau Claire in women’s singles tennis – and Maddie Johnson and Gretchen Bachmeier of Eau Claire in doubles tennis.
Josh Zank of Carroll University in Waukesha is the football defensive player-of-the-week in the Midwest Conference. And Randy Hill of Saint Norbert received the weekly honors for special teams. Zank, a senior defensive end, returned an interception for a touchdown and forced a pair of fumbles in Carroll’s 55-6 pounding of Lawrence last Saturday. He also had two-and-a-half sacks. Hill, a sophomore kicker, made field goals of 41-and-34 yards to give Saint Norbert a 20-to-16 win over Cornell. Receiver Cody Weber of Grinnell is the league’s top player on offense. The Midwest Conference also honored Marc Robinson of Beloit College in men’s soccer, and Brandi Peltier of Ripon College in women’s soccer.