After the Wisconsin Badgers were knocked out of the Final Four by the Kentucky Wildcats, lots of Bucky fans needed a little time before looking at next year. Some were real quick to figure out where UW fit in to next years Big Ten (and beyond) race. Personally, I needed a little time. I had to see what the top underclassmen in the B10 were going to, when it came to their NBA careers, specifically the current powers in the Big Ten. Let’s take a look at who left:
Michigan lost Big Ten Player of the year, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III. Stauskas grew more from his freshman year to sophomore year than any player at that stage I’ve ever seen. He’s a top 20 pick. GR3 showed flashes of the player many think he can be. I don’t think he was very consistent. He probably should’ve stayed but who am I to judge? He’s a late 1st/early 2nd rd guy. Michigan will likely take a step back.
Michigan State’s Gary Harris went pro. When you’re the leading scorer on the trendy powerhouse team in the Big Ten, why would you stay? I think he’ll be a really good pro who will create on his own more than Tom Izzo allowed him to. Couple Harris leaving with Keith Appling & Adreian Payne gone to graduation and MSU will struggle to find points!
Ohio State is losing 2 big contributors from last years team: LaQuinton Ross & Aaron Craft. Ross was the teams’ leading scorer & rebounder. Craft was the team leader & the best on-ball defender in the country last year. Sorry, osu…you’re not as good either.
Indiana has lost 4 players from last years team either due to transfer or in Noah Vonlehs’ case, the NBA.
I’m sure there are others that I’m leaving out but with all that talent LEAVING the Big Ten, and most of Wisconsin’s team coming back? (Dekker, Kaminsky, Hayes, Gasser, etc - SG Ben Brust is the only major contributor UW will lose) Look out BigTen…the Badgers are gonna be TOUGH to keep out of the spotlight. Bo Ryan’s NEVER finished out of the top 4 in the B10 and I’d be SHOCKED if it started next year.
Milwaukee Bucks C, Larry Sanders just doesn't get it. This is not a "slam Larry" blog. I'm just so frustrated (like many Bucks fans) with this guy. He was building block. A focal point. A defensive force. A "Milwaukee" guy with a midwest workman like attitude that fans could get behind. Well...that's out the window. Who is Larry Sanders? None of the above (except the defensive force part). Let's review, shall we??
August 21, 2013: Larry Sanders signs a 4-year $44 million dollar extension with the Bucks. A questionable contract for a offensively challenged Center who no doubt is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. By the way, he signed his contract at a Boys & Girls Club in downtown Milwaukee. LOVED THIS. Thought it was great to do it in front of the kids in the city & provide some inspiration. Sanders said this was going to help him become the MAN that he wants to be and the face of the franchise.
November 5, 2013: Larry Sanders was involved in a bar fight at Apt 720 in downtown Milwaukee. Video shows Sanders throwing Champagne bottles into the crowd, in the VIP area. Why was the fight started? I've heard lots of stories and versions of the incident. Regardless, Sanders SHOULD NOT be getting into fights at bars. Can he go to bars? YES. I have no problem with that. But there is no reason he should get involved with fights. We all know Larry has a problem with his temper ON the court (which he's admitted to). And now we know it's not just a "basketball thing". By the way, Sanders hurt his thumb during the fight, causing him to miss significant playing time. Man. Face of the franchise.
November 13, 2013: Reports surface that Larry Sanders was cited twice in January 2013 for cruelty to animals. According to court records, a neighbor called police to say Sanders kept his two German shepherd puppies outside in the cold for hours without proper shelter, food and water. Sanders paid a total of $330 for the two municipal citations. (via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Man. Face of the franchise.
December 5, 2013: Larry Sanders responds on instagram to the heat he's taking for the 720 bar fight. I can't even describe this...just read it. As you would imagine, this didn't stay online very long. Man. Face of the franchise.
April 4, 2014: Larry Sanders was suspended 5 games for violating the NBA's drug policy. Sanders got busted for smoking marijuana...FOR THE 3rd TIME. Sanders apologized but has vigorously defended his stance on the legalization of the drug. I agree with Larry. Weed SHOULD be legal, in my opinion. But here's the problem, Larry: ITS NOT. Just because you're a millionaire and a celebrity, doesn't mean the laws don't apply to you. When they say "don't smoke weed"...well...DON'T SMOKE WEED. Man. Face of the franchise.
What should the Bucks do? Not my call but thats FOUR strikes in just over a year. As far as i can remember, you only get 3 strikes before you're out.
Larry is no longer the fan favorite he was just one year ago. As for trading him? Ask any GM in the league & they'll tell you that Sanders trade value is ZERO. Due to injuries, Sanders has played in 23 games this season. He's started 20 of them. He averaged 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.74 blocks per game. Oh, and by the way, his $44 million dollar extension? It BEGINS NEXT SEASON.
After a long search, Marquette University has named Steve Wojciechowski as it's 17th basketball coach in school history.
Not Shaka. Not Ben "i've been to 3 final fours" Howland. Not Cuonzo Martin. Wojo. This is one that's gonna very interesting to watch. Why did Wojo finally leave Mike Krzyzewski's bench after a decade & a half at Duke? I've got 3 theories on this...
1 - He got sick of waiting. Seriously, was Coach K EVER going to leave Duke? He's been there forever. He's still got great teams every year...although it looks like it's getting tougher for him to go deep in the tournament lately (see Mercer, Lehigh). Recently Coach K said publicly that he'd like to be at Duke for AT LEAST 5 MORE YEARS. At age 37, you figure Wojo wasn't gonna wait til his early 40's to get his 1st gig. So he took it.
2 - He's using MU as a stepping stone to GET BACK to Duke. He may have been told, "go get some experience, then come home". It's a possibilty. Duke doesn't strike me as a "first gig" type of place. Marquette does (see: the last two guys...and now this one) Time will tell if this is a long term buy, or a short term lease at MU for Wojo.
3 - He's been told he's not in line to get the Duke job. This would be a bit surprising, considering how committed to Duke Wojo has become. Player/coach - LIFER. But maybe someone else is in the eye of Coach K. My best guess? Shaka Smart. Why not? He won't go out west. He won't come up north. Maybe he REALLY wants that Duke job, and he's willing to wait around for it. Call it a long shot...
I'm excited to see what Wojo will bring to this team. Will we see the "3-pointer friendly" offense that the Blue Devils run? I hope not. Will Wojo be like Tom Crean & Buzz Williams & bolt for another job? I hope not. But this is what Marquette does. They don't hire the "big" name. They took a chance on an assistant coach on Tom Izzos' bench and that got them elevated to Big East status + a final four (along with other post season tournament births). Buzz? He was on Creans' staff & took the Golden Eagles to 3 straight sweet 16's.
A LOT of programs in this country would kill for that. So let's sit back and watch Wojo work...