Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Badger Mens Hoops players are smart

Six members of the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team have been named to the 2010 Winter Academic All-Big Ten team.
They are redshirt freshman Jared Berggren (Consumer Science), junior Tim Jarmusz (Consumer Science), junior forward Jon Leuer (History), sophomore center Ian Markolf (Consumer Science), junior forward Keaton Nankivil (Physical Education) and junior guard Brett Valentyn (Finance and Real Estate).
It is great to see that a star player like Jon Leuer is also a star in the classroom. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

NCAA Hockey Tournament

On paper, it looks like a mismatch.
Wisconsin, which owns a 25-10-4 record, is the No. 1 seed in the West Regional in St. Paul after spending most of 2010 ranked third in the nation. The Badgers’ opponent, the fourth-seeded Vermont Catamounts, are three games above .500, with a 17-14-7 mark.
UW scores the second-most goals per game in the nation; UV is 32nd out of 58 teams. Wisconsin is in the top 13 in both power play and penalty kill; Vermont is 45th and 32nd, respectively. Two Badgers are among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to college hockey’s most outstanding player; the other eight finalists include zero Catamounts.
It seems like Wisconsin should have no trouble winning its first game of the NCAA tournament, and the numbers back it up.
But don’t expect the Badgers to take the game lightly.
“First seed, four-seed… I look at their record, they’ve only got five or four more losses than we do. That’s not a big difference,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “Our belief as a coaching staff is any team can beat anybody because it’s one day, one-game and you’re in or out.
“We have a huge amount of respect because they’re at this point of the season with us.”
Despite its overall mediocrity, Vermont is one of the just 16 teams in the NCAA field. And now that the season has reached the “win-or-go-home” stage for every team, UW can’t afford to take the game lightly.
Lets hope the Badgers can go far in the tournament. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cornell Crushes Badgers

For 11 seconds, Wisconsin and Cornell were tied in Sunday’s game. Then Big Red forward Ryan Wittman hit a quick jumper, making it 2-0 in favor of Cornell.
That was just the beginning of the rout Sunday as No. 12 seed Cornell knocked off No. 4 seed Wisconsin 87-69 at Veterans Memorial Arena. The win was just the second NCAA victory in school history for Cornell, which will face the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet 16.
After Wittman hit the first shot of the game for Cornell, the Ivy League champions put on a shooting clinic over the final 39 minutes and 49 seconds.
“When you play a team that can shoot like they did, obviously 69 points just wasn’t good enough,” junior forward Jon Leuer said. “They were on fire.”
For the first half, Cornell shot 59.3 percent overall and 50 percent from the 3-point range. After halftime, the Big Red were even better, connecting on 63 percent of their attempts and 57.1 from long distance.
Wittman was particularly impressive, shooting 10-for-15 on the day and 3-of-5 beyond the arc. The senior from Eden Prairie, Minn., finished with 24 points, two assists and two steals.
Additionally, it was a game of milestones for Wittman, who broke his own school record for points in a season with 586 and became just the fifth player in Ivy League history to score 2,000 career points.
Hopefully it was a good learning experience for next year. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scott Tolzien is gaining confidence

With the eyes of Wisconsin sports fans fixated on this weekend’s NCAA basketball tournament and WCHA playoffs, senior quarterback Scott Tolzien and the Wisconsin football team quietly began their spring practices this week.
After last year’s hectic spring and fall practices which saw Tolzien emerge from relative anonymity to claim the starting quarterback job, the quiet is more than welcome. This year’s practices will be more about building off the team’s success in 2009 rather than finding replacements for departed seniors, with nine of 11 starters returning for the Badger offense. For Tolzien, the spring practices will also be about building on his new role as a team leader.
“I think with the role I had last year on the team and all the starts I got, I need to bring a little more leadership to the table because guys are looking for me to make plays, so I have to lead by example but also be more vocal too,” Tolzien said.
And with leadership comes confidence. Having a full season under his belt in which he completed 64 percent of his passes and led the Badgers to a 10-3 record, including a victory over the heavily-favored Miami Hurricanes in the Champs Sports Bowl, will certainly command increased respect in the locker room for Tolzien.
But also having a full offseason to focus on orchestrating the Badger offense to perfection and not worrying about beating two other players for a starting position, as he did before last season, will be a major boon for the junior signal caller.
“I’ve always been big on coming in and working hard every day and I don’t think anything changes this year,” Tolzien said. “I’ve got one more season left and it’s up to me to maximize that.”
After watching Tolzien through the first three practices of the spring, junior receiver Nick Toon said he is already noticing the results of Tolzien’s offseason work.
“Confidence is the first thing that comes to mind,” Toon said. “[Tolzien] is 100 times more confident, I think he’s developing a nice swagger in the pocket, and that’s definitely going to carry over into the season.”
It certainly helps that Wisconsin is returning a bona fide starting quarterback for the first time since 2006, eliminating the need for skill players and offensive lineman to acclimate themselves to a new quarterback’s style. Senior wide receiver Isaac Anderson attested to that benefit, saying this offseason gave him and Tolzien a chance to become more familiar with each other’s strengths and weaknesses by watching film and working out together.
Tolzien echoed Anderson on the importance of continuing to build team chemistry this offseason, which he said started in a much more festive mood than last year because of the bowl game victory.
“I think you can hit the ground running and you have a better taste in your mouth rather than a bitter taste after the Florida State game [in 2008],” Tolzien said. “But at the same time, this program is built on hard work and we’ve just got to keep up with that.”
Tolzien and Wisconsin have plenty of hard work to put in before their September 4 season opener at UNLV, but with an abundance of returning starters under the leadership of an experienced starting quarterback, they’re already off to a great start.
The Badgers should have a solid squad this year and hopefully a BCS Bowl. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Badgers to play Wofford in NCAA Tournament

The luck of the draw makes or breaks teams in the NCAA tournament.
Wofford, for instance, appears to have received a bad break by drawing the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team as a first-round opponent Friday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla.
"That's too bad," said Mark Byington, who is an assistant coach for College of Charleston, Wofford's Southern Conference rival, "because Wofford plays better against athleticism that they can turn against" their opponent.
Ask anybody who knows both teams and they believe that the fourth-seeded Badgers (23-8) and the 13th-seeded Terriers (26-8) of Spartanburg, S.C., are defensive-oriented teams that excel in half-court games.
"I expect the game to be in the 60s or low 50s because both teams are so good defensively," said Byington, whose team split its season series with the Terriers. "Every basket that is not out of your offense - maybe it comes from a hustle play or a tip-in - will be valuable."
UW and Wofford are similar statistically. Wofford has made 44.1 percent of its shots overall while Wisconsin has made 44.4 percent. Also, both teams are allowing their opponents to shoot 41.8 percent overall.
The Terriers, who enter the tournament on a 13-game winning streak, are shooting 34.9 percent from 3-point range and have scored 600 points on 573 3-point attempts. The Badgers are shooting 36.1 percent from beyond the arc and have scored 711 points on 656 attempts.
I personally believe the Badgers will handle Wofford with no problem. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Barry Alvarez on the Ballot for College Football Hall of Fame

Barry Alvarez of the University of Wisconsin is one of seven coaching candidates on this year's College Football Hall of Fame ballot, which was released Thursday.
Alvarez, who resurrected the University of Wisconsin football program and led it to three Rose Bowl victories, retired after the 2005 season as the winningest coach in program history with a 118-73-4 record in 16 seasons.
To be eligible for consideration, coaches must have accumulated at least 100 victories with a winning percentage of at least .600 over no fewer than 10 seasons, and have been retired for three years (unless they are age 70 or above, in which case they are eligible automatically).
Other coaches under consideration include Jim Carlen (West Virginia, Texas Tech, South Carolina, 1966-81); William "Lone Star" Dietz (1915-42); Wayne Hardin (Navy, Temple, 1959-82); Bill McCartney (Colorado, 1982-94); Billy Jack Murphy (Memphis, 1958-71); Darryl Rogers (1965-84).
The National Football Foundation mailed out ballots this week to more than 12,000 of its members and current Hall of Famers.
The votes will be submitted to the 13-member NFF Honors Court, chaired by former ACC commissioner and NCAA president Gene Corrigan, which will make its selections based on input from the vote.
The Hall of Fame Class will be announced May 27 in New York City, an event that has been televised live on ESPN2 in each of the last three years and NFF expects similar coverage this year.
Among the 77 players under consideration are several notable first-time candidates, including former Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George of Ohio State (1992-95) and Outland Trophy winner Mike Ruth of Boston College (1982-85).
Former Packers Desmond Howard (Michigan, 1989-91), Russell Maryland (Miami, 1986-90), Sterling Sharpe (South Carolina, 1984-87) and Wesley Walls (Mississippi, 1985-88) are also under consideration. It is great to see Coach Alvarez receive the accolades he so deserves. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Badgers Dominate Illini

Foul trouble? Who cares about that?Senior guard Trevon Hughes and junior forward Jon Leuer worked in and out of foul trouble all game but still got the job done offensively and helped the Badgers defeat Illinois, 72-57.
Hughes sat out a great portion of the first half because of fouls but managed to record his first double-double in his final regular-season game at Wisconsin. Hughes finished the contest with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Leuer also danced around foul trouble Sunday, picking up a third foul in the opening minutes of the second half. Then, after only a two-minute stint on the bench, he came in and promptly picked up his fourth. But the forward, who did not play in the first meeting between the two teams, was a force offensively, scoring 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field.
“They get in foul trouble, which they never seem to get in foul trouble,” Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said. “And we couldn’t take advantage of it.”
When Hughes was on the bench, sophomore guard Jordan Taylor handled the offensive reins and matched Leuer’s offensive output with 20 points. Taylor shot 8-of-17 from the field, including 3-of-6 from long distance, and added eight rebounds and three assists to ensure the Badgers did not miss a beat when Hughes, their starting point guard, was relegated to the bench.
Of Hughes’ and Taylor’s 19 rebounds, 10 were on the offensive side of the ball. Junior forward Keaton Nankivil added five offensive rebounds.
“The thing we said could make a difference in the game were loose balls, rebounds, and they were able to get them,” Weber said.
Illini junior guard Demetri McCamey, who torched the Badgers for 27 in the teams’ first meeting, never got going like he did in Madison, scoring 11 points Sunday on 2-of-8 shooting. Junior center Mike Tisdale led all Illini with 16 points on Illinois’ Senior Day.
The No. 16 Badgers (13-5 Big Ten, 23-7 overall) will now close the book on the regular season and focus on the Big Ten Tournament beginning Friday, which rematches the Badgers against the Illini.
Illinois (10-8, 18-13) now sits in a precarious position in terms of its NCAA Tournament prospects. If the Badgers believed they were facing a desperate team today, Friday will be against a team ultimately in a must-win situation.
“We got one last chance to make the season a positive one, but we’ve got to play smarter and we’ve got to get better effort on both sides of the court,” Weber said.
Tisdale echoed the same sentiment as Weber, knowing this could be the team’s final chance to somehow get back into the NCAA Tournament picture.
“It’s do or die,” Tisdale said.
It is great to see the Badgers turn it up in March. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

UW Seniors go out with a win

In their last game at the Kohl Center senior guards Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes said farewell the only way they know how: with style.
Bohannon and Hughes hit back-to-back shots to open a game-long celebration of their Badger careers and finished the game on pace to become the highest scoring backcourt in Wisconsin history.
Hughes finished with 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting and Bohannon added 11 on 5-of-8 and also grabbed a career-high nine rebounds. Both became members of Wisconsin’s 1,000-point club this season and, depending on how the rest of the season plays out, they have a chance to become two of the most winningest basketball players at the university.
“If I was a director I couldn’t write a better script for tonight,” Hughes said. “Our team came out firing, [the way] the two teams opened up the game, and especially with [Bohannon]. The very first possession once he touched it I knew it was going to be a good night.”
If it was not clear by how they interact on the floor, Hughes and Bohannon share a unique bond. They were roommates in the dorms freshman year, which brought them closer together socially and helped form the chemistry on the court that gave them the opportunity to grow into such an impressive duo. It is only fitting that they also got to share all of the achievements they’ve accomplished with the team these past four years.
“Just think about two guys going over 1,000 points in the same year, playing on NCAA tournament teams, conference championship teams, conference tournament champion teams,” head coach Bo Ryan said of his two departing seniors. “That’s pretty exciting. There are a lot of people who would like to be Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes. I would.”
Both Hughes and Bohannon also shared the night with their families. Hughes’ mom got the chance to see her son play at the Kohl Center for the first time since he played in the Wisconsin state high school tournament. And because Hughes’ team didn’t win the title back then, he was glad his mom got to see him lead the Badgers to a victory.
Sometimes it’s funny how things work out and in what Bohannon called a “cool situation,” he got to finish his career at the Kohl Center against his home-state team in front of his dad, the quarterback of Iowa’s 1982 Rose Bowl team, and his mom.
The most difficult part of the night for Hughes, Bohannon and their families was not winning the game, but trying to hold back the tears.
“It’s very tough,” Hughes said of the emotions. “You just have to suck it up sometimes or sometimes let it go. There’s nothing wrong with shedding a tear. The emotion did play a role in the tonight’s game and I think that’s the energy we need to come out and play with in every game.”
The performances by Hughes and Bohannon were special, but in his fourth game back from a wrist injury a junior forward took over some of the spotlight. Consider it a passing of the torch to the Orono, Minn. native as it will be his team next year without Hughes and Bohannon. The heir-apparent to the Wisconsin leadership throne, scored 10 straight points, thanks to assists from both Bohannon and Hughes, in an 18-0 run and left no doubts that he is back to full form.
Let's hope that the Badgers are peaking at the right time. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!