Dekker on the move to LA

Former Wisconsin star Sam Dekker is headed west.

As first reported by ‘The Vertical,’ the Houston Rockets have reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers to trade All-Star point guard Chris Paul in exchange for Dekker, guards Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and DeAndre Liggins, forwards Kyle Wiltjer and Darrun Hilliard, center Montrezl Harell and a protected top-3 first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Dekker, a first-round pick by the Rockets in 2015, has been hampered by injuries in his first two seasons. He only played in three games his rookie season due to season-ending back surgery, and then missed the last few games of the regular season and the start of the playoffs this past year after suffering a fractured hand.

For the year, Dekker started two of the 77 games he saw action, essentially serving as the second man off the bench, averaging 18.5 minutes per game. In his time with the Rockets, Dekker averaged 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and one assist per game. He also shot 47.3 percent from the floor, 32.1 percent from behind the arc, and 55.9 percent from the free-throw line.

A trade to the Clippers could be just the shot in the arm that Dekker needs. This trade should allow him more playing time, especially since Blake Griffin is expected to opt out of his contract. According to his Twitter account, Dekker enjoyed his time with the Houston organization, but is looking forward to joining LA.

Bollinger, Tolzien excited about Hornibrook’s future

MADISON — Brooks Bollinger left Wisconsin as its all-time wins leader, including helping the Badgers to a Rose Bowl title in 2000. His credentials and play as a quarterback were so good, in fact, that he will be among 10 former athletes to be inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame this September. But […]

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Wisconsin hockey hires Mark Strobel as associate head coach

Wisconsin has found Don Granato’s replacement. The school announced Tuesday that it had hired former Badgers defenseman Mark Strobel as an associated head coach for the program. Strobel, a two-time captain during his career in Madison, has spent the last two seasons as the associated head coach for Ohio State. “He’s a guy you want […]

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UW Athletics Hall of Fame to add 10 to 2017 class

MADISON, Wis. — 10 former Badgers will be inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 29 at Union South. The class includes two gold medalists, a pair of NCAA champions, an NHL all-star, two Rose Bowl-winning quarterbacks and a WNBA player. Inductees are Sara Bauer, women’s hockey; Darrell Bevell, football; […]

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Boosters play underappreciated role in UW’s success

MADISON, Wis. — Some might attribute the growth and success of the University of Wisconsin athletic department to the renaissance of the football program. But behind the scenes, athletics boosters provide the resources for those programs to thrive. When it comes to boosters, few have provided as much stability as Ted Kellner, Chairman and CEO of […]

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Wisconsin adds commitment No. 15 to its 2018 recruiting class

The state of Michigan continues to be very good to the Wisconsin football team. Just a day after 3-star wide receiver Taj Mustapha gave his verbal commitment to the Badgers, his teammate – 2-star WR A.J. Abbott – also committed to Wisconsin. The duo from West Bloomfield (Mich.) brings the total number of commitments in […]

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Bollinger, Tolzien excited about Hornibrook’s future

MADISON — Brooks Bollinger left Wisconsin as its all-time wins leader, including helping the Badgers to a Rose Bowl title in 2000. His credentials and play as a quarterback were so good, in fact, that he will be among 10 former athletes to be inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame this September. But as talented as he was, the now 37-year-old father of four believes Wisconsin’s current starter – Alex Hornibrook – could surpass him before his time is done.

“He’s got more upside than me,” Bollinger said Tuesday prior to the Legends of Wisconsin Classic in Madison. “Hopefully, he can put it together and have a great year.”

Bollinger’s belief in Hornibrook isn’t simply him making an observation from afar. When he was the quarterback coach at Pittsburgh, he got to know the West Chester, Pa., product as they began recruiting him.

“I was very impressed with him then, and [I’m] even more [impressed] with him now, just how he’s grown,” Bollinger said of Hornibrook, who went 7-2 as a starter in 2016. “Couldn’t be more excited just knowing the kind of young man he is and the kind of player he is.”

The games of the two quarterbacks couldn’t be much different, with Bollinger being a dual-threat and Hornibrook still more comfortable in the pocket. But they do share similarities in that each was thrust into the starting lineup as redshirt freshmen and more than held their own, with Bollinger under center as the Badgers won the Big Ten in 1999, and Hornibrook earning honorable mention All-Big Ten recognition as Wisconsin won the West Division in 2016.

LISTEN: Brooks Bollinger on his favorites moments playing for Wisconsin.

But Bollinger isn’t the only former Wisconsin quarterback that has liked what he’s seen from Hornibrook. Scott Tolzien, currently the backup to Andrew Luck with the Indianapolis Colts, has gotten to know the redshirt sophomore a bit when he’s been back working out on campus.

Former Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien chats with reporters on Tuesday at University Ridge. (Zach Heilprin/WOZN)

“His demeanor is awesome. He works his tail off, but he’s the most humble guy,” said Tolzien, who started for Wisconsin in 2009 and 2010. “From afar, you can just see guys gravitate towards him. It probably has a lot to do with his work ethic and just who he is as a person. I think the world of him, and I’m excited for his future.”

Wisconsin hockey hires Mark Strobel as associate head coach

Wisconsin has found Don Granato’s replacement.

The school announced Tuesday that it had hired former Badgers defenseman Mark Strobel as an associated head coach for the program. Strobel, a two-time captain during his career in Madison, has spent the last two seasons as the associated head coach for Ohio State.

“He’s a guy you want to be around,” head coach Tony Granato told UWBadgers.com. “Every time you see Mark Strobel you see a happy, energetic, passionate guy that loves life, loves hockey, loves the Badgers and has always been a big part of our program.”

Strobel joins a program on the rise with Granato and associated head coach Mark Osiecki. In just their one season back running the program, they finished second in the Big Ten and won eight more games than the previous two years combined.

Don Granato left earlier in June to take an assistant job with the Chicago Blackhawks.

UW Athletics Hall of Fame to add 10 to 2017 class

MADISON, Wis. — 10 former Badgers will be inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 29 at Union South. The class includes two gold medalists, a pair of NCAA champions, an NHL all-star, two Rose Bowl-winning quarterbacks and a WNBA player.

Inductees are Sara Bauer, women’s hockey; Darrell Bevell, football; Brooks Bollinger, football; Brian Elliott, men’s hockey; Tamara Moore, women’s basketball; Arlie Schardt, men’s cross country and track and field; Bob Suter, men’s hockey; and Tracy Webster, men’s basketball. Former baseball coach Guy Lowman was selected in the coach/staff category while UW Marching Band Director Mike Leckrone was honored in the special service category.

“This is another tremendous Hall of Fame class,” UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. “It’s got a little bit of everything from Rose Bowl-winning quarterbacks to NHL all-stars to great basketball players to our first Patty Kazmaier Award winner and more. Most importantly, these are all people who have represented the university in the right way and will be Badgers forever. I am really looking forward to the induction ceremony.”

Bauer was UW’s first Patty Kazmaier Award winner
One of the most honored women’s hockey players in program history, Bauer was the first Badger to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the nation’s top player in 2006. The forward led UW to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007 and was a two-time USCHO.com and WCHA Player of the Year. Bauer wrapped up her career as Wisconsin’s all-time scoring leader and was a two-time UW female athlete of the year.

Bauer also skated with the Canadian National Team from 2004-08. She returned to school to earn her master’s degree in education and opened the Sara Bauer Academy for hockey training and skills.

Bevell became Badgers’ first Rose Bowl winner
Bevell was under center for one of the greatest seasons in Wisconsin football history, leading the Badgers to a 10-1-1 record, the 1993 Big Ten championship and their first trip to the Rose Bowl in 31 years. His memorable, and unlikely, 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter helped secure the UW program’s first win in Pasadena. That performance capped a season in which he was named first-team All-Big Ten, set the single-season school record for passing yards (2,390) and matched the UW mark for touchdown passes (19).

A four-year starter, Bevell finished his career as the Badgers’ career leader in passing yards (7,686), completions (646), attempts (1,052), completion percentage (61.4%) and touchdown passes (59).
Bevell has worked as an NFL assistant coach since 2000, serving on the staffs of the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings before becoming offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks in 2011 and winning Super Bowl XLVIII two seasons later.

Bollinger a winner from the start
Bollinger led the Badgers to the 1999 Big Ten championship and 2000 Rose Bowl title. A four-year starter at quarterback he compiled a 30-12 record, including a 3-0 mark in bowl games, from 1999 to 2002. Bollinger was named the 1999 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and finished his career ranked second in school history in passing yards, attempts, completions and touchdowns.

He was selected in the 2003 NFL Draft and played seven seasons with New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys. Bollinger also played two years in the United Football League, earning MVP honors in 2009 before retiring from football in 2011. He currently serves as head football coach at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Elliott a goaltending great
Elliott was the starting goalkeeper for the Badgers’ 2006 NCAA championship team, earning first-team All-America honors. A top-three finalist for the 2006 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, Elliott was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten pick and the 2005-06 UW Athletic Board Scholar. He set school records for career goals-against average (1.78) and save percentage (.931).

Elliott was drafted in 2003 and has played for 10 seasons in the NHL with Ottawa, Colorado, St. Louis and Calgary. He is also a two-time NHL all-star.

Moore made her mark as point guard
Moore was a two-time honorable mention All-American and two-time All-Big Ten pick. She was named a finalist for the 2002 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year award and the 2002 Senior CLASS award. Moore led the Badgers to the 1999 WNIT championship, earning most valuable player honors. The 2001 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Moore ranks first on the UW career record lists in assists and steals.

A finalist for the U.S. team for the 2001 World University Games, Moore was selected 15th overall by the Miami Sol in the 2002 WNBA Draft. She played in the WNBA for six seasons.

Schardt was Badgers’ first Olympic gold medalist
Schardt was selected as the Heritage member of the 2017 Hall of Fame class. A track and cross country standout from 1914-17, he served as team captain of the 1915 cross country team that won the Big Ten and National Intercollegiate championships. Schardt, from Milwaukee was also a member of two Big Ten championship track teams. The middle distance runner won the 1917 Big Ten indoor mile title before graduating that spring.

Schardt entered the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and immediately went into combat in World War I. He was severely injured after a battle in the Argonne Forest and was left for dead for two-and-a-half days. After recovering, Schardt continued to compete following the war and placed second in the mile at the 1919 American Expeditionary Forces Championships. He became the first Badger to claim a gold medal, winning the 3000-meter team race as part of the U.S. squad at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium.

Suter made Madison youth hockey his ambition
A Madison legend, Suter was a member of UW’s 1977 NCAA championship team. The defenseman earned second-team All-WCHA honors in 1979 while being named the inaugural winner of the Fenton Kelsey Jr. Most Competitive Player Award on the UW team.

Suter was a member of the “Miracle on Ice” U.S. team that won gold in hockey at the 1980 Olympics and also skated for Team USA at the 1981 World Championships. Suter was drafted in 1977 by the Los Angeles Kings but never played a game in the NHL. The Madison East High School graduate returned to Madison, where he opened a sporting goods store called Gold Medal Sports. Suter also coached youth hockey in Madison and became part owner and director of Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton. The arena was named in his honor following his death in 2014.

Webster led resurgence of men’s basketball
Webster was a key member of the Wisconsin teams in the early 1990s. He helped guide UW to the 1994 NCAA Tournament, the Badgers’ first appearance in the Big Dance in more than 40 years. A second-team All-Big Ten pick, Webster scored more than 1,264 career points. He still holds the UW career record for assists (501) and ranks second all-time in steals (183). A three-time team captain, Webster was named the Badgers’ most valuable player in 1992.

Webster has spent more than 15 years coaching Division I college basketball, serving as an assistant coach at Kentucky, Illinois, Purdue, Ball State, DePaul, Nebraska, Tennessee and California.

Lowman a legend on the diamond
Lowman coached three sports at Wisconsin but is known primarily as the Badgers’ baseball coach. In 1918, he coached the baseball team. The following season, he coached the football team before opening a two-year run as basketball coach. Lowman led the hoopsters to the 1917-18 Big Ten title with a 9-3 conference record.

He returned to coach the baseball team from 1921-32, finishing with a 140-105 record and claiming the 1930 Big Ten championship. The Badgers’ home field was named after Lowman in 1952.

Leckrone a fixture of Fifth Quarter
Since 1969, Leckrone has served as director of the UW Marching Band. He has established numerous traditions, including the Fifth Quarter, the Bud Song and the band’s high-stepping marching style. Leckrone was recognized as an Outstanding Educator of America by the Outstanding Americans Foundation in 1970 and received the Outstanding Bandmaster Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of Phi Beta in 1973.

Leckrone has also been recognized by several UW booster clubs, receiving the Pat O’Dea Award, the Blue Line Club Distinguished Service Award, the Badger Basketball Boosters Distinguished Service Award, the UW Alumni Club Distinguished Faculty Award, and the Wisconsin Newspaper Writers Special Edition Award. He has also been inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Football Hall of Fame.

(UWBadgers.com)

Boosters play underappreciated role in UW’s success

MADISON, Wis. — Some might attribute the growth and success of the University of Wisconsin athletic department to the renaissance of the football program. But behind the scenes, athletics boosters provide the resources for those programs to thrive.

When it comes to boosters, few have provided as much stability as Ted Kellner, Chairman and CEO of Fiduciary Management in Milwaukee. In 1980, the UW alumnus founded FMI, an investment firm which handles over $25 billion in assets. His professional success allowed him to donate $10 million to his alma mater, which was used to construct faculty offices at Camp Randall which now bears his name.

Kellner said it was important for him to provide future generations of students and student-athletes with top-notch facilities so they could reach their academic and athletic goals.

“Just look around the campus,” Kellner said as he began to make mental note of other major donors. “The Kohl Center — [former U.S.] senator [Herb] Kohl gave $25 million, “Ab” Nicholas gave $10 million, our family at the time chipped in $2.5 or $3 million. That building was basically built with private support.”

And that support is seen in other facilities on campus as well. Boosters helped finance the weight room at Camp Randall and the McClain Center, which Kellner said was a big reason athletes come to Wisconsin.

So it’s no wonder the University has plans to provide over $105 million in upgrades across campus. The UW’s “Master Plan” is a document containing possible upgrades and repairs to major facilities over the next 10 years. Among those proposed upgrades is the addition of a $43.1 million sports performance complex on the south corner of the Kohl Center.

Those proposed upgrades don’t currently include any plans for a baseball complex, an idea Kellner says has a very slim chance of ever happening. But Kellner says if Wisconsin continues to operate its finances on the current trajectory, he envisions the Badgers being a national powerhouse for a long time to come.

Wisconsin adds commitment No. 15 to its 2018 recruiting class

The state of Michigan continues to be very good to the Wisconsin football team.

Just a day after 3-star wide receiver Taj Mustapha gave his verbal commitment to the Badgers, his teammate – 2-star WR A.J. Abbott – also committed to Wisconsin. The duo from West Bloomfield (Mich.) brings the total number of commitments in the class of 2018 to 15, and five of them are from Michigan.

Abbott chose the Badgers over offers from a myriad of schools, including Michigan State and Iowa. He’s ranked as the 55th best player in the state of Michigan by the 247 Sports composite.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Abbott had 46 catches for 906 yards and six touchdowns during his junior season at Northville (Mich.) High School.

Now at West Bloomfield, Abbott will combine with Mustapha and 3-star quarterback Bryce Veasley, who is committed to Bowling Green, to form one of the more dangerous passing games in the state.

Koenig to sign a two-way deal with Milwaukee, Hayes heads to New York

Bronson Koenig has reportedly found an NBA home, and he won’t be going far.

According to Michael Scotto of the Basketball Insiders, the former Wisconsin guard has agreed to join the Milwaukee Bucks.

Though not finalized, Koenig is expected to sign a two-way deal, according to the La Crosse Tribune. The deals are a part of the new CBA, and essentially give every team two more roster spots for players that will spend a majority of their time in the NBA’s G-League. It allows them to develop the player in their system, while also paying them more than the average G-League player.

Koenig worked out for Milwaukee in May, but suffered an ankle injury near the end of the session and was crutches afterwards. That limited his ability to perform in front of other teams until the last few weeks, but he was apparently impressive in those workouts, with ESPN’s Ian Bagley tweeting that the La Crosse product was moving up the draft boards of several teams.

A three-year starter at Wisconsin, Koenig left Madison as the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made, and developed a reputation for hitting big shots when the Badgers needed it the most, including a buzzer beater in the 2016 NCAA Tournament to beat Xavier and advance to the Sweet 16.

On Thursday, Koenig wrote a letter via ‘The Players’ Tribune,’ telling general managers around the league why they should take him, including the fact that he believed he was the best shooter in the draft.

While Koenig is staying home, his former teammate, Nigel Hayes, is reportedly headed to play for the New York Knicks. It’s unclear if Hayes’ agreement is a two-way deal or simply for their summer league team.

New York was one of the team’s Hayes worked out for in the pre-draft process.

Wisconsin picks up commitment No. 14 in its 2018 recruiting class

Wisconsin added commitment No. 14 in its 2018 recruiting class on Thursday night.

3-star wide receiver Taj Mustapha announced his decision on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/taj_m22/status/878055120113553409

The West Bloomfield (Mich.) product is rated as the 23rd-best player in Michigan and the 155th ranked WR in the country, according to 247 Sports.

Mustapha didn’t own a scholarship offer from Wisconsin until he took part in a summer camp earlier in June. Things moved fast after that, according to Jon McNamara of Rivals.com, who reported the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Mustapha visited again this past weekend and then pulled the trigger today.

He is the fourth commitment from Michigan for coach Paul Chryst in the class of 2018, including two that had offers from in-state power Michigan State. Mustapha ended up choosing the Badgers over the Spartans and Iowa.

A number of Wisconsin’s other commitments took to Twitter to react to the news.

Wisconsin loses Don Granato to the NHL

MADISONWisconsin is in the market for a new assistant hockey coach.

A little more than year after returning to his alma mater, Don Granato is leaving to take an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Granato was part of what many considered a dream coaching staff for a Badgers hockey program that had fallen on hard times before their arrival in April of 2016. In addition to Don Granato, it featured Tony Granato, Don’s brother, as head coach, and Mark Osiecki as the other assistant. In their first year together, the team went 20-15-1 and finished second in the Big Ten. The wins total was eight more than the previous two seasons combined.

Tony Granato told UWBadgers.com that while he is committed long-term to Wisconsin, his brother and Osiecki are so talented that it was just a matter of time that someone came calling to give them a promotion.

“We came here with three head coaches and there’s only one head coach on each bench,” he said.

“My intention is to be here a long, long, long time. Donny and Mark are in another position.”

Granato told UWBadgers.com he has a list of potential replacements already in mind.

Wisconsin adds 3-star RB to its 2018 recruiting class

MADISON — The Wisconsin football team’s 2018 recruiting class now stands at 11 members.

The Badgers picked up a commitment from Austin Westlake (Texas) 3-star running back Nakia Watson on Saturday.

“I would like to thank all the universities that gave me the opportunity to take my talents to the next level,” Watson tweeted. “With that being said, I would like to announce I am committing to the University of Wisconsin.”

The 5-foot-11, 212-pound Watson is rated as the No. 52 running back in the country, according to 247 Sports. Wisconsin was his lone offer from a Power 5 school, though he did hold scholarship offers from Nevada, Bowling Green and North Texas among others.

Watson ran for 1,626 yards and 22 touchdowns during his junior season.