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May 28, 2015

“Hard Knocks” heads to Houston

J.J. Watt

J.J. Watt

The Houston Texans will be the stars of this season’s “Hard Knocks.”  The HBO reality series picks one team each season to follow during training camp.  This year, NFL fans will get an inside look at the Texans and their Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt.

Watt’s NFL fans, as well as Wisconsin Badger fans will get to watch Wisconsin’s pride and joy starting August 11 when the program debuts.

 

Wisconsin to meet Wake Forest in women’s challenge

WOMENS BASKETBALL LOGOThe Wisconsin Badger women’s basketball team will play at Wake Forest in the ninth annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday, Dec. 2 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The Badgers were 9-20 in 2014-15, including a 5-13 mark in the Big Ten to finish 11th.  Coach Bobbie Kelsey returns seven letter winners and four starters, including 2014 first-team All-Big Ten pick Michala Johnson, who was recently granted a sixth year by the NCAA.  UW also returns 2015 honorable mention All-Big Ten pick Nicole Bauman, who led Wisconsin with 15.3 points per game as a junior.

Wake Forest was 13-20 in 2014-15 and 13th in the final ACC standings at 2-14.  The Demon Deacons return four starters from last season.

Wisconsin is 0-1 all-time against Wake Forest, losing to the Demon Deacons on Dec. 28, 1992, in Madison.

The Badgers are 4-4 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge after losing at Miami 66-54 last season.

The ACC has dominated the Challenge, winning six of eight seasons with two seasons ending in a tie.

Badgers to face Syracuse in Challenge game

MotionW_2ColorThe Wisconsin Badger men’s basketball team will travel to New York to face Syracuse on Dec. 2 as part of the 2015 Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The matchup pits two of college basketball’s winningest head coaches in Bo Ryan and Jim Boeheim.  Both are two of seven active coaches with at least 700 career victories.

This will mark just the fourth all-time meeting between the Badgers and the Orange.  UW will also play just its second-ever road game at the Carrier Dome and first since Nov. 13, 1999.  The most recent meeting between the two programs came in the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NCAA Tournament and was decided by one point, as top-seeded Syracuse edged No. 4 seed Wisconsin, 64-63.

The Big Ten is unbeaten in the last six Big Ten/ACC Challenges, having won four challenges, including last season, and tied in two.  After winning the first 10 challenges, [Read more…]

Wisconsin’s Havenstein goes to the Rams

Rob Havenstein

Rob Havenstein

Wisconsin’s Rob Havenstein didn’t have to wait long to find out where he would start his NFL career.  Havenstein received the call from the St. Louis Rams, in round number two (57th overall).  Havenstein was projected by many as a third-round selection or later.

Havenstein was the eighth offensive tackle selected in this draft.  He was the 17th UW offensive lineman drafted since 2000, after starting 42 games at right tackle for the Badgers.

The Rams are trying to bolster their offensive line and offense overall.  They selected Georgia tailback Todd Gurley in the opening round on Thursday night with the 10th overall pick.

The Rams also selected Louisville left tackle Jamon Brown in the third round, No. 72 overall.

 

UW athletic board puts the heat on a pair of coaches

Mike Eaves

Mike Eaves

After tough seasons for the Wisconsin men’s hockey team and the women’s basketball team, the UW Athletic board voted to retain coaches Mike Eaves (hockey) and Bobbie Kelsey (women’s hoops), but didn’t extend their contracts.

Eaves contract expires June 30, 2019 and Kelsey’s runs through May 31, 2019.

Under Eaves, the Badger men’s hockey team finished 4-26-5 last season, the worst record in program history.  After winning an NCAA Championship in 2006 and making the title game in 2010, the Badgers have failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five seasons.

In effect, the board couldn’t reward Eaves with a contract extension after a season like last year.  Eaves also fired his two assistants, Gary Shuchuk and Matt Walsh.

Bobbie Kelsey

Bobbie Kelsey

Kelsey’s Badger women’s basketball team finished 5-11 in the Big Ten and 9-20 overall last season.  Since Kelsey joined the program, Wisconsin has failed to qualify for either the NCAA or the WNIT.

It’s safe to say the Athletic Board is looking for improvement from both programs or their jobs could be in jeopardy.

The board did roll over the five-year contracts of men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan and women’s hockey coach Mark Johnson.  It also rolled over the three-year deal for wrestling coach Barry Davis.