WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Andersen confirms interview with Browns
MADISON - University of Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen and the UW both confirmed today that Andersen was interviewed for the head coaching job with the NFL's Cleveland Browns.
NFL.com broke the story this morning, when Ian Rapoport tweeted that the Browns quote, "secretly interviewed Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen, who got a raise on January 25th." That made it sound like the school shelled out big money to keep the coach in Madison for a second year. Actually, a $100,000 annual raise was part of Andersen's initial five-year contract from a year ago. The UW Athletic Board did approve a one-year extension through 2019 -- a move routinely made for Badger coaches. Andersen issued a statement that Cleveland indeed contacted him, and he decided to stay put. He also said he loves Madison, and he's grateful for the support he has received from Badger fans. Athletic director Barry Alvarez said Andersen told him immediately he was contacted by the Browns -- and he affirmed his commitment to stay at Wisconsin. Alvarez said quote, "I think that Gary is one of the top coaches in the country, and am glad that he is leading our team." Andersen's Badgers went 9-4 in his first year there.
Wauwatosa East High School graduate Sugar Todd finished 29th today in the 500-meter speed-skating event at the Sochi Olympics. She had a combined time of :78.53 seconds for two races. Sang-Hwa Lee of China won the gold with a time of :74.70. Also, the U.S. women's curling rink fell to 0-3, with a 12-3 loss to Great Britain. Erika Brown of Madison had her lowest accuracy rate of the tournament, at 46-percent for the match. Debbie McCormick of Rio also had a Sochi-low of 56-percent. U.S. alternate Allison Pottinger, a UW-Oshkosh grad, sat out for the third straight time. The U.S. women's round-robin curling competition resumes tomorrow morning against China.
The Milwaukee Bucks are running out of time to avoid the worst record in their 45-year history. With 31 games left, it's mathematically impossible to have a .500 season. And the Bucks need to go 12-19 the rest of the way to avoid the their all-time futility record of 20-62 set two decades ago under coach Mike Dunleavy Senior. At 9-42, Milwaukee would have to rally to avoid an all-time losing mark. And what's worse for the Bucks, they're not getting as much revenue because fans continue to stay away in droves. Last night, only 11,016 people bought tickets or got freebies, when the Bucks lost to Boston. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said it appeared to be the smallest Bucks' crowd since the Bradley Center opened in the fall of 1988. The number didn't include those who failed to use their tickets -- and did not give the team any concession revenue. The Bucks' largest crowd was 16,448 for a Saturday night game against Dallas Nov. 9. Last Saturday, the attendance was just shy of 16,000 for Milwaukee's loss to Houston -- still 3,000 short of capacity. The Bucks drew less than 12,000 ticket-buyers 11 times so far this season.
Former Bucks' center Andrew Bogut is hurt again -- and this time, he and his coach do not agree on how it happened. No one knows for sure how Bogut injured his left shoulder, which has kept him out for the last three games with the Golden State Warriors. Coach Mark Jackson said last night that the 7-foot Bogut was not hurt in a practice or a game. The coach said it might have happened while Bogut was sleeping and quote, "I saw that in all seriousness." Bogut took issue. He said was sore after a game against Utah on January 31st. Bogut said he didn't know when he hurt the shoulder -- and he's frustrated because it has not gotten better. Bogut calls it a bone bruise, and an MRI exam showed no structural damage. He said he'll be out until after the All-Star break, and he hopes it will long enough to help him recover. The Bucks traded Bogut two years ago partially because of his history of injuries, which included serious arm-and-wrist problems after a hard fall.
Aurora is the pre-season favorite to win the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference softball title. The Spartans went 23-1 in last year's regular season, but they lost to Benedictine in the title game of the conference tournament. Benedictine is picked to finish second this year. Concordia-Wisconsin is the top Wisconsin team in the pre-season poll from the league's coaches and sports information directors. The Falcons from Mequon are picked to finish third.
Luke Tweed of UW-La Crosse has been named the men's basketball player-of-the-week in the WIAC. Tweed, a senior guard, averaged 22-and-a-half points and three steals in a pair of La Crosse victories last week over River Falls and Platteville. Stacy Clark of Platteville is the women's basketball player-of-the-week. She averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds in two Pioneer victories over Oshkosh and La Crosse. Clark had 23 points and 15 boards against La Crosse. The WIAC also recognized David Flickinger of La Crosse and Amy Spaay of Whitewater in swimming -- Andrew Janny and Tessa Kahring, both of La Crosse in diving -- McKena Ramos of Oshkosh and Meg Healy of La Crosse in indoor track -- Zach Anderson and Jessika Smith, both of Stout in indoor field events -- Tyler Green of Eau Claire and Cassandra Salmen of Stevens Point in men's and women's hockey -- Nazar Kulchytskyy of Oshkosh in wrestling -- and Katie Fiorilli of Whitewater and Brooke Baures of Winona State in women's gymnastics.
John Cording of the Milwaukee School of Engineering is the men's basketball player-of-the-week in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. And Kristen Schulz of Wisconsin Lutheran is the honored women's player for the second straight week. Cording, a senior guard, had 17 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in MSOE's victory over first-place Marian. He also had 22 points, five boards, and five assists against Benedictine. Schulz, a junior center, averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds in three victories that ended Wisconsin Lutheran's winning streak to a school-record 17 games. Schulz tied a career scoring high with 27 points last Thursday against Benedictine. The NACC also honored Eric Klamrowski of MSOE in men's tennis -- and Andrew Coop of Concordia-Wisconsin and Amanda Bregger of Wisconsin Lutheran in men's-and-women's indoor track.