Afternoon State News Briefs: MU's Gardner wins Big East awardWisconsin Sports
-- Marquette University junior forward Davante Gardner was named today as the Sixth Man-of-the-Year in the Big East Conference.
MILWAUKEE - Marquette University junior forward Davante Gardner was named today as the Sixth Man-of-the-Year in the Big East Conference.
Gardner is second in scoring on the Golden Eagles with 11-and-a-half points a game, while pulling down almost five rebounds in 21 minutes a night. He ranks fourth in the Big East by making almost 85-percent of his free throws and 58-percent of his floor shots. Also, Marquette senior point guard Junior Cadougan received the Big East Sportsmanship Award. He previously won Marquette’s sportsmanship honor, and was twice given the school’s “Create for Others” Award. Cadougan, a Marquette team captain, averages around nine points and four assists per game. Several other Big East awards were announced today, but the major ones – including player-and-coach of the year – won’t be unveiled until tomorrow.
The Marquette University men’s basketball team keeps moving up the polls, after winning a share of the Big East title over the weekend. The Golden Eagles jumped three spots to No. 12 in the Associated Press media poll unveiled this afternoon. And they rose four spots to 17th in the USA Today coaches’ poll. Marquette is 23-7 overall, and will have a double-bye until Thursday to the quarter-finals of the Big East Tournament. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin men held steady at No. 22 in the AP poll – and they dropped two places to 23rd in the coaches’ survey. That’s after the Badgers placed fourth in the Big Ten. Wisconsin is 21-10 overall, and they earned a first-round bye in this week’s Big Ten Tournament. The Badgers will play either Michigan or Penn State on Friday in the conference quarter-finals. In the AP women’s poll, UW-Green Bay remains at Number-20 with a record of 26-2. The Phoenix have the top seed and a first-round bye in this week’s Horizon League tourney.
Milwaukee Brewers’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez is close to returning, after he sprained his left knee almost a week-and-a-half ago. Ramirez was planning to run the bases today – and if all goes well, he’ll be ready to return later in the week. Brewers’ skipper Ron Roenicke says Ramirez is chomping at the bit to get back – but he says the process needs to go more slowly. Ramirez took batting practice during the weekend and said he felt fine. The Brewers have an off-day on Thursday – and Roenicke says he’ll probably wait until after that to put Ramirez back into the lineup. Bobby Crosby is starting at third this afternoon, as the Brewers play the Los Angeles Dodgers in an exhibition in Phoenix.
The Green Bay Packers have reportedly brought in two kickers for tryouts today. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says former Oakland Raiders’ training camp kicker Eddy Carmona was joining free agent Michael Barnard at the Packers’ complex. For the last six years, the Packers never brought in anybody to challenge Mason Crosby – but that apparently changed after Crosby had worst season in 2012. Crosby was last in the NFL with a field goal percentage of almost 64. Carmona played three college seasons at Central Arkansas before moving to Division II Harding for his senior year. Carmona challenged Raiders’ kicker Sebastian Janikowski at Oakland’s camp last summer. Barnard has never played in an NFL game after leaving Division-Three Fairleigh Dickinson in 2008.
Various media outlets are reporting that the Minnesota Vikings are about to trade receiver and kick returner Percy Harvin to Seattle for draft choices. The 24-year-old Harvin was in the final year of his rookie contract in 2012 – and he made it known that he was not happy with the Vikings. He was injured for the latter half of the season, and he missed all three of Minnesota’s games against the Packers – including their first-round playoff game in January which Green Bay won by two touchdowns. The Packers went 2-1 in Harvin’s absence, with each team winning on its home field in December.
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team remained at No. 14 this afternoon in the new national poll from U.S. College Hockey Online. The Badgers split a series at eighth-ranked Saint Cloud State during the weekend – and Wisconsin earned home ice advantage for the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Badgers are 17-12-7, as they get ready to host a best-of-three series with unranked Minnesota-Duluth which starts on Friday night. In the Division-One women’s poll, Wisconsin dropped three spots to ninth, after failing to get an NCAA berth for only the second time since 2004. Eight teams made the field, headed by top-ranked and undefeated Minnesota.
Former Milwaukee Brewers’ ace Zack Greinke is scheduled to start against his old team today – but the Los Angeles Dodgers say he’s questionable with discomfort in his throwing elbow. The Brewers haven’t seen Greinke since they traded him to Anaheim last July. The right-hander returned to the National League in December, when he signed a six-year, $147-million-dollar free agent contract with the Dodgers. Greinke has only made two starts this spring for a total of five innings. He missed a bullpen session 10 days ago with elbow stiffness, then missed a start last week with flu-like symptoms. Greinke has told his coaches that his elbow stiffness is nothing he hasn’t had before – and he has never missed a start because of it. Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly would not say late yesterday if he would start Greinke against Milwaukee this afternoon. If he doesn’t go, Hyun-Jin Ryu would get the start. The Brewers will start right-hander Mike Fiers, one of four candidates for the final three spots in Milwaukee’s regular season rotation.
Germantown High School senior Luke Fischer has been named Wisconsin’s “Mister Basketball” by the state coaches association. The seven-foot forward is heading to Indiana University this fall. Fischer averaged 21 points and nine-and-a-half rebounds this season for a Germantown team that has won 57 straight games and back-to-back Division 1 state high school championships. That includes Saturday night’s 57-28 win over Mukwonago, in which Fischer had 17 points and seven boards. Fischer also made the coaches’ Division 1 All-State first team along with Deonte Burton of Milwaukee Vincent, Austin Malone-Mitchell of Milwaukee Rufus King, Brady Ellingson of Sussex Hamilton, Adam Beyer of De Pere, Nick Fuller of Sun Prairie, Riley LaChance of Brookfield Central, Cooper Radtke of Oshkosh North, Ethan Guske of Sheboygan North, and Kevon Looney of Milwaukee Hamilton.
UW-Green Bay and Milwaukee both earned first-round byes in the Horizon League women’s basketball tournament. The top-seeded Phoenix will host either Number-eight Valparaiso or ninth-seeded Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday night in the quarter-finals. Milwaukee was given the No. 6 seed, and will play at No. 3 Loyola of Chicago on Wednesday. The tournament semi-finals will be played on Friday night, and the title game next Sunday. Green Bay is only the fifth team in Horizon League history to go undefeated in its regular season conference schedule, at 16-0. The 20th-ranked Phoenix are 26-2 overall. Milwaukee enters the league tournament at 9-19.
UW-Whitewater will play Amherst of Massachusetts on Friday night in the national semi-finals of the NCAA Division III women’s basketball tournament. The winner will face either Williams or top-ranked DePauw for the national title on Saturday. Whitewater is 26-6, after beating Hope College in Saturday’s quarter-finals, 65-60. Amherst is 31-1, after advancing with a 59-45 win over Widener. The Division III men’s tournament is down to the Sweet-16, but no Wisconsin teams are alive after Whitewater and Stevens Point lost this past weekend.
The field is set for the NCAA Division III women’s hockey Frozen Four in Superior. Top-ranked Plattsburgh State will face Middlebury on Friday afternoon, and then Gustavus Adolphus will take on Elmira. Those winners will go for the national crown on Saturday night. The national tournament started this past weekend with eight teams. Saint Norbert and UW-River Falls both lost in the first round. Meanwhile, the men’s Division III semi-finals will be played on Friday in Lake Placid, New York. UW-Eau Claire will take on Utica. That winner will then play Oswego State or Norwich on Saturday for the national title.