Tuesday State Sports Briefs: Delany says Big Ten division make-ups still undecidedBig Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said ESPN was wrong when it said that new members Maryland and Rutgers would join the Leaders’ Division for football.
CHICAGO - Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said ESPN was wrong when it said that new members Maryland and Rutgers would join the Leaders’ Division for football.
Delany said one of the great things about expansion is quote, “the speculation surrounding expansion.” He said there’s no foundation to indicate which teams will be in which divisions once Rutgers and Maryland settle in. Yesterday, when the conference welcomed Maryland, Delany said the league’s athletic directors would meet sometime next year to divvy up the new groupings. Wisconsin is currently in the Leaders Division. And ESPN said the Badgers would stay there, while Illinois moves over the Legends Division. Rutgers announced its plans today to join the Big Ten – but it might have to wait 27 months to leave the Big East Conference, as required by Big East policy. Delany said he wouldn’t get involved in that. Maryland plans to leave the ACC and join the Big Ten in 2014.
University of Wisconsin right tackle Rob Havenstein is listed at the top of the depth chart for Saturday’s regular season finale at Penn State. Badgers’ coach Bret Bielema said today that Havenstein had mild strain in the MCL ligament in his right knee, suffered in last Saturday’s home loss to Ohio State. Bielema said he did not believe the injury was serious. Havenstein was replaced by senior Robert Burge. Also, kicker Kyle French is now listed as a co-No. 1 at his position, along with Jack Russell. French missed a key 40-yard field goal attempt late in regulation against the Buckeyes. He had booted five straight field goals before his miss.
University of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has been named one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award as college football’s top running back. Ball set a new NCAA Bowl Subdivision record with his 470th career point in last Saturday’s home loss to Ohio State. He also tied the national record for career touchdowns with 78. Ball is tied with Travis Prentice of Miami-of-Ohio going into Saturday’s regular season finale at Penn State.
Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy says he still plans to use both James Starks and Alex Green at running back for now. Starks got the bulk of the carries last Sunday in the Pack’s four-point victory at Detroit. Green was only on the field for six snaps against the Lions, and was not given the ball. McCarthy says it’s his fault because of the way he managed the running game – and he says he’ll get both Green and Starks ready for the Packers’ next contest on Sunday night against the Giants at New York. Starks ran for 74 yards on 25 carries – less than three-yards per rushing attempt. McCarthy said the running game left a lot of production on the field against the Lions. Starks took over the starting job at running back, after Green failed to rush for three yards a carry in the weeks after starter Cedric Benson sprained his left foot. Benson is due to return in December.
In case you didn’t believe him the first time, Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy has again said he will not bring in another kicker to challenge or replace Mason Crosby. A day after the sixth-year veteran missed two field goals in perfect indoor conditions at Detroit, McCarthy told reporters quote, “Mason Crosby is my kicker, so we can just stop it right there.” McCarthy said basically the same thing right after Sunday’s win against the Lions. Also, the Green Bay Press-Gazette says the Packers told an agent for at least one available kicker that they won’t bring in anybody for a try-out. Nate Kaeding and ex-Packer Ryan Longwell are among the veterans available. Crosby is going through the worst stretch of his career. He has made 11-of-18 field goal attempts this season for 61-percent. Crosby met yesterday with special teams’ coach Shawn Slocum – and Slocum said he told his kicker to think of each attempt as a single act, limit his thoughts before each one, and do the process naturally without second-guessing each part of it. The kicking situation is one of the few hang-ups facing the 7-3 Packers, as they get ready to face the Giants at New York on Sunday night.
Despite all the injuries, Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers said his defense played at a “championship level” in yesterday’s four-point win at Detroit. The first-and-second-year players were the stars, as they filled in for the injured All-Pros Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson. Second-year pro M.D. Jennings ran back an interception 72 yards for a touchdown. Rookie corner Hayward had his fifth pick, which leads the team. And rookie linebacker Dezman Moses forced a fumble from Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford. That created a turnover just moments after both teams had exchanged previous giveaways. Rodgers said the Packer defense has a lot of confidence, and they’ll need it in the coming weeks. And he said he couldn’t say enough about the younger players who shined during Green Bay’s five-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Matthews says the Packer defense will have some fresh legs when he and others return.
The Packers have signed guard Joe Gibbs to their practice squad, and released guard Justin Cheadle. Gibbs was last in the NFL in 2010, when Saint Louis signed him as an undrafted free agent. He was cut at the end of the Rams’ training camp that year. Most recently, Gibbs was with Omaha of the United Football League.
The UW-Green Bay men’s basketball team will play at Idaho tonight. The Phoenix are 2-2, after losing by 11 by Cal State-Fullerton last Sunday as part of a weekend tournament in Reno Nevada. Green Bay has averaged 11 more rebounds than its opponents in the early going, but the team is only shooting 39-percent overall and 21-percent from three-point range. Idaho is 0-2, after blowing a 15-point second half lead on Saturday in losing to Montana by three points. Junior Stephen Madison scored a career-high 22 points for Idaho in that game.
Trevor Haas and Sam Barber, both of UW-Stevens Point, were named today as the WIAC men’s-and-women’s basketball players of the week. Haas, a junior guard, averaged 19-and-a-half points in Stevens Point victories over Lawrence and Saint Olaf. He shot 52-and-a-half percent while making half his three-pointers. Barber, a senior guard, averaged 26-and-a-half points in a pair of games. She had 26 in the Pointers’ victory over top-ranked Calvin College – and she was named to D3hoops.com national Team-of-the-Week. The WIAC also recognized Daniel Olszewski of Eau Claire in men’s hockey – Amy Spaay of Whitewater in swimming – Nick Badilla of Stevens Point in diving – and Ryan Conat of the Pointers in wrestling.
Joey Burris of Lakeland and Katie Luethe of Concordia-Mequon are the men’s-and-women’s basketball players of the week in the Northern Athletics Conference. Burris, a sophomore guard, scored a career-high 36 points in Lakeland’s triple-overtime win over Lake Forest – and he hit 5-of-10 from three-point range. Luethe, a junior forward, scored 23 points in Concordia’s win over Beloit. She also had five rebounds, three steals, and two assists.
The Marquette University men’s basketball team will try to even things up at the Maui Invitational, when it plays Mississippi State this afternoon in Hawaii. The Golden Eagles lost their tournament opener yesterday, 72-71 against Butler. Marquette coach Buzz Williams said forward Trent Lockett played that game with three broken bones in his face. He was hurt last Tuesday night against Southeastern Louisiana. Nobody knew how badly Lockett was hurt until he went home after that game, and he tried blowing his nose. The eye socket began to swell, and the broken bones were then discovered. Yesterday, Lockett did not start against Butler – but he played 25 minutes, and had nine points and five rebounds before fouling out. Marquette is 2-1 overall, and will face a Mississippi State team that’s 1-2. The Bulldogs got crushed by North Carolina yesterday, 95-49. Roquez Johnson had 12 points and seven rebounds for Mississippi State. Today’s game will be shown on ESPN-Two, starting at 1:30.
The University of Wisconsin men's team will host Presbyterian College of Clinton, South Carolina tonight at the Kohl Center. Presbyterian is part of the Big South Conference. The Blue Hose are 0-3 overall, and they’re led by Jordan Downing with almost 13 points a game. Wisconsin is 2-1. They pounded Cornell at home on Sunday, after losing at No. 7 Florida last week. Ben Brust and Jared Berggren each scored 18 against Cornell.
Eleven men’s teams and 13 women’s teams from Wisconsin are playing tonight in NCAA Division III basketball. The UW-River Falls men travel to Saint Paul to play Saint Thomas, which is ranked 11th in the D3hoops.com preseason poll. 15th-ranked Stevens Point hosts Saint John’s of Minnesota. Eau Claire travels to Saint Paul to face Hamline. Rose-Hulman plays at Carroll in Waukesha. Viterbo is at cross-town UW-La Crosse. Carthage is at Lake Forest. Stout hosts Gustavus Adolphus. And Platteville entertains Illinois Tech.
In women’s D-III basketball, Number-seven UW-Stevens Point is at home against Marian of Fond du Lac. 20th-ranked Carthage plays at Beloit. No. 24 River Falls is at home against Martin Luther. Edgewood entertains Millikin. Platteville hosts Luther College. Stout is at home against Saint Cloud State. Saint Norbert is at Eau Claire. Ripon travels to UW-Oshkosh. And Superior heads just over the Minnesota border to play Duluth.
Andy Popp and Erin Lind, both of Ripon College, have been named the Midwest Conference men’s-and-women’s basketball players of the week. Popp, a senior forward, scored a career-high 31 points in a 66-53 Ripon victory over UW-Oshkosh at a tournament in Wisconsin Dells. Popp averaged 17-and-a-half points in a pair of contests, while shooting 71-percent from the floor. Lind, also a senior forward, had double-doubles in a pair of games at Ripon’s Tip-Off Tournament. She averaged 15-and-a-half points and 12 rebounds per contest. Also, the Midwest Conference named Hannah Gabriel of Lawrence as the women’s swimmer-of-the-week. The junior won three individual events and a relay at the Lawrence Triangular.
The University of Wisconsin volleyball team dropped to 5-12 in the Big Ten Conference, after losing at home to Nebraska three-sets-to-none yesterday. The Badgers out-blocked the Cornhuskers – but with a .145 hitting percentage, Wisconsin never got close to matching Nebraska’s solid mark of .351. Alexis Mitchell had eight kills, and Anne-Marie Hickey had 20 digs for the Badgers. They fell to 17-13 overall.
The University of Wisconsin wrestling team is 2-2 on the young season, after splitting a pair of meets at the Hokie Duals in Blacksburg, Virginia. The 25th-ranked Badgers won eight-of-10 matches in crushing Campbell 35-7. But Wisconsin was no match for 12th-ranked Virginia Tech, falling 32-6. The host Hokies took 8-of-10 matches from the Badgers in their meet.
Thirteen football players from Wisconsin have been named to the All-Northern Athletics Conference first team. Wisconsin Lutheran has six representatives – receiver Josh Stodola, offensive lineman Pat Harrington, defensive lineman Sam Boyd, linebacker Eric Zeitler, defensive back Jason Kramer, and punter Brett Youngbeck. Concordia-Mequon has five players on the NAC’s top squad – receiver Garrett Wenzelburger, offensive lineman Sean Jones, linebacker Matt Upson, defensive back John Palese, and returner Joe Paul. Also making the first team were linebackers Ethan Lane of Maranatha Baptist and Bruce Romagnoli of Lakeland. Concordia-Chicago quarterback Jake Koehler is the NAC’s offensive player-of-the-year. Lineman Ben Lockton of Benedictine received the top honors on defense. Michael Beasley-Hart of Aurora, a receiver, was named the freshman-of-the-year. And Concordia-Chicago’s Lonnie Pries is the coach-of-the-year.
The Milwaukee Admirals will try to even their American Hockey League record tonight at Chicago. The Admirals are 6-7-1, and will play a Wolves’ team that’s 7-5-2. Milwaukee beat Chicago in their only previous matchup of the young season, 7-4 at the Bradley Center on Nov. 9. The Admirals will be without Gabriel Bourque for their next two games. He was suspended yesterday for an illegal check to the head of an Oklahoma City player on Saturday night. Admirals’ defenseman Ryan Ellis is expected to make his season debut tomorrow, after coming back from injury.
In men’s college basketball…
Augsburg 86, UW-Superior 74
In women’s college basketball…
Carroll 56, Concordia-Mequon 46
In Wisconsin boys’ high school basketball…
Arcadia 66, Whitehall 46
Auburndale 57, Nekoosa 42
Cashton 45, Seneca 26
Elmwood 54, Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran 39
Hortonville 52, Menasha 42
Kettle Moraine Lutheran 52, West Bend West 51
Kiel 69, Sheboygan Lutheran 59
New London 73, Wautoma 36
Port Edwards 58, Manawa 49
Randolph 58, Cambria-Friesland 57
River Ridge 49, Wauzeka 31
Shullsburg 41, Darlington 39
Southwestern 64, Argyle 43
Trinity Academy 50, Tenor 33
In boys’ high school hockey…
Green Bay Notre Dame 10, Sheboygan 0