Came across this article in my news feed recently about former Wisconsin big-man Ian Markolf. The 7-foot center from San Antonio has apparently decided to return to basketball and will play for NCAA Division II school Incarnate Word in San Antonio.
Markolf spent two seasons on the Badger hoops team (2009 and '10) before leaving the program. He remained in school at UW during the 2010-11 academic year, but has now transferred closer to home.
"I just got the itch to play basketball and Incarnate Word seemed like the perfect fit for me," Markolf told television KENS in Texas. "I grew up playing with some of the guys on the team, and I started talking to them this spring about maybe transferring here.
"It turned out to be a pretty simple process. Incarnate Word has a great academic program, and I think I'll have a chance at some great business opportunities when I graduate. I'm also going to get the chance to play basketball with a great group of guys."
ESPN has finalized the network and time assignments for the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods to be played Nov. 29-30. Wisconsin will play in the final game of the challenge when it travels to North Carolina on Wed. Nov. 30. The game is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m (CT) and will be televised on ESPN.
The 2011 Challenge involves six teams ranked in an early preseason top 25 by ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz, including three in the top five: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Duke, No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 21 Florida State and No. 23 Michigan.
The Big Ten won the Commissioner's Cup for the second consecutive year while the ACC won the previous 10 Challenges. In the event of a 6-6 tie this year, the Commissioner's Cup will remain with the conference that won the previous year.
The Badgers own the most wins of any Big Ten team in the Challenge with six and share the top winning percentage (6-6, .500) with Ohio State (5-5, .500) in Challenge games.
2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule:
Date Time (ET) Game Network Tue, Nov 29 7 p.m. No. 23 Michigan at Virginia ESPN2 7:15 p.m. Northwestern at Georgia Tech ESPNU 7:30 p.m. Illinois at Maryland ESPN 9 p.m. Miami at Purdue ESPN2 9:15 p.m. Clemson at Iowa ESPNU 9:30 p.m. No. 5 Duke at No. 3 Ohio State ESPN Wed, Nov 30 7:15 p.m. Indiana at North Carolina State ESPN2 7:15 p.m. Penn State at Boston College ESPNU 7:30 p.m. No. 21 Florida St. at Michigan St. ESPN 9:15 p.m. Virginia Tech at Minnesota ESPN2 9:15 p.m. Wake Forest at Nebraska ESPNU 9:30 p.m. No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 1 North Carolina ESPN
Mike Bruesewitz's team, the East Coast All-Stars, have begun play
in the Four Nations Cup in Estonia. East Coach All-Stars coach Guy
Rancourt emailed this update after Game Two of the tournament.
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As the team ran through the tunnel entering Saku Arena this evening they were welcomed by a group of Estonian teenagers waving an American flag. The crowd of 3,100 Estonians applauded the team's effort from the previous night, but despite airhorns blowing, fans cheering, and holding NBA veteran Zaza Pachulia to just one field goal for the game, the East Coast All Stars came up short Friday night. A 15-0 All Star run in the fourth quarter gave the group of Americans a 4 point deficit with 2:00 remaining, but the Georgian National Team countered with a 13-0 run of their own, resulting in a 98-81 East Coast defeat.
Rodney McGruder (K-State) once again came out ready to play pouring in 22 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to lead the team in both categories. From the start the game was physical and fast as Georgia, the only participant eligible for the 2011 European World Championships, ran out to a quick 9 point lead. The East Coast front line of Jack Cooley (Notre Dame) and Elliott Eliason (Minnesota) responded on the glass to help end the quarter on an 11-2 run, knotting the game at 20-20.
The second quarter continued providing runs on both sides as the tandem of McGruder and Mike Bruesewitz (Wisconsin) hit the offensive glass hard for some easy baskets, but Georgia had the final run to open up a 49-42 halftime lead.
Early in the 3rd quarter Baye Moussa Keita was subbed out for precautionary reasons due to a minor foot injury, but enough to keep him sidelined for the remainder of the contest. With fouls mounting and the team short-handed Georgia was able to open its lead to 73-64.
Georgia again came out quickly to open up a 19 point lead with 7:34 left in the game. Anthony Johnson (Purdue) and Brandon Triche (Syracuse) then found a rhythm and combined for an 8-0 run cutting the lead to 11 points. On the next possession Cooley again came up with a big defensive rebound, receiving an elbow to the face that drew a foul and stopped play. Cooley's small cut under his eye forced him to check out briefly, but all that did was open the door for Iowa's Matt Gatens. Gatens made both free throws for Cooley, then followed with another transition basket to keep the run alive. The feisty All Stars hung tough chipping away at the Georgian lead and had the ball in their hands down 85-81 but simply ran out of gas.
Manuchar Markoishvilli lead the Georgian National Team in scoring with 20 points and Pachulia of the NBA Atlanta Hawks led them in rebounding with 9.
The team will head into its final game of the Four Nations Cup against tournament host Estonia tomorrow evening. Game time will be 1:00PM EST and televised on Estonia's ETV2.
Mike Bruesewitz's team, the East Coast All-Stars, have begun play in the Four Nations Cup in Estonia. East Coach All-Stars coach Guy Rancourt emailed this update after Friday's opening game.
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Although Pe'Shon Howard's thunderous dunk over Sweden National team center Johan Akesson put the crowd into a frenzy Friday evening, it was just a brief part of the 15-point deficit the East Coast All Stars overcame in the final 3:00 of Friday's 78-77 victory. Kansas State's Rodney McGruder was the team's hero as time ran down with a rebound and put back at the buzzer to seal the All Star win.
East Coast responded well to the physical nature of international play ending the first quarter with a 21-19 lead, but struggled to find the mark in the second quarter mustering just 11 points to trail Sweden 38-32 at halftime. Sweden continued its hot shooting in the third period stretching the lead to 63-51, and things began looking bleak as the lead ballooned to 15 points with 3:00 remaining in the contest...then the All Stars went to work.
A suffucating full court press was applied causing back to back turnovers for a Baye Moussa Keita dunk and a power layup by Notre Dame's Jack Cooley cutting the lead to 11. The team continued its intensity into the front court forcing two additional turnovers resulting in clutch 3-point field goals by Iowa's Matt Gatens and Purdue's Anthony Johnson, bringing the Sweden lead to 5 with just over a minute to play.
Following a Sweden transition basket pushing the lead back to 7, East Coast came up with a steal at half court by Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard, and a dunk over the opponent's big man that brought the crowd of 3,720 jumping out of their seats.
The balanced attack continued as the All Stars forced three more turnovers, allowing Syracuse's Brandon Triche (leading scorer with 17 points) to rattle off 7 points in 19 seconds. Triche was fouled on a drive to make two free throws, knocked down a gutsy 3-point shot to tie the game at 74-74, then converted on a mid-lane pullup to give them the lead with 15 seconds remaining.
Sweden responded with Anton Gaddefor's 3-pointer with 6 seconds to play, once again giving Sweden a 77-76 advantage. After a timeout by head coach Guy Rancourt of Lycoming College, McGruder stepped on the floor to provide the end-game heroics. Triche's foul-line jumper was off the mark, but UW's Mike Bruesewitz kept the ball alive, tipping it to McGruder who laid it back in as the horn sounded.
Three players, Bruesewitz, Baye Moussa Keita, and Elliott Eliason led the team in rebounding with 7. Triche finished with a team high 5 assists, Bruesewitz with 4 steals, and Mousa Keita with 2 blocks.
The victory makes the East Coast All Stars 1-0 in tournament play and 2-0 overall. Next up tomorrow night will be one of the team's biggest tests as they face NBA star Zaza Pachulia and the Georgia National Team. Gametime for tomorrow's contest is slated for 10:30 a.m. CT.
Here is a Facebook message I got from Mike talking about the opening exhibition win and what's up next.
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"We had a scrimmage against a local club team last night. The town was called Rapla (I remember the name because it sounds like the fishing tackle).
Upon arrival to the equivalent of a lifetime, the song "Buzzin" by Mann was on. One thing about Estonia is they love American music. This isn't a bad thing, but it seems a bit odd since our tour guide told us Estonia is known as 'the singing country.'
Anyway... last night played a club team and won easily. We have one practice today and then we go against the big boys tomorrow. Should be great competition.
Talking with a couple of the guys last night, last year's East Coast team played two national teams that had NBA guys. Not sure who all is going to be on the roster this year, but I'm really excited to play.
The arena has about 5 or 6 thousand seats and apparently gets filled up for events like these. Should be fun!"
East Coast All-Stars' head coach Guy Rancourt (Lycoming College) emailed me this morning the recap from the team's first game. Looks like our guy Mike Bruesewitz is fitting in quite nicely.
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Rapla, Estonia -- In what will be the team's only exhibition game for 2011, the East Coast All Stars defeated Viimsi Spordikeskuss 104-61 Wednesday evening in front of a crowd of 1,100. The All Stars were led by Syracuse sophomore Baye Moussa Keita with 11 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots. Iowa's Matt Gatens and Wisconsin's Mike Bruesewitz led all scorers, each with 15 points.
Viimsi struggled with East Coast's pressure defense from the start, quickly falling behind 34-15 by the end of the first quarter. Brandon Triche of Syracuse University handed out 7 first half assists to help push the lead to 66-28 at the half. Kansas State sophomore Rodney McGruder extended that lead with back to back three point field goals in the third period, stretching the team's margin to 88-41. Viimsi made a late push behind Andre Parn's 11 points, but it was not enough to help his team overcome the 104-61 final. Seven players tallied double figures for the All Stars and each of the ten man roster scored at least one basket.
East Coast will hold a brief practice in Tallinn's Saku Arena Thursday night in final preparation for their matchup Friday(11:30AM EST) with the Sweden National Team.
I heard from Mike Bruesewitz over in Estonia. Sounds like his team (the East Coast All-Stars) made it safely to Tallinn and did a little sight-seeing before practice.
Here is what Bruiser had to say:
"The first day was good and the food isn't too bad. However, the day's worth of airplane
food didn't end well. Estonia is a pretty cool place. Tallinn is right on the
coast line with all kinds of neat shops and restaurants in Old Town. The Old Town area is really cool with cobble stone streets and old
buildings. It reminds me of a medieval state street on steroids. We have our
first exhibition game (Wednesday) afternoon, but first we have a sight seeing
UW sophomore Duje Dukan is overseas playing with the Croatian National Team in the U-20 European Championships in Bilbao, Spain. He is checking in periodically with UWBadgers.com with stories from the road.
Well, the European Championships tournament ended and unfortunately we did not do as well as we wanted (or should have done), but it was a great learning experience for me getting to compete at a very high level in European basketball. It also gave me a great opportunity to get actual game experience that I didn't have much of this past year.
Spain ended up winning the tournament and the MVP was Nikola Mirotic who the Chicago Bulls took with the 23rd pick in this year's NBA Draft. This shows the wide variety of talent at this tournament.
Not only did I play against players who are playing professionally in Europe, but some are in fact at colleges in the U.S. which was good to see what my competition will look like for the next few years. Some of the colleges who were represented at the European Championships besides Wisconsin were UConn, Alabama, Florida, San Diego, Boston College, Davidson and many others.
Personally, I played a variety of positions during the last few weeks, from the 2 to the 4. I really spent a lot of time working on my versatility, so I'll be able to help the team in any way I can when I get back to Madison.
Now that the European Championships are over, I'm lifting and practicing on my own time to get ready for a very fun and exciting year of Badger basketball in 2011-2012.
Thanks everyone for reading these entries and coming along on my trip trip. I hope all is well back in Madison and I'm looking forward to joining the team again soon,
Wisconsin junior Mike Bruesewitz has been selected to the East Coast All-Stars, a 10-man national team that will compete in the Four Nations Cup in Estonia from August 5-7.
Bruesewitz is one of five Big Ten players on the squad, joining Iowa's Matt Gatens and Bryce Cartwright, Purdue's Anthony Johnson and Minnesota's Elliott Eliason. Syracuse's Brandon Triche and Baye Mousa Keita, Pe'Shon Howard of Maryland, Rodney McGruder of Kansas State and Jack Cooley from Notre Dame complete the squad.
"I'm really excited for the trip," Bruesewitz said Monday from JFK International Airport. "I've never been out of the country, so it's going to be a whole new experience and I can't wait to be in that environment. Our team looks pretty good. It's going to be a lot of fun."
The team began with a short two-day training camp at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., before traveling overseas Monday for the international competition. Brueswitz and the East Coast All-Stars are scheduled to play an exhibition game vs. Viimsi Spordikeskuss before beginning the Four Nations Cup.
"We'll practice once in Estonia, then scrimmage the local club team," Bruesewitz added. "We'll have a day off, then play three games in three days. We'll be playing three national teams, so there is no age limit or anything; this is each country's top team.
"I think we're going to be able sightsee around Tallinn a little bit. Matt Gatens and I were doing a little research about Estonia and it looks like there are some neat things to see and cool historical sites."
During the tournament, the team will face Sweden on Aug. 5, Georgia on Aug. 6 and wrap up competition vs. host Estonia on Aug. 7.
Ryan Evans participated in a similar trip last August with a Global Sports Academy team that played five games in Belgium, Italy and England.
"I talked to Ryan a little bit about his trip last year and he said it'll be fun," Bruesewitz said. "He said, 'obviously you're trying to win, but you're also there to enjoy it, meet new people and share new things.'"
Roster # NAME HGT CLASS POS. SCHOOL 01 Anthony Johnson 6-3 R-Fr. Guard Purdue 05 Matt Gatens 6-5 Sr. Guard Iowa 12 Baye Mousa Keita 6-10 So. Forward Syracuse 20 Brandon Triche 6-4 Jr. Guard Syracuse 21 Pe'Shon Howard 6-3 So. Guard Maryland 22 Rodney McGruder 6-4 So. Forward Kansas State 24 Bryce Cartwright 6-1 Sr. Guard Iowa 31 Mike Bruesewitz 6-6 Jr. Forward Wisconsin 45 Jack Cooley 6-9 Jr. Center Notre Dame 55 Elliott Eliason 6-11 R-Fr. Center Minnesota
Itinerary July 31st - Training Camp (Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA) August 1st - Training Camp (Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA) August 2nd - Arrive in Tallinn, Estonia / Team Practice August 3rd - Exhibition vs Viimsi Spordikeskuss August 4th - Team Practice August 5th - East Coast vs Sweden (10:45AM EST) August 6th - East Coast vs Georgia (10:45AM EST) August 7th - East Coast vs Estonia (1:00PM EST) August 8th - Team returns to US