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Steve "Sparky" Fifer

He's How Old?

Who cares! That’s all I’ve been telling people as the Bucks 1st round selection Thon Maker has been the subject of many people questioning his age of 19 instead speculating he is actually 23.

Do I know if he is 19 or 23? No
Do I choose to believe that a multi-million dollar organization did their homework on him and know his age?      Yes
Do I think that Excel Sports Agency who seemingly has a close relationship with the Bucks would lead them down a wrong path when it comes to Maker’s age?  No
Do I think that Thon Maker is a better shooter coming out of the draft than Giannis was?  Yes
What role does Maker have with this team in the future?  Stretch 4/Center
Do I think that Maker can be a pivotal piece to a championship team in Milwaukee?  Yes

I’m not sure how you answered those questions, but if you answered them the same as me than why would you or anybody else be concerned about Thon Maker’s age. Let’s focus on Free Agency and avoiding Dwight Howard coming to the Bucks!! Go Bucks!!
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Meet me at the Cue Club on Thursday!

This year's NBA Draft is coming up Thursday night and we'll be at Cue Club of Wisconsin in Waukesha doing the Milwaukee Bucks Draft Show from 6 to 11. We're honored to have former Badgers basketball player Marcus Landry joining us this year as a guest co-host with Mike Maxcy and myself.

I really don't have strong feelings this year on any one player that I think the Bucks MUST pick at 10. In years past, I normally fall in love with a player or two and really lobby hard for the Bucks to take them. This years draft really doesn't scream star players to me, now that doesn't mean that stars won't come out of this draft, but I just don't see it as of now. Lots of rumors about Bucks moving players like Middleton, Monroe, or MCW for picks in the draft Thursday night. If they were to make those trades, this team becomes even younger and I just can't believe that Jason Kidd wants to get even younger than they are already.

The new stadium opens in 2018 and there is a TON of pressure to be a winning team by that point and I just think it's a HUGE gamble to make these moves to add 2 or 3 rookies to this roster right now. Now having said all that, the thought of Jamaal Murray of Kentucky and Buddy Heild of Oklahoma being the starting backcourt this season really excites me! I'm fine waiting longer for this to develop but I don't have the pressure on me like the Bucks do with a new stadium on the horizon.
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Pro Hoops Draft: What would Sparky do?

Hey guys!
It’s time for the NBA Draft on Thursday night at 6 and the Bucks have needs heading into the draft and free agency that begins on July 1st. The first need has to be to find a player that can play on the wing and hit a consistent jump shot that ranges out to three point land. Another need is to find a player or two that can bring a physical style of play inside when battling for baskets and rebounds. While this teams is long, it’s certainly not all that physical and the Bucks have had problems against more physical teams. The center position must be upgraded at some point in the next couple of years if there will ever be hope of an NBA Championship in Milwaukee.  I tend to believe this player will come to Milwaukee via free agency over the draft.

What Sparky would do in the draft
I’d explore trade options for Caron Butler, Tyler Ennis, OJ Mayo and Zaza Pachulia. If I could get draft pick compensation for any of these players, I’d move them.

The pick at number #17 for me would be either SG R.J. Hunter from Georgia State or SG Rashad Vaughn from UNLV.
In Hunter’s case, his outside shooting and ability to pass from the SG position fills needs for the Milwaukee Bucks. Hunter didn’t have a great year last year from beyond the arc and isn’t the most athletic player you’ll find at the SG position but I believe that outside shooting could be elite when given time to just focus on the game of basketball.
When talking about Rashad Vaughn all I can think of is 6th man of the year! He would be instant offense off the bench for a team that desperately needs scoring from its second unit.  Vaughn is very young having only played one year of college basketball but in my mind that makes him an even better fit when it comes to this roster that is very young.

What Sparky thinks the BUCKS WILL DO in the NBA Draft

I believe that they will draft a PF to replace Ersan who they traded to the Detroit Pistons. The stretch four has become a popular thing in the NBA and the Bucks now currently don’t have one. The player that they draft will be a bench player but will get a decent amount of minutes off the bench. I believe they will take the PF from Arkansas Bobby Portis at 17 if he’s still on the board. Portis plays hard all the time, plays with an attitude around the rim, and has shown he can step back and hit a jumper.
Hope you'll listen to the Pro Hoops Draft Show Tonight!  6pm-11pm from the Cue Club of Wisconsin, 2454 N. Grandview Blvd, Waukesha. Come on out and say hello and let me know what you think of this draft!
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People : Bobby PortisCaron ButlerMayoRashad VaughnTyler EnnisZaza Pachulia


Thank YOU!

It’s funny how time flies when you’re having fun. To think back to January of 2005 when we launched a sports talk station on AM1250 and mostly everybody in the business thought we were crazy thinking that a second sports talk station could make it in Milwaukee. There were times in the first few years where we weren’t sure if we were going to make it or not but now almost 10 years later not only are we going strong but expanding to the FM Dial with 105.7 The Fan. Almost 10 years into this and still I run across people that simply have never heard of the station but now they will and that means only good things ahead!

None of this would be possible without the unbelievable support that we’ve received from you throughout the years. From our Sports Bucks promotion with our station personalities on the money in place of Presidents and then the huge auction where people used their Bucks to get great things like golf clubs, a nice size TV, and  a lease on a truck to name just a few of the things that were up for auction. Then there was the time we had listeners banging on a Drew Rosenhaus piñata in front of Magoo’s during the Javon Walker hold out from the Packers. Kevin Hunt then with Channel 4 in town did his sports from there! Can’t forget about the Favre-que we did at Matty’s in New Berlin during his first game against the Packers as a member of the Vikings. We had a couple junker cars painted purple with a number 4 on it that we hammered on with a sledge hammer…Horny Goat Brewing provided girls for our dunk tank wearing number 4…we had people dropping their jerseys into pits of fire…food and drink specials all with 4 in mind too! That was a blast!

Tim Allen has been doing his Brewers post game show now for 9 years!! When he started some in our building didn’t think it would last a full year because of the lack of support within Milwaukee for the Brewers. Heck the flagship wasn’t doing anything but a 15 or 20 minute wrap after games! 9 years later Tim is going strong with the post-game show and since then we’ve added a 1 hour pregame show as well. We’ve had our share of moments on that show including broadcasting outside of than Fiesta Garibaldi on the day the Brewers clinched their playoff berth in years! Champagne was being sprayed and there was a party going on!

Can’t forget about our High School sports coverage! After trying to find the right combination for our high school shows, Mike “Big Time” McGivern came to the rescue and since and led the best high school coverage in the area! Whether it’s our Varsity Blitz Scoreboard Show on Friday nights, which features about 15 different reporters out calling in scores from games and getting winning coaches on the air or the Varsity Blitz Coaches show on Saturday mornings from 10am til Noon through football and basketball season you simply can’t match what he does! Student Athletes of the Week, Teams of the Week, and even a local high school band playing as his bumper music on the Coaches Show it’s simply done the right way. I couldn’t be more proud of any one thing we do then I am of where Mike “Big Time” McGivern has went with our High School coverage.

And who saw Bill Michaels leaving WTMJ and heading to us?! I certainly didn’t! And who would have thought that his show would be carried state wide on 13 stations? Not this guy. Truly amazing the impact that he’s had on the station since his arrival. Did I mention that Bill and Gary Ellerson are doing their Packers Post Game Show state wide as well? Yep. They are!

As we move into this new era, I want to say THANK YOU! Without you, none of this would have been possible! Can’t wait to see what the next 10 years brings!
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WBY Shootout: Rice Lake 56, Dominican 42

After one close half of basketball, Rice Lake pulled away from Dominican and never looked back on their way to a 56-42 victory in the WBY Shootout at Concordia University.

In the first quarter, things were pretty even as Rice Lake were in the lead by one point over Dominican, 13-12.  The storyline going into the game was Diamond Stone vs. Henry Ellenson, but the important plays in the quarter were made by each player's supporting cast with Stone scoring four and Ellenson scoring six in the first quarter.

The game remained even through the second quarter as Rice Lake held only a five point lead, 25-20, going into the second half.  At the half, Ellenson edged Stone in scoring, 11-6.

The storyline before the game was Henry Ellenson vs. Diamond Stone, but the real story of the game was between the two teams and Rice Lake proved why they were the better team in the third quarter.  Just two minutes into the third quarter, Rice Lake had three three point baskets from three different players and stretched their lead out to 14 points with a 36-22 lead.

Dominican started thr fourth quarter down by 19 points and attempted to mount a comeback.  With 5:18 left, Dominican was able to cut it the deficit all the way down to nine following three baskets from Diamond Stone, but were unable to get any closer after that and lost 56-42.

Quick Thoughts:
  • All the attention was obviously on Diamond Stone and Henry Ellenson, but Rice Lake’s junior point guard Ben Widdes really did a nice job running the show for Rice Lake.  He did a great job handling pressure and dictating tempo for Rice Lake.
  • Rice Lake senior guard Brandyn Christman is a nice shooter for Rice Lake.  He hit a few big threes and used his shot fake to make plays.
  • 6’5” Trapper Ward took Stone for a small portions of the game to give Ellenson a break on defense and he did a really great job defensively.  He did a good job using his strength to slow down Stone until help came from the backside.
  • I guess what I’m trying to say is that many people may think Henry Ellenson is the lone reason why Rice Lake is a highly rated Division II team, but they would be wrong.  This is a truly impressive TEAM and will likely do some damage come tournament time.
  • Dominican looks significantly different than they did last year.  With Duane Wilson on the squad last year, Stone posted up constantly, but was playing second fiddle to Wilson.  This season, Dominican makes a concerted effort to look inside to Stone every single possession.
  • Stone is just a load down low.  He does a good job getting post position and has soft touch around the basket.  He is a monster on the glass and blocking shots.  I was just as impressed with him this season as I was last season.
  • Dominican’s junior guard Tywon Bressler Jr. does a really nice job getting to the rack and using his quickness and the attention given to Stone to exploit defenders and get easy baskets.
  • This is the second year in a row I’ve came away impressed by Jack Jelacic from Dominican at the WBY Shootout.  The 6’7” senior does it all for Dominican including tough rebounding, blocking shots, and showing off a little range.
  • Though Stone (6’10”) and Ellenson (6’9”) are both tall, Stone is definitely a post player and Ellenson is definitely a wing.
  • This was my first time seeing Ellenson and I came away impressed.  He has a nice handle for a player his size and does a good job creating off the dribble.  Though he struggled from the field tonight, he does have a good looking stroke and he can get that shot off against just about anyone.
  • Stone fouled out with 1:43 remaining.
  • Stone finished with 21 points and Ellenson ended with 17.
  • Both teams will be in action again tomorrow.  Rice Lake takes on Neenah at 3 p.m. while Dominican will face off against Catholic Memorial at 4:30 p.m.
Up Next: Germantown vs. Milwaukee Vincent
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WBY Shootout: Whitefish Bay 76, Racine Case 71

After a thrilling first half, Whitefish Bay was able to pull away from Racine Case in the second half and pull out a 76-71 victory in the WBY Shootout at Concordia University.

Racine Case struggled with Whitefish Bay's zone and full court press in the first few minutes, but eventually figured it out and closed to within a single point, 19-18, at the end of the first quarter with a big dunk from junior Desmond King.

The second quarter featured Racine Case once again falling behind and then catching up with Malik House hitting some big threes, including a buzzer beater to tie the game 37-37 at halftime.

Midway through the third quarter, Whitefish Bay started forcing turnovers and opened up a ten point lead to close the third quarter on a deep three from Joe Sherburne.

Whiefish Bay was able to maintain their lead and even stretch it out to 13 points at one point, but a few turnovers and some indecision regarding taking points or wasting time allowed Racine Case to draw within just four points with 25 seconds remaining.  Ultimately though, Case was unable to complete the comeback and fell to Whitefish Bay.

Quick Thoughts:
  • In the early going, Racine Case struggled with Whitefish Bay’s zone and full court press, but after a few early turnovers, they did a much better job of taking care of the ball.
  • Desmond King brought the crowd to their feet to end the first quarter with a big time dunk that brought Racine Case within a single point.
  • Joe Sherburne has serious range.  He was three for three from the three point line in the first half, including two threes from a few feet behind the line.  His three near the end of the third quarter was also well behind the line.
  • Whitefish Bay is LONG.  All of their guards and wings are 6’2” or taller which makes their zone especially difficult for offenses.
  • I talked about Malik House and his ability to finish at the basket yesterday, but he was on fire from the three point line in the first half.  He hit three long-range jumpers with the third coming right before the first half buzzer and really kept Racine Case in the game in the first half.
  • Whitefish Bay will be losing a few seniors, but their backcourt will be fine next season with 6’2” junior Miles Sigh and 6’3” junior Isaiah Johnson.  Both Sigh and Johnson showed great ability getting to the rim and finishing in traffic today.
  • Racine Case lost two tough games in this event, but I would have to assume Coach Steve Jaskulske will look at the weekend as a great learning opportunity for his team as they went up against two very good teams.
Up Next: Game of the Day - Whitefish Bay Dominican vs. Rice Lake
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WBY Shootout: Oshkosh North 68, Wisconsin Lutheran 52

Wisconsin Lutheran, one of the top teams in Division II, was able to stick with Oshkosh North, one of the state's top Division I teams, for one half, but couldn't keep up in the second half as Oshkosh North pulled away and recorded a 68-52 victory in the WBY Shootout at Concordia University.

The game started off at an incredible tempo as both teams raced up and down the floor combining for 34 first quarter points with Oshkosh North leading 18-16 after one quarter.

The two teams remained close during the second quarter, but Oshkosh North retained a two point lead going into halftime leading 35-33.

After a close few minutes to start the second half, Oshkosh North pulled away behind a great effort from 6'6" senior forward Cooper Radtke.  Radtke, a Northern Michigan (DII) commit, scored eight straight points for Oshkosh North as the third quarter came to a close and North took a 51-43 lead.

Wisconsin Lutheran attempted to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, but just weren't able to overcome the deficit eventually falling 68-52.

Quick Thoughts:
  • There’s an old saying that the best way to beat a press or zone is to beat it up the floor, so it can’t be set up.  Today was one of the first times I’ve seen someone beat Wisconsin Lutheran’s press up the floor.  Oshkosh North’s first two baskets came on long passes after made baskets over the top of Wisconsin Lutheran’s press.
  • I didn’t get a chance to talk about him yesterday, but C.J. Polk is a really nice player for Wisconsin Lutheran.  The University of Minnesota-Moorhead commit is smooth going to the basket and rarely makes bad decisions.  Today, he was able to cut through North’s zone and find his way to the basket for some easy buckets.  His time at Wisconsin Lutheran may help once he gets to school because every coach is looking for a tough defender.
  • Oshkosh North’s 1-3-1 zone was tough for Wisconsin Lutheran to handle when 6’6” Cooper Radtke played on top of it.  With Radtke off the floor though, North failed to execute at times and Wisconsin Lutheran was able to find some holes in the zone.
  • Radtke (committed to DII Northern Michigan) was a handful on the offensive end as well.  He did a great job getting position as well as a nice job on the offensive glass.  He also did a great job running the break, especially evident on his thunderous two-handed dunk in the second quarter.
  • Senior point guard Nathan Neveau made some nice plays for Oshkosh North and was much of the reason Wisconsin Lutheran’s press failed to force many turnovers this afternoon.  He did a nice job remaining under control and finding his way into the lane.
  • There really isn't a single player that really blows you away on Oshkosh North, but they execute extremely well and do a great job playing as one cohesive unit.  Really fun to watch a team that plays like that.
  • Oshkosh North will be back tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. to face the team that knocked them out of last year's Divison I playoffs, Germantown.
Up Next: Racine Case vs. Whitefish Bay
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WBY Shootout: Neenah 62, Milwaukee Marquette 41

Neenah was in control from the opening tip today against Milwaukee Marquette as they cruised to a 62-41 victory in the WBY Shootout at Concordia University.

Neenah took a nine-point lead to start the game behind some slick playmaking from point guard and UW-Milwaukee soccer commit Adam Pohlman and some nice finishes from junior forward Matt Heldt.  After the 9-0 start to the game, Neenah did not look back as they took a 29-22 lead into halftime.

The second half featured much of the same as Neenah continued to execute and led the game 47-33 after three quarters.  One play in the middle of the third quarter perfectly captured today's game.  As a Marquette player drove to the basket, Heldt blocked his shot and saved the ball to Pohlman before going out of bounds.  Heldt regained his balance and immediately sprinted up floor where Pohlman found him underneath the basket for a layup on a nifty pass through traffic.

Neenah continued their dominance in the fourth quarter and eventually closed out the game with a 62-41 victory.

Quick Thoughts:
  • During the game someone asked me on Twitter what I thought of Matt Heldt, who is drawing interest from multiple Division I schools, so here is my synopsis of his game.  Heldt is a prototypical modern-day big man.  He posts up and tries to get good position, but doesn’t necessarily dominate from the block.  That doesn’t really matter though because he does a great job running the floor and finding open space in the half court for easy dunks and layins.  He possesses nice touch around the basket and showed some range today hitting a three in the first half.  These are all the things I think most coaches now look for in a big man and why many college coaches are drooling over him.
  • Pohlman picked up his second foul just five minutes into the game.  With Pohlman out for a majority of the first half, Neenah turned to senior guard Taulvish McCray and he more than capably filled in at the point.
  • I gushed about him on Twitter, but Adam Pohlman was in complete control of today's game.  Dictated the tempo of the game and made the right decision repeatedly.  The true embodiment of a point guard. Selfishly, I wish he would be playing basketball somewhere at the next level, but Pohlman will do just fine as a soccer player at UW-Milwaukee.
  • 6'3" Marquette junior Ben Meinholz ended the first half in impressive fashion as he picked McCray and went down to the other end for a one-handed dunk.
  • With Meinholz and 6'7" junior Garrison Goode (who I wrote about yesterday), Milwaukee Marquette could have a nice team next season if both players continue to develop.
  • Neenah might have a tougher test tomorrow as they will face off against Rice Lake at 3 p.m. tomorrow.
Up Next: Oshkosh North vs. Wisconsin Lutheran
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WBY Shootout: West De Pere 65, Milwaukee Washington 49

For the second straight day, West De Pere was able to take care of business and prove themselves worthy of their high ranking at Division II level as they took care of business against MIlwaukee Washington and came away with a 65-49 victory.

West De Pere was able to handle Milwaukee Washington's pressure in the first half and ran out to a 25-11 lead at halftime.

The second half looked very similar to the first as West De Pere was able to push their lead out to more than 20 points in the third quarter.  Though they could have just folded up and stopped playing hard, they kept working and were able to cut the deficit to just 11 with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but Cody Schwartz quickly answered with a deep three from the right wing and West De Pere didn't look back from there, ultimately defeating Milwaukee Washington 65-49.

Quick Thoughts:
  • Cody Schwartz (6'8") and Chandler Diekvoss (6'6") were just as impressive on day two.  Both of them did a great job handling pressure and show an above average ability to handle the ball and make plays for their size.  Both of them are also great shooters with range.
  • Marquette coach Buzz Williams, UW-Green Bay coach Brian Wardle, and Wisconsin assistant Greg Gard were among those in attendance to see Schwartz.
  • Three seconds into the second half, MIlwaukee Washington coach Freddie Riley received a technical as he complained to the officials.  Riley was insistent that the officials were calling the game too tight and not allowing his players to play defense.
  • With Milwaukee Washington now at the Division II level, Division II is absolutely stacked.  West De Pere has proven to be more than worthy of their Top 3 ranking.  Washington didn't look great today against West De Pere, but they're a very good team.  Wisconsin Lutheran was impressive last night against Milwaukee Marquette and will be tested later today against Oshkosh North.  And we haven't even seen Henry Ellenson and Rice Lake yet.  Needless to say, the Division II Tournament is going to be FUN this year.
Up Next: Milwaukee Marquette vs. Neenah
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WBY Shootout: What to Look Forward to on Friday

Everything.  I am looking forward to everything tomorrow, but I will highlight just five games that really stick out.
  1. West De Pere vs. Milwaukee Washington – Noon – West De Pere was able to handle their first game against a Division I team from the Milwaukee area, but they’ll have see if they can do it again tomorrow against Milwaukee Washington.  Cody Schwartz (interest from Creighton, Marquette, Nebraska and Northern Iowa) and Chandler Diekvoss (Richmond commit) put on a show on Friday when both scored over 20 points against Racine Case, so I’ll be interested to see what they have in store for tomorrow.
  2. Milwaukee Marquette vs. Neenah – 1:30 p.m. – Neenah has gone unbeaten thus far this season and are led by senior point guard Adam Pohlman (interest from several Division I schools) and junior Matt Heldt (interest from both Marquette and Wisconsin).  I’ll be interested to see if Milwaukee Marquette can recover from a rough night against Wisconsin Lutheran and push Neenah tomorrow.
  3. Rice Lake vs. Dominican – 6 p.m. – This is the matchup everyone was circling going into the event.  Rice Lake features Henry Ellenson (interest from Marquette and Wisconsin among others) and is the #6 ranked team in Division 2, while Dominican features Diamond Stone (interest from Marquette and Wisconsin among others) and is the #1 ranked team in Division 4.  This should be an absolute battle and quite possibly the game of the day.
  4. Milwaukee Vincent vs. Germantown – 7:30 p.m. – Germantown is the best team in the state and sports the state’s longest winning streak of all-time at 65 straight games.  They also feature three players committed to Division I schools: Lamonte Bearden (Buffalo), Jake Showalter (North Dakota State) and Evan Wesenberg (North Dakota State).  Vincent is no slouch though as the storied basketball program once again boasts a very good team.
  5. De Pere vs. Arrowhead – 9 p.m. – I am really looking forward to watching De Pere because of junior guard Brevin Pritzl (interest from several Division I programs).  I had the privilege of watching Pritzl battle Germantown at a jam-packed Homestead High School last year during the Division I playoffs and he was unafraid of the powerhouse Warhawks.  Pritzl’s range extends to the parking lot and he does not back down from anyone.
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