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B5Q Blogopean Union: Wisconsin Badgers sports news you, yes you, can use

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Frank Kaminsky finds a new, old NBA home; Cole Caufield already lighting it up at the World Juniors; and Sydney Hilliard is filling it up this year.

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Nebraska v Wisconsin Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Good morning! This is going to be a daily(ish) post that discusses the goings on of the rest of the Big Ten Conference, and the country as needed. Much like the European Union, the Big Ten is a loosely confederated group of entities that sometimes have the same goals (like free movement of people between countries or not winning national titles in football or basketball) and sometimes accept new members that they later regret (Estonia or Rutgers).

We hope that you will use this post to comment on things happening around the conference and also as a sort of daily open thread to discuss breaking news or argue about Spotted Cow (which we NO LONGER DO).

  • Wisconsin long snapper Adam Bay, who was robbed of a spot on the finalist list for the Mannelly Award, at least got some good news this week. WHAT ELSE CAN THIS KID DO!?!?
  • While she wasn’t named Big Ten Player of the Week, sophomore guard Sydney Hilliard was still recognized for her outstanding performance last week.

Hilliard’s improvement from last season to this season is a big reason why the Badgers are looking better as a team this year. If she and Imani Lewis keep playing at such a high level, UW should put a scare into some of the top teams in the conference this year.

  • I don’t really understand how the hockey polls are working this year, but the Badgers men’s team is still ranked even though they haven’t played in what seems like months.
  • Speaking of the men’s hockey team, the World Juniors start on Friday, however, there are a few pre-tournament games first and Cole Caufield of Team USA scored twice in 35 seconds to lead the Americans over Finland, 3-2.

Caufield and fellow (former) Badger Alex Turcotte each wore the A for Team USA on Tuesday, but apparently the three leadership roles haven’t been finalized yet. The Americans open up the actual tournament on Friday against Russia, who won the silver medal last year. The USA finished a disappointing sixth and will have revenge on their minds all tournament long.

  • After signing with the Sacramento Kings this offseason, he was waived on Friday but snatched up by his former team, the Phoenix Suns! With the offseason addition of Chris Paul, the Suns will be looking to compete for a playoff spot this year and a versatile big man like Kaminsky coming off the bench could be valuable.
  • There will be more on T.J. Watt in Kevin’s Badgers in the NFL piece later today, but this is a fun little tidbit for you.
  • If you were watching the Monday Night Football game between the Bengals and Steelers you may have seen the scary play where Pittsburgh FB Derek Watt tried to make a special teams tackle and was inadvertently kneed in the kneed in the head by Cincinnati return man Alex Erickson, coincidentally the two were Badgers teammates years ago.

It sounds like Watt will be ok and we wish him a speedy and safe recovery.