When the New York Yankees travel to opposing stadiums, you know there'll be a large contingency of general baseball fans. Future Hall-of-Fame shortstop Derek Jeter and co. will make their way to Miller Park for a three-game set this weekend, but that is nowhere near the best attraction of the series. The Brewers will honor Wisconsin's men's basketball team and its Final Four run before Friday's game. I can only imagine the excitement that'll generate for the Wisconsin-born players in particular, especially Sam Dekker, who is a big-time fan of the Crew.
Athletic Director Barry Alvarez and head basketball coach Bo Ryan are not getting any younger at ages 67 and 66 in December, respectively. This begs the question: how long will Wisconsin have the fortune of enjoying their leadership? As Wisconsin State Journal's Andy Baggot writes, the departures of Alvarez and Ryan will be a packaged deal, as Alvarez is not inclined to hire another men's basketball coach. It's only fitting the best UW coaches of the last 30 years will ride off in the sunset together. In the meantime, let's soak up all of Ryan's craziness with officials while Alvarez smiles from above in the Nicholas Suites.
Nigel Hayes had an extremely impressive rookie season, collecting the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year award and averaging eight points and three rebounds per game. It depends on what lineup Ryan utilizes next season, but it seems likely the Ohio native will find himself in the starting lineup. ESPN commentator Dick Vitale considers Hayes a sophomore to watch for the 2014-15 season and believes the power forward could be a name to remember for the Badgers.
"I love his athleticism and there were times he showed flashes of brilliance. I believe he will be a superstar before he leaves Madison."
Across college sports, head coaches and the rest of their staffs are rarely deterred from gauging the interest of committed recruits in an effort to convince these young men their programs are superior. The only sport that is an outlier is men's hockey, as teams predicate their recruiting efforts on a "gentlemen's agreement" when it comes to poaching commitments. Alas, the agreement is slowly making its way out of the sport, as Mike Eaves' squad joins other programs in getting rid of the rule. Andy goes into great depth and detail to explain the situation.
After losing a large majority of his scoring to graduation or the NHL, Eaves will have his hands finding reliable scoring for the team's second year in the Big Ten. Despite this, the 57-year old isn't looking to take the easy way out; a grueling and rather challenging schedule is in the works, according to Baggot. To celebrate the program's inaugural Big Ten Tournament championship and first No.1 seed since 2010, the team held its annual banquet and awarded a whole host of accolades. Most notably, goalie Joel Rumpel was named the squad's best player.
Gary Andersen and his staff continued their hot streak in California, extending a scholarship offer to defensive end Rick Wade. With questions at the cornerback position outside of Sojourn Shelton, the Badgers could target help at the JUCO level for the upcoming season ($).
Coming off the heels of a series win against Michigan, the Wisconsin softball team will look to repeat as conference tournament champions this weekend.
Big Ten Network's Jeffrey Eisenband chronicles former hockey coach Jeff Sauer's journey in leading the U.S. Hockey Sled Team to greater heights.
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One of the most talented tight ends to ever walk through the Camp Randall Stadium tunnel, Travis Beckum could have added to his legacy even more had he not broke his leg during his senior year. The 2007 first-team All-Big Ten honoree added a Super Bowl ring in 2012 with the New York Giants, and is currently a member of the Seahawks along with several other former UW stars.