State Basketball Roundup: Hammond receives three-year extensionWisconsin Sports
-- Milwaukee Bucks’ general manager John Hammond says he appreciates the three-year contract extension he received yesterday, and the confidence that owner Herb Kohl is showing.
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Bucks’ general manager John Hammond says he appreciates the three-year contract extension he received yesterday, and the confidence that owner Herb Kohl is showing.
But Hammond said the focus right now should be more about the Bucks themselves, and how they play for the rest of the season. Milwaukee is 22-18 – and they’re just two-and-a-half games out of first place in the NBA’s Central Division. A division crown would give Milwaukee one of the Top-Three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. But as it is, the Bucks are in a comfortable spot at the moment, in the seventh of eight slots in the East.
The 58-year-old Hammond joined the Bucks in 2008, along with coach Scott Skiles. Both were in the final years of their contracts when Skiles left on January seventh. Since then, coach Jim Boylan is 6-2. Under Hammond, the Bucks restructured its payroll by dumping some expensive contracts that were not paying off. They currently have the NBA’s 24th-lowest total payroll at $64-million. Hammond will have some tough decisions to make this summer, as contracts expire for guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
The UW-Milwaukee men’s basketball team failed to score in the final nine-minutes and 39-seconds last night, and the Panthers lost at Illinois-Chicago 60-50. The Flames ended the game with a 19-0 run, and they out-scored Milwaukee 35-8 in the second half. The Panthers only made 12-percent of their shots, and they missed their last 12 attempts, all from three-point range. They also committed six turnovers down the stretch. UWM shot just under 32-percent for the game, but Illinois-Chicago was not much better at 38-percent. The Flames controlled the boards, though, as they out-rebounded Milwaukee 40-to-27. Panthers’ coach Rob Jeter called the second half “a bad 20 minutes of basketball,” as his team dropped to 0-8 in true road games. Gary Talton scored 14 points, as Illinois-Chicago improved to 3-4 in the Horizon League and 12-8 overall. Paris Gulley had 14 points, and Jordan Aaron scored 13 for UW-Milwaukee, which dropped to 1-5 in the conference and 5-15 overall. The Panthers will host UW-Green Bay tomorrow night.
The Valparaiso men took sole possession of first place in the Horizon League, with a 73-61 home victory over UW-Green Bay last night. The Phoenix never led, and they were down by as many as 16 points in the first half. Green Bay got to within one early in the second half, but the Crusaders took charge with a 12-5 run. The Phoenix fought to within three with just over two minutes left, but Valparaiso hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final 65 seconds to seal its win. Ryan Broekhoff had 19 points and nine rebounds to help Valparaiso improved to 6-1 in the Horizon League and 16-5 overall. Alec Brown scored 18 for Green Bay, which fell to 4-and-3 in the conference and 10-and-10 overall. The Phoenix will play at Milwaukee tomorrow night. Tonight, the Milwaukee women play at Valparaiso. The Wisconsin women are at Iowa. And the UW-Parkside women-and-men host Southern Indiana.
The UW-Stevens Point men improved to 10-0 in the WIAC, after beating Whitewater at home 67-57 in a battle of nationally-ranked Division-Three teams. The game was tied at 47 when the Pointers went in front for good on a lay-up by Trevor Hess with 4:31 to play. Seventh-ranked Point sealed its victory by making all 10 of its free throws in the final 68 seconds. Joe Ritchay led the Pointers in scoring with 15. Darnell Harris and K-J Evans each scored 14 for Whitewater. And the 13th-ranked Warhawks dropped to 7-and-3 in the WIAC and 14-4 overall. Whitewater is now in a second-place tie with UW-Stout, three games behind the first-place Pointers. Stevens Point is now 17-2 overall.