Tuesday State Sports Briefs: Bevell being interviewed by Bears for head coaching jobWisconsin Sports
-- Former University of Wisconsin quarterback Darrell Bevell is reportedly a candidate to become the next head coach of the Chicago Bears
CHICAGO - Former University of Wisconsin quarterback Darrell Bevell is reportedly a candidate to become the next head coach of the Chicago Bears.
ESPN said the Bears have received permission from Seattle to interview the 43-year-old Bevell, who’s now the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator. He’s among 10 candidates being considered to replace Lovie Smith, who was fired just over a week ago. Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator Tom Clements is also rumored to be a candidate for the Bears’ opening. Bevell led the Badgers to a Rose Bowl title in the 1993 season. He was an assistant coach with the Packers from 2000-through-2005, and he was Brett Favre’s quarterback coach in his final three years in Green Bay. Bevell was the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator from 2006-to-2010 under ex-Badger assistant Brad Childress. Bevell has run the offense for Pete Carroll in Seattle the past two seasons.
Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun will again play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in March. Braun told Milwaukee sports radio station WSSP last night that he has started his baseball workouts in order to get ready. Braun also competed in the World tournament in 2009. Spring training will start earlier than normal this year, so players in the World Baseball Classic will have more time to get ready. Milwaukee starters Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada are expected to play for their home country of Mexico. Relievers John Axford and Jim Henderson could play for their native Canada. And catcher Martin Maldonado might be selected to Puerto Rico’s squad. Rosters have not been announced yet. Brewers’ outfielder Norichika Aoki has already said he will not play for his native Japan, which has won the first two World Baseball Classics.
The Milwaukee Brewers have finalized a one-year contract with veteran reliever Mike Gonzalez. The left-hander signed a free-agent deal worth $2.5 million. The two sides agreed to a contract on December 28th, but the holidays and procedural matters delayed the signing until after the New Year began. The contract also includes up to 400-thousand dollars in performance incentives. It will be the first time that third-year Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke will have more than one left-handed reliever at his disposal. Veteran Tom Gorzelanny signed with the Crew in December. Gonzalez pitched in 47 games for Washington last season. He held left-handed batters to a .179 average with a 3.03 ERA and no record. He’s been in the Majors since 2003 and has 56 saves and a two-point-nine-four career ERA with Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Texas as well as the Nationals. To make room for Gonzalez on the roster, the Brewers designed right-hander Arcenio Leon for assignment.
Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger Ryan Braun is one of seven finalists to be on the cover of baseball’s most popular video game. For the first time, fans are voting to decide who will be on the cover of “MLB-’13, The Show.” The other finalists are ex-Brewer C.C. Sabathia, Matt Kemp, Bryce Harper, Buster Posey, Andrew McCutcheon, and Miguel Cabrera. Fans must use Twitter or Facebook to vote. The instructions are at MLB.com/covervote. To vote for Braun on Twitter, use the hash-tag MLB13Braun. The voting continues through Friday night at seven. “MLB-’13, The Show” is expected to be released March fifth for Play-Station-3 and P-S Vista.
League play resumes tonight for women’s basketball teams in the Northern Athletics Conference. North Division leader Concordia-Mequon has the night off, and Alverno and Edgewood can both tie for the lead with victories. Alverno is at home in Milwaukee against Marian University. And Edgewood travels to Sheboygan to take on Lakeland College. Wisconsin Lutheran plays at Rockford tonight. Lutheran leads the South Division at 5-0, with a one-and-a-half-game edge over Benedictine. Also tonight, the Northland College women-and-men are both at home in Ashland against Saint Scholastica. And the Lakeland men host Northland International of Dunbar.
Becky Mayo of Lakeland College has been named the NAC women’s basketball player-of-the-week. Mayo, a senior forward, averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds in three Lakeland victories last week. She had double-doubles in all three contests, while averaging almost two blocked shots and one-and-a-half steals. Mayo scored a season-high 23 points against Dominican. Anthony Keener of Dominican was named the top men’s player.
Jake Taylor of Whitefish Bay has been named the boys’ state high school soccer player-of-the-year by the coaches’ association. Taylor also made an 11-member all-state first team. Normally, the all-state teams are announced in November – but the coaches’ group said it needed more time to check on players’ statistics. Also, the group held its fall board meeting later than normal, in which the picks were approved. Taylor, a senior defender, helped Whitefish Bay reach its sectional final – when he scored twice in a loss to Brookfield East. He’ll play his college soccer at Marquette. Also on the coaches’ first team are goalkeeper Kyle Ihn of Kettle Moraine – defenders Jack Hagstrom of Middleton and Kevin Winter of Kettle Moraine – forwards Andrija Novakovich of Muskego, Edgar Landeros of Green Bay Preble, and Joe Kennedy of Milwaukee Marquette – and midfielders Jacob Grindel and Alex McBride of Milwaukee Marquette, Derek Ott of Middleton, and Adam Pohlman of Neenah.
UW-Stevens Point is back in the national men’s basketball Top-10. The Pointers moved up one place to 10th in the new Division-Three poll from D3hoops.com. Stevens Point is 12-2 overall, after beating Eau Claire by four points last Saturday. UW-Whitewater also moved up one spot to 11th in the new poll. The Warhawks are 11-and-2. La Crosse also received votes, along with Saint Norbert, Carroll, and Stout. North Central of Illinois is still the men’s No. 1. In the D3hoops.com women’s poll, Whitewater moved up two places to 15th, and Stevens Point also rose two spots to No.16. Both teams are 11-3. Oshkosh also received votes. DePauw remains atop the women’s poll.
Germantown is the Division 1 boys’ leader in the season’s first AP boys’ state high school basketball poll. Germantown is 12-0, and second-place Milwaukee Hamilton is 11-0. Madison Memorial is third, followed by Sussex Hamilton. Seymour leads the Division 2 boys at 10-1. Onalaska is second, followed by La Crosse Central and Rice Lake. Wisconsin Dells tops Division 3, with Lodi second, Little Chute third, and La Crosse Aquinas fourth. Whitefish Bay Dominican leads Division 4, with Cuba City, Elk Mound, and Southwestern in the two-three-and-four spots. Randolph is atop Division 5, followed Green Bay Northeast Wisconsin Lutheran, Clayton, and Cassville.
In the AP girls’ poll, De Pere is the first Division-One leader, with Superior second and Kimberly third. All three are at 9-0. Oak Creek, at 9-1, is fourth. New London tops Division 2 at 8-0, followed by Monona Grove, Baraboo, and Wilmot Union. In Division 3, Neillsville is in first, with East Troy second, Brodhead third, and Kewaunee fourth. Algoma and Amherst are tied for the Division 4 lead, with Cuba City third and Cameron fourth. Barneveld opens in first place in Division 5, with Milwaukee Heritage Christian, Wisconsin Rapids Assumption, and Owen-Withee in the two-three-and-four spots.
The Black River Falls native who scored 138 points in a college basketball game last November had his second-highest point total over the weekend. Sophomore guard Jack Taylor scored 48 for Grinnell College of Iowa in a 119-110 loss at Carroll University in Waukesha. Taylor had 22 points in just eight minutes in the first half for Grinnell. Actually, he scored 48 once before – that being in his senior year of high school at Black River Falls in a game against West Salem. Taylor’s 138-point performance set a new NCAA scoring record – and it generated a ton of publicity, including praise from Los Angeles Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant. Taylor says things have been closer-to-normal over the last few weeks after the fallout from the record. Taylor averages just over 38-and-a-half points in 11 games for Grinnell this season. He’s hitting 33-percent from three-point range and 83-percent of his free throws. As a team, Grinnell is in a four-way tie for first-place in the Midwest Conference with Carroll, Saint Norbert, and Beloit. They’re all at 5-2 in league play.
University of Wisconsin women’s basketball forward Ann Marie Brown is out for the rest of the season, after she had successful knee surgery on Friday. Coach Bobbie Kelsey said the sophomore Brown tore the meniscus at practice on December 18th – and her ACL was also found to be damaged when the operation was performed. Brown has started her rehabilitation, and Kelsey expects her to return next season. Brown played in 10 games for the Badgers this season, averaging just over six points and six rebounds per contest. Meanwhile, Badgers’ guard Taylor Wurtz had successful back surgery last week. Kelsey said her disc was repaired, and she’s recovering nicely. Wurtz, a senior, has asked a medical redshirt so she can play again next year. She played in just five games this season, but she remains the team’s second-leading scorer with almost 13 points per game.
The Marquette University men’s basketball team almost made the Top-25, after beating then-15th-ranked Georgetown on Saturday. The Golden Eagles received enough votes to be four spots away from the Top-25 in the AP media poll, and eight spots away in the USA Today coaches’ poll. Also, Marquette is 34th in the new RPI Rankings, which often play a role in determining seeds in the NCAA Tournament which is just over two months away. The Golden Eagles are 11-3 overall, with their victory over the Hoyas. Marquette’s next game is on Saturday at Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin men did not get a mention by either the media or the coaches. And the Badgers are 92nd in the RPI’s at 11-4. Wisconsin hosts Illinois on Saturday. At 14-2, the Fighting Illini are ranked 12th by the AP and 13th by the coaches. Undefeated Duke leads both major polls, as well as the men’s RPI Rankings.
At least two Milwaukee Admirals may soon return to the National Hockey League now that the NHL lockout is apparently almost over. Defenseman Joe Blum said he was planning to meet with the Admirals’ coaching staff – and for now, he has no idea what’s going on. Defenseman Ryan Ellis said he’s not getting too excited, because a tentative agreement that was announced yesterday could fall through really quickly. Blum has played with both the Nashville Predators and their top minor league affiliate, Milwaukee, for the past two seasons. He had one goal and 11 assists in 34 games with the Admirals this year. Ellis has two goals and seven assists in 20 games. Also, Gabriel Bourque has seven goals and five assists in 13 contests with Milwaukee. He has missed the Admirals’ last nine games with a lower-body injury.