July 2013 Archives

Gary Andersen's day in Bristol for #ESPNB1G

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Wisconsin football head coach Gary Andersen spent Wednesday in Bristol, Conn., spreading the word about the Badgers across a number of ESPN platforms. Re-live the sights and sounds of Andersen's day at the Worldwide Leader in Sports:



- Transcript: Andersen Press Conference  |  Photo Gallery

CHICAGO -- When the ACC's coordinator of officials, Doug Rhoads, suggested that South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's resounding hit on Michigan tailback Vincent Smith might have led to Clowney being ejected from the game under the new "targeting'' rules, it sent shockwaves through college football.

Some washed ashore here Wednesday at the Big Ten Media Days.

"I was shocked by that (Rhoads' interpretation),'' said Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland. "If that warrants an ejection maybe they should put flags in the running back's belt and we'll pull them out instead of playing tackle football. That was a perfect tackle.''

Others felt the same way, including Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, who handed the ball to Smith on the play in question. "It was a good football play,'' he said of Clowney's memorable tackle in the Outback Bowl. "I don't think he could have been ejected at all.

"They're trying to make football kind of a soft game if that's the case.''

Offering the running back's perspective, UW senior James White joined the chorus. "I thought it was a clean hit,'' he said. "It looked like a pretty good form tackle to me. But they're trying to look out for player safety. You just hope they're consistent with it.''

That was also Gardner's take on how games might be officiated. "I was watching a roundtable with (South Carolina's) Steve Spurrier,'' he noted.  "He was saying it would be hard to implement it if not everyone was calling it the same way. I just hope it's fair.''

The objective is to penalize those players who launch (or leave their feet) to deliver a hit above the shoulders, especially when they use the crown of their helmet to strike an opponent. Purdue defensive tackle Bruce Gaston didn't see Clowney's hit in that light.

"From a defensive point of view, it was a good hit,'' Gaston said. "It was a hard hit, it was a hit that every D-lineman, I can safely say, would love to get. As far as the rules, I can't comment because at the end of the day I don't have anything to do with them.

"I always think there's the need for greater safety. But the sport we play is football. It's a very physical sport and everyone knows that once they put the pads on in the Big Ten.''

Obviously, the intent is to protect defenseless players. Such as Smith? "He's getting the ball so he may be defenseless,'' Gardner said. "But the goal for the defense is to get the ball (Smith fumbled on the play). He (Clowney) did what he had to do to get the football.''

Although ejections would be reviewable by the replay official in the press box, the new guidelines on targeting -- or high hits -- has stirred much discussion and debate, particularly because it's so subjective in nature, maybe too much so.

"It puts a huge amount of pressure on the officials and there's such a very fine line to be drawn,'' said Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez. "I understand the intent of the rule. But, boy, you can't take the aggressiveness out of the game.

"You're trying to eliminate someone going for the head, the kill shots. But an ejection for just a clean hit, a hard hit, I would really question that. You have to send a message some way. I just don't know if this is the right way. But it's sure going to send a strong message.''

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, a defensive architect, voiced his concerns Wednesday.  "The scary thing for me is the application part of it,'' he said. "I don't think it's an easy thing to call. In my opinion, it's going a little bit overboard right now.

"I understand where it's coming from,'' he continued. "It's about the safety of the players and we're all for that. We just have to make sure that we're not messing with the integrity of the game or the sport and how it's supposed to be played.''

Borland echoed that sentiment. "You can't change the game too much,'' he said. Yet, he recognized the need for change given the severity of the penalty. "Ejection is a strong word. You can't afford that, especially if you're a starter and key player.''

Does a defensive player have to condition himself to tackle differently? "I don't think you can afford to do that,'' Borland said. "A fundamentally sound tackle isn't going to warrant an ejection, so you have to focus on being fundamentally sound.''

Borland is well aware of the increased sensitivity to head injuries, concussions.

"Our athletic training staff does a great job with it,'' he said. "We appreciate them taking care of the players and caring about safety. Obviously it's an issue (nationally) with some of the things that have been going on with former NFL players (i.e. lawsuits).

"That said, it's a risk that you take on when you play football. It's up to you to be responsible if you sustain a concussion to take yourself out of the game or let someone know. The issues arise when guys try to tough it out.

"You can't play around with your brain.''

You can't play tentative or hold back on defense, either. "You've heard all of your life as an athlete, if you're trying not to get hurt, you're likely to get hurt,'' Borland said. "You have to play hard. And if you play sound, you should avoid most injuries.''

Sporting a shiner, the result of a broken nose that he sustained during a 7-0n-7 passing drill Monday night on campus, UW wide receiver Jared Abbrederis pointed out, "You want to make sure you keep the players safe. But it is football and we signed up.''

Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen doesn't want to get anyone hurt nor does he want to "take a game away from a kid if we don't have to.'' He cited the need to educate players on big hit opportunities and called the targeting rules a work in progress.

"It absolutely puts more emphasis on judgment by officials,'' he said. "That's the hard part for me as a coach. Those decisions are going to be made in a bang-bang emotional time. And you just have to hope that they are made right.''

Achievements of the Year: Darrah named Big Ten tournament MVP

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Over the course of two weeks, UW Athletics will look back on the Badgers' biggest accomplishments during the 2012-13 season.

Twenty-one innings of work in the circle and a Big Ten tournament title capped of a record setting weekend for Badgers' pitcher Cassandra Darrah. Darrah led Wisconsin to its first ever Big Ten tournament championship and solidified the team's first NCAA tournament bid since 2005. 

Darrah earned Big Ten tournament MVP accolades after earning a 3-0 record in the tournament and recording a 1.67 ERA. In the title game against Minnesota, Darrah pitched a gem, allowing only two hits while striking out eight.

A first-team All-Big Ten and a second-team NFCA Great Lakes All-Region honoree, Darrah finished the season with a UW single-season record .791 winning percentage while earning a 27-7 ledger. Her 27 victories were second in school history, and her 231.1 innings pitched were the fifth-most in a single season at Wisconsin. Darrah tossed 27 complete games in 2013, which ranks fourth in school history, and her nine Big Ten wins ranks second all-time at UW. 

Darrah, a native of Corydon, Iowa, earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Week twice this season, and tossed UW's first no-hitter in 12 seasons. She pitched a complete game shutout in Wisconsin's 8-0 win over No. 16 Stanford, and tossed a complete game in a triumph over No. 6 Michigan. She tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts in a 6-4 win over Notre Dame. Darrah also earned UW's Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in her career. 

In only her third year, Darrah is tied for second in program history with 65 career victories, and her 2.17 career ERA ranks second. Her .684 winning percentage is the best in UW history, and her 19 shutouts rank second. Darrah has punched out 424 batters in her career, which is Wisconsin's sixth-best mark, and her 67 complete games rank third all-time.

Landry, Butch fall in Elite Eight of tournament play

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Following the Orlando Summer League (July 7-12), which featured recent graduates Ryan Evans (Detroit Pistons) and Jared Berggren (Orlando Magic), the focus of GMs, scouts and fans shifts to Las Vegas where the 2013 NBA Summer League continues play from July 12-22. 

Former Badgers Jordan Taylor (Toronto Raptors), Marcus Landry (LA Lakers), Brian Butch (NBA D-League Select), Mike Bruesewitz (Milwaukee Bucks) and Jon Leuer (Memphis Grizzlies) are all looking to earn their stripes in the Vegas summer league and solidify a spot in a teams' rotation or in the case of some, an invite to an NBA squad's fall camp. The Las Vegas Summer League, held at the Thomas & Mack Center and COX Pavilion, will tip off July 12 and concludes with the first-ever summer league championship game on Monday, July 22. 


Brian Butch (2004-08) - NBA D-League Select Team
Butch displayed a bevy of solid performances during his time with the D-League select team, including a double-double (18 pts, 11 reb) in a tournament play win over the Minnesota T'Wolves. Despite a quiet outing in the D-League's Elite Eight loss to Charlotte, Butch finished with averages of 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game it will be tough for GMs and scouts not to take a second and third look at Butch when evaluating and deciding on bigs to invite to fall camp this upcoming season.

Schedule (All times CT)
Saturday, July 13: NBA D-League 83, Minnesota 81 - 18 mins, 4 pts, 3 ast, 3 stl
Sunday, July 14: NBA D-League 81, LA Clippers 77 - 23 mins, 8 pts (2-6 FG, 4-4 FT), 2 reb 
Tuesday, July 16: NBA D-League 82, Dallas 75 - 16 mins, 8 pts (3-4 FG, 2-2 FT), 6 reb

Tournament Play (All times CT)
Thursday, July 18: NBA D-League 83, Minnesota 75 - 28 mins, 18 pts (6-9 FG, 2-4 3FG, 4-6 FT), 11 reb
Saturday, July 20: Charlotte 85, NBA D-League 75 - 17 mins, 3 pts (1-4 FG, 1-3 3FG), 4 reb
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Mike Bruesewitz (2010-13) - Milwaukee Bucks
Bruesewitz's summer league experience concluded on Friday with a 90-80 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Despite only playing five minutes combined in the previous four games, Bruesewitz was a spark off the bench for the Bucks in their finale, earning 16 minutes and scoring five points on 2-for-3 shooting.

After a career in which he earned the label of the "Ultimate Glue Guy", Bruesewitz will take that same mindset and persona and attempt to turn it into a professional basketball career. That journey begins in the NBA Summer League for the St. Paul, Minn., native who is teaming up with the Milwaukee Bucks, where he will look to impress coaches, scouts and GMs alike, with his tenacity and passion, along with his fearlessness around the basket and his defensive intensity. 

Schedule (All times CT):
Saturday, July 13: Milwaukee 88, Denver 74 - DNP
Sunday, July 14: Milwaukee 69, New Orleans 61 - DNP
Tuesday, July 16: Golden State 84, Milwaukee 72 - 5 mins, 6 pts (2-2 3FG), 1 reb, 1 stl

Tournament Play (All times CT)
Thursday, July 18: LA Lakers 72, Milwaukee 68 - DNP
Friday, July 19: San Antonio 90, Milwaukee 80 - 16 mins, 5 pts (2-3 FG, 1-2 3FG), 1 reb, 1 ast

Related Links:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bruesewitz holds court after on-court session 
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Marcus Landry (2006-09) - LA Lakers 
Due to his old school personality and experienced mentality both on and off the court, Landry has and always will be known as an elder statesman, regardless of where he plays. His play in the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League was on par with that persona as his numbers mirrored that of an experienced NBA role player. 

Landry ended his summer league experience in the top-20 among all NBA summer league participants in scoring (15.2 ppg), while grabbing 4.7 rebounds per game for a LA Lakers squad that fell to top-seeded Golden State in the Elite Eight. Landry has already been tabbed by some as a definite to be invited to the Lakers' fall camp and the relationship between LA head coach Mike D'Antoni and Landry, dating back to their time in New York, only improves those chances.

Schedule (All times CT):
Friday, July 12: Cleveland 70, LA Lakers 62 - 18 mins, 14 pts (3-8 FG, 5-7 FT), 2 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk
Sunday, July 14: LA Lakers 81, Portland 63 - 25 mins, 14 pts (5-14 FG, 2-7 3FG), 5 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl 
Monday, July 15: LA Lakers 77, LA Clippers 65 - 29 mins, 16 pts (6-12 FG, 2-8 3FG), 6 reb, 2 blk, 1 stl

Tournament Play (All times CT)
Thursday, July 18: LA Lakers 72, Milwaukee 68 - 28 mins, 18 pts (5-13 FG, 3-7 3FG, 5-7 FT), 6 reb
Saturday, July 20: Golden State 83, LA Lakers 77 - 32 mins, 14 pts (5-10 FG, 3-5 3FG, 1-2 FT), 2 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl

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Jordan Taylor (2009-12) - Toronto Raptors
Taylor garnered starts in two of Toronto's three summer league contests, but his minutes took a hit with the addition of former Marquette grad Dwight Buycks, who inked a deal with Toronto as a back-up PG for the 2013-14 season following the Orlando Summer League. 

Schedule (All times CT):
Saturday, July 13: Miami 81, Toronto 72 - 21 mins, 5 pts, 2 ast, 1 reb
Sunday, July 14: Toronto 82, San Antonio 76 - 18 mins, 0 pts, 1 reb, 1 stl
Tuesday, July 16: Toronto 81, Sacramento 70 - 4 mins, 0 pts, 1 stl

Tournament Play (All times CT)
Thursday, July 18: Toronto 95, Denver 78 - 8 mins, 0 pts, 1 reb
Saturday, July 20: Phoenix 103, Toronto 98 - 2 mins, 0 pts
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Jared Berggren (2009-13) - Cleveland Cavaliers/Orlando Magic
Berggren played sparingly for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the Las Vegas summer league. He tallied a rebound in nine minutes of action during the Cavs' final summer league contest, an 82-76 loss at the hands of the Miami Heat.

Garnering the start in his 2013 NBA Orlando Summer League finale, Berggren chipped in five points and four rebounds. The Princeton, Minn., native saw action in just two games for the Magic, earning the starting nod in his finale.

Although it wasn't enough to garner the win or go a long way in solidifying him a roster spot come fall, his final showing will hopefully give the former second-team All-Big Ten honoree something to build on heading into the latter part of the summer.

Schedule (All times CT):
Sunday, July 7: Orlando 95, Boston 88 - 2 mins, 0 pts, 0 rebs
Monday, July 8: OKC 79, Orlando 78 - DNP
Tuesday, July 9: Miami 94, Orlando 80 - DNP
Thursday, July 11: Orlando 90, Philadelphia 89 - DNP
Friday, July 12: Boston 102, Orlando 83 - 20 mins, 5 pts, 4 reb, 1 blk, 1 ast

Tournament Play (All times CT)
Las Vegas
Thursday, July 18: Cleveland 72, San Antonio 66 - 4 mins, 2 pts, 1 reb
Saturday, July 20: Miami 82, Cleveland 76 - 9 mins, 0 pts, 1 reb

Related Links:
Wisconsin State Journal: Berggren got sound advice 
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Ryan Evans (2009-13) - Detroit Pistons
In his 2013 NBA Summer League finale, Evans not only garnered the start at shooting guard, but he also exploded for 19 points on 7-for-15 (.460) shooting from the field and a 3-for-4 (.750) performance from the free throw stripe. Unfortunately, his efforts weren't enough as Detroit fell to the Miami Heat in tournament play.

Evans ended his 2013 NBA Summer League experience with averages of 7.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game and although his numbers aren't eye-popping, he definitely left NBA scouts and GMs in attendance at the Amway Center on Friday morning with something to salivate over.

Schedule (All times CT):
Sunday, July 7: Detroit 76, Brooklyn 67 - DNP 
Monday, July 8: Boston 93, Detroit 63 - 19 mins, 6 pts (2-7 FG, 1-4 3FG), 3 reb, 2 stl, 1 blk
Tuesday, July 9: OKC 79, Detroit 75 - 11 mins, 2 pts (1-3 FG), 2 reb, 1 ast
Thursday, July 11: Detroit 78, Miami 77 - 6 mins, 2 pts (1-2 FG), 2 reb
Friday, July 12: Miami 90, Detroit 85 - 30 mins, 19 pts (7-15 FG, 2-7 3FG, 3-4 FT), 5 reb, 2 stl, 1 ast

Related Links:
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Jon Leuer (2008-11) - Memphis Grizzlies
Leuer, who recently signed a three-year contract to rejoin the Grizzlies beginning in 2013-14, was expected to compete for valuable minutes off of the bench next season. After spraining an ankle during the first practice in Las Vegas, it is doubtful Leuer will have an opportunity to begin that quest during the NBA Summer League.

Leuer did not appear in any of the Grizzlies' six summer league games due to the injury.

Schedule (All times CT)
Saturday, July 13: Chicago 81, Memphis 67 - DNP 
Sunday, July 14: Cleveland 69, Memphis 58 - DNP
Tuesday, July 16: Phoenix 100, Memphis 88 - DNP

Tournament Play (All times CT)
Wednesday, July 17: Memphis 90 vs. Washington 83 - DNP
Thursday, July 18: Charlotte 92, Memphis 84 - DNP
Friday, July 19: Memphis 91, Denver 84 - DNP

Related Links:
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