Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Former Milwaukee Soccer Coach Makes Hall of Fame

Bob Gansler, head coach of the Milwaukee Panthers men's soccer team from 1984-88, was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2011 on the Builder ballot Tuesday.

Gansler, who posted a 54-39-8 record in his time at UWM, was the 1990 U.S. World Cup coach, leading the Americans to their first appearance since 1950. He was joined in the class by World Cup veterans Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope and Earnie Stewart.

There are plenty of articles regarding the team:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
L.A. Times
Kansas City Star

Thursday, March 24, 2011

In The News And On The Air

There has been no shortage of articles and interviews for Panther basketball coach Rob Jeter this week.

Mix together the possibility of another job and Wisconsin playing Butler in this week's NCAA Tournament, and it is safe to say the phone has been ringing off the hook. A sampling includes ...

A very nice editorial in the Journal Sentinel on Rob staying put in Milwaukee and the success he has enjoyed here.

A good summary of the events of the last week or so by our beat writer, Tom Enlund.

The folks in Madison have been much more focused on the Badger/Bulldog showdown, with some thoughts from Rob and UIC coach/former UW assistant Howard Moore.

Fox Sports Wisconsin checked in for Rob's take on the matchup, too, and then made it a national item.

And, on the air, Rob was on with Dan and Drew on the D-List on ESPN Milwaukee.

The ESPN mother ship in Bristol also had Rob on "First Take" this morning, but as of last check I don't see an online link for that interview.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Catching Up with Sarah Hagen...

Sarah Hagen returned from Spain earlier this month, where she played with the U.S. U23 Women’s National Team at the Four Nations Tournament in La Manga. She led the team to a tournament win with a 2-0-1 mark and seven points. Hagen scored goals in all three games. She had the game-winner in a 4-2 win over Sweden on Feb. 25 and scored the first goal of the game in a 1-1 draw with England two days later. On March 1, the WNT trailed 2-0 against Norway, but pulled within one in the 71st minute and Hagen knotted the game at 2-2 eight minutes later with her third goal of the trip. Just four minutes after that, she set up the game-winning goal.

We talked with Sarah about her trip, competing with a national team and what she can bring back for her Milwaukee side.

How was the competition you played against? Your individual stats were good, happy with your personal play?
“The competition in Spain was really good. It felt really good knowing that I was playing with and against some of the best girls in the world. You can’t really ask for better competition than that. Individually, I was very pleased with my performance, but I was just glad that I could contribute to the team’s success. Everybody on the team has a role and we each fulfilled them. Our coaches talked about winning our individual battles and we will the game or tournament. They all stressed the importance of outworking your opponent. In each game we played, we were able to match the other team’s intensity and then some, which had an impact on our success. I really enjoy playing with this team and building the friendships with all of them. Since I first joined the team last spring I think the team chemistry has gotten a lot better and we are playing a lot better together.“

Ever been to Spain before? What were your thoughts?
“It was my first time to Spain and I absolutely loved it. I would love to go back there to see more on my own time. Before joining this team I had never been out of the country and now I have been to England, Germany, and Spain. Being a part of this team has really helped me grow as a player and as a person.”

What was your primary role that the coaches asked you to fill? Have you been told of the next camp or competition that you will be involved in?
"Going into the camp I didn't know if I was going to start or even get any playing time, but you have to have the mindset that if you do get a chance you need to be ready. I just feel really blessed to have gotten the opportunity from the coaches to show my abilities. I have not been told when the next camp is. They usually inform you two weeks before camps so we'll see.”

After this camp, what do you think that you will bring back to help the team this spring?
“I think the biggest thing that I can bring to the team for this spring and next fall is my role as a leader. Being at the camps really has really helped my confidence as a player. The speed of the game at that high of a level is so much fast and hopefully I can help make practices at UWM more competitive."

All Photos Courtesy of

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wegner Named Coach of Sheboygan A's

We like to spread the good news of former players here in the Milwaukee Sports Information office, so I thought I would pass along this release I just came upon, courtesy of the Sheboygan A's Facebook page.

Shaun Wegner was a four-year starter as a catcher and outfielder for the Panthers from 2006-10. He played in played in over 180 games, recorded over 160 hits, scored over 100 runs and drove in close to 90 in his career.

Here is the link I found.

The Sheboygan A’s have a new manager. 24 year old Shaun Wegner has been named to lead the team in 2011. The Watertown native, a 4-year Division 1 player at UW-Milwaukee is currently a graduate assistant coach Minnesota State College in Mankato working in a sports management Masters program. Wegner takes over for Chad Gehr who ran the club for the past three seasons. Wegner is currently working with outfielders and as a hitting coach at Minnesota State. Opening day for the A’s is scheduled for May 27th.

Postgame Extra – Milwaukee at Northwestern

Game #33 – Northwestern 70, Milwaukee 61

Player of the Game - Tony Meier hadn’t practiced in the days leading up to the contest at Northwestern but didn’t let it slow him down. He scored 19 points, knocking in five 3-pointers, while playing 33 minutes. He also had five assists and four rebounds and looks poised for a tremendous senior season.

Turning Point - While the Panthers were able to recover somewhat, the 10 minutes without a field goal and 18-0 Northwestern run was the difference in the game. Milwaukee never got the deficit under six after that.

Stat That Mattered - Turnovers and free throws. The Panthers made just four free throws and had 16 turnovers, while Northwestern had only 11 turnovers and made 14 free throws.

The Notebook -
Anthony Hill finished his career with 1,022 points and 510 rebounds … Tone Boyle finished with 823 points and 149 made three-pointers … Tony Meier reached double figures for the 21st time this season with his 19-point outing … he also finished the year shooting above 50 percent from the field … his five made three-pointers tied his career-best and marked the sixth time this season he made at least four 3’s in a game
Kaylon Williams finished the season with 178 assists, the second-most in a single season in school history … he also reached double figures in scoring for the 14th time … Northwestern is now 17-1 when scoring at least 70 points … the Panthers lost for just the second time this season when shooting a better percentage than their opponent … Milwaukee also lost for just the second time this season when shooting better than 45 percent … Northwestern’s 16 offensive rebounds were an opponent season high … the Wildcats 12 made threes were the second-most by a Panther opponent … Milwaukee made 11 threes, the eighth time this season it reached double digits in the category.

Up Next - Northwestern plays Boston College Saturday in the second round of the tournament while Milwaukee finishes its season 19-14.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NIT Live Blog - Milwaukee at Northwestern

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NIT Bracketology

While most eyes will be on the NCAA pairings announced shortly, the Panthers are awaiting the 8 p.m. ESPNU show to find out their NIT plans.

First, it is only in the last few years that the NCAA has taken over the NIT, instituting bracketing, auto bids and this TV show that will unveil the field. By my count, it looks like 10 of the 16 first round will also get coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, so there is also an opportunity for more national TV exposure.

Most interesting, though, is the spawning of various websites attempting to project the NIT bracket. Just in looking more closely at some of these sites, it seems like a hard proposition because you are truly waiting on the NCAA field before you can sort out seeds and bracketing. So, what may seem like obvious geographical matchups – say Long Beach at USC – can get thrown out the window if/when USC is picked for the NCAAs. And, then, Long Beach could wind up on its way to Alabama.

So, what to make of where the Panthers will fall? Well, a crap-shoot in many ways. There are not many truly geographical options, Milwaukee’s RPI is solid not spectacular, and the Panthers “tournament resume” is one that could make your head spin.

Consider the positives – Milwaukee RPI is unofficially 94
1 – Horizon League regular season champions
2 – Won 10 of last 12, with five of those on the road
3 – Two wins over an NCAA team (Butler) and four additional wins over projected postseason teams (Cleveland State, Valpo, Northern Iowa)
4 – 2-2 vs. Top 50 and 5-5 vs. Top 100 in RPI, plus two more wins against teams 100-130

And then the negatives
1 – 13 losses overall
2 – Loss at #233 DePaul
3 – One of two losses in last month was to #167 Buffalo
4 – Last/only impression of anyone on selection committee was loss to Butler

Basically, the Panthers are the classic case of a team with a nice group of good wins but a slightly-extended list of bad losses.

Next, there are the auto-bids. Just as I detailed above for Milwaukee, there are a lot of factors that will determine where all of the auto-bids are placed in the NIT field. But, in using the straight computer factor – the RPI – here are the auto-bid teams in RPI order (including only those that are definitely not in the NCAA Tournament).

Charleston - 73
Kent State -79
Long Beach State - 90
Milwaukee – 94
Vermont - 95
Fairfield - 98
Coastal Carolina - 104
Florida Atlantic - 116
Murray State - 115
McNeese State - 160
Texas Southern - 190
Bethune-Cookman - 198

Thus, if you started from the bottom, the Panthers would be a six-seed, but they are clearly in that six-seven mix. Again, what other factors will truly win out? Hard to say, especially when geography (specifically flight vs. bus) may not be a consideration.

If, indeed, Milwaukee is a six or seven, then eliminate the possibility of playing one of the last two or three out of the NCAA field. From there, the list of possibles still seems pretty long.

UAB - 31
Missouri St - 43
VCU - 49
Colorado State – 52
Marshall - 55
Wichita State - 59
UTEP – 60
Oklahoma State – 64
Miami - 72
California - 77
Washington St - 82
Ole Miss – tie - 83
Minnesota – tie - 83
Northwestern - 87
Nebraska - 89
Maryland - 96

And, again, this list does not include the “bubble” teams who will likely be #1 seeds in the NIT if/when they are not in the NCAA bracket.

So, make your best guess and hope for something interesting on TV!

Live Blog: Milwaukee at San Jose State

Join Assistant SID Chris Zills for a live blog from the press box at Municipal Stadium for today's game between San Jose State and your Milwaukee Panthers. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. CST.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Live Blog: Milwaukee at Santa Clara

Join Assistant SID Chris Zills for a live blog from the press box at Schott Stadium for today's game between Santa Clara and your Milwaukee Panthers. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. CST.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Live Blog: Milwaukee vs. UC Davis

Join Assistant SID Chris Zills for a live blog from the press box at Municipal Stadium for tonight's game between UC Davis and your Milwaukee Panthers. First pitch is slated for 8 p.m. CST.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Live Blog: Milwaukee at San Jose State

Join Assistant SID Chris Zills for a live blog from the press box at Municipal Stadium for tonight's game between San Jose State and your Milwaukee Panthers. First pitch is slated for 8 p.m. CST.

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Milwaukee @ Wright State (League Quarterfinals)

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Milwaukee @ Wright State
Game #30 –Wright State 63, Milwaukee 58

Full game recap and stats here

Player of the Game - Anne Breland/Lindsay Laur. Breland was a spark in the second half, scoring 15 of her 17 points to put the Panthers ahead for much of the frame. Meanwhile, Laur was a rock across the board, finishing with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists.

Turning Point - Laur gave the Panthers a 56-54 lead with just under three minutes remaining. Unfortunately, LaShawna Thomas answered with a layup and the Raiders hit four-straight free throws to make it 60-56. Laur hit a layup to pull her team within two points, but WSU scored the final three points of the game to ice the contest.

Stat That Mattered - Milwaukee committed just 3 more fouls, but Wright State attempted 20 more free throws.

The Notebook -
Laur is the first player in the team’s Division I history to lead the team in scoring, rebounding and assists in the same season … she is the first overall since Jaci Clark in 1982-83 … Milwaukee set school records with 212 made three-pointers and a .790 free throw percentage … the Panthers .364 three-point percentage is fifth in school history … UWM had won a tournament game in each of the previous five seasons … Laur and Angela Rodriguex are the fourth and fifth players in school history to log 40 minutes in a league tournament game … UWM was outrebounded for the first time in 12 games. It finished 0-10 this season when being outrebounded.

Laur finished her career in UWM’s Division I history: fourth in scoring (1,404), third in rebounding (791), third in field goals made (504) and attempted (1,192), fifth in three-pointers (123), first in free throw percentage (.864), second in games played (122), third in double-digit scoring games (76), fourth in 20-point games (19) and third in double-doubles (27) … her season stacks up this way: School-record .928 free throw percentage, sixth-most points (518), seventh-best scoring average (17.3)tied for sixth-most rebounds (282), tied for sixth in rebounding average (9.4), eighth in field goals made (179), eighth in free throws made (128), third in minutes played (1,071), fourth in minutes per game (35.7) and tied for third in games started (30) …

Breland finished her career 26-for-26 from the free throw line. That is the third-longest free throw streak in school history.

Rodriguez finished with 66 three-pointers, a freshman record and third-most in school history … her .421 percent three-point percentage is second among UWM freshman and seventh all-time … she also finished with the second-most minutes played (1,100), second-most minutes per game (36.7) and the third-best free throw percentage (.857) … among freshmen, she is second in starts (29), second in points (377), second in scoring average (12.6) and third in field goals made (122)—all categories where she is the top rookie guard … she is also fourth in steals (40) and third in assists (89).

Courtney Lindfors finished with 31 blocks, 10th-most in school history and third-most for a freshman … her 101 made free throws are third among freshmen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Live Blog: Milwaukee @ Wright State (League Quarterfinals)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Post-Game Extra - Horizon League Championship

Game #32 – Butler 59, Milwaukee 44

Player of the Game - Anthony Hill did his best to get to the basket or the free throw line. He finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds. He went just 2-for-5 from the field, but was also 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He was Milwaukee's lone representative on the All-Tournament Team.

Turning Point - Ryan Allen hit a layup with 9:45 remaining in regulation to make it a three-point game at 42-39 after. Unfortunately, over the next 7:42, Butler went on a 16-1 run conceding just a Tone Boyle free throw over that time. By the time UWM hit another field goal, it was 58-40 and the game was effectively over.

Stat That Mattered - The Panthers were very nearly able to overcome 30 percent shooting by getting to the free throw line early and often. What they could not overcome was 16 turnovers. Turnovers seemed to stifle Milwaukee's comeback attempts at several inopportune time.

The Notebook - Milwaukee is now 2-2 in Horizon League Championship games ... Hill surpassed 500 career rebounds and became the fifth Panther in the team's Division I era with 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds ... he played in his 119th game, third-most in school history ... the attendance was 10,437, the second-largest home crowd in school history, behind only the 2005 league title game (10.783) ... Milwaukee has now drawn 10,000+ fans in each of the four league title games it has hosted ... Hill was joined on the all-tournament team by Matt Howard (MVP), Shelvin Mack and Shawn Vanzant from Butler and Brandon Wood from Valparaiso ... UWM had won 10-straight games against league opponents prior to this evening.

Up Next - Milwaukee awaits its draw for the 2011 NIT. The Panthers have an automatic bid to the tournament. They previously played in the NIT in 2004.

Live Blog: Milwaukee vs. Butler - Horizon League Championship

Join Assistant SID Chris Zills for a live blog from courtside tonight, as the Butler Bulldogs and your Milwaukee Panthers tip off at 8 p.m. with an invite to March Madness on the line!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Postgame Extra – Horizon League Semifinals

Game #31 – Milwaukee 70, Valparaiso 63

Player of the Game - Anthony Hill earned First Team All-Horizon League honors earlier in the week and then certainly played like an all-leaguer Saturday. He tossed in 24 points and added 11 rebounds, keeping Valpo in foul trouble all throughout the night.

Turning Point - After a Brandon Wood basket brought Valpo to within 46-44 early in the second half, Kaylon Williams took over. He scored on a layup and, after a single Ryan Allen free throw, knocked in back-to-back three-pointers to put the Panthers up by eight. The lead hit 10 on a three-pointer from Tony Meier shortly after and Milwaukee hung on from there.

Stat That Mattered - The Panthers have effectively pounded the ball inside down the stretch, leading to plenty of chances from the foul line. That was the case again Saturday night, as Milwaukee converted on 24-of-36 from the line. Valpo made just 5-of-9 from the charity stripe.

The Notebook - Milwaukee has now won 10-straight games against league opponents … this was the first-ever league tournament meeting between the Panthers and Crusaders … UWM has now won all four of its league tournament semifinal games played at the U.S. Cellular Arena … Milwaukee is in the league title game for a fifth time … the Panthers will be playing Butler in the title contest for a third time, having beaten the Bulldogs two previous times … Anthony Hill surpassed 1,000 career points Saturday night … the double-double was his sixth of the season … this was also his sixth 20-point outing of the season … the 16 points by Kaylon Williams marked his highest offensive output since he scored 16 in a win at Butler in January … Tony Meier is averaging over 20 points per game in his last three outings … the Panthers are now 18-3 this season when shooting at least 40 percent from the field … Milwaukee is 13-1 when leading at halftime.

Up Next - Milwaukee and Butler will square off at The Cell for the Horizon League title Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Milwaukee @ Wright State

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Milwaukee @ Wright State
Game #29 –Wright State 86, Milwaukee 69

Full game recap and stats here

Player of the Game - Sami Tucker. Tucker collected double-digit rebounds for the second-straight game and added 13 points. She shot 4-of-7, one of just two Panthers to shoot better than 50 percent.

Turning Point - Midpoint of First Half. The Panthers led 19-16, the Wright State went on a 31-5 run to end the first half and effectively put the game away.

Stat That Mattered - Shooting percentage. The Panthers shot 33.3 percent and Wright State was 50 percent. Otherwise, Milwaukee played well. It was the shooting that was the difference.

The Notebook -
Angela Rodriguez now has 64 three-pointers this season, tied for fourth-most in school history … she has also played 1,060 minutes now this season, second-most in school history … Lindsay Laur passed Jen Greger for fourth on UWM’s Division I career scoring list with 1,387 points … she has 501 points this season, the eighth 500-point season in the school Division I history and seventh-most in a season … her double-digit scoring streak was snapped at 18-straight, the fifth-longest streak in school history … 34 three-point tries tied season high (first meeting with WSU) … Milwaukee outrebounded its opponent for 11th-straight game … it had a season-high 20 offensive rebounds for the third time this season … with 11 three-pointers, UWM is up to 203 for the season, the second-most in school history and one back of the record.

Up Next - The Panthers return to Dayton, Ohio, Wednesday to take on the Raiders Wednesday in the league quarterfinals.

Live Blog: Milwaukee @ Wright State

Thursday, March 3, 2011

**UPDATED WBB Championship Scenarios

To the best of my knowledge, this is where the Panther women sit for seeding in the 2011 Horizon League Championship:

- I know they can be no lower than No. 6. That means the Panthers start their run Wednesday in the quarterfinals.

- With one game remaining, Milwaukee can still be the No. 4, 5 or 6 seed.

Here's what needs to happen for each:

No. 4
- Milwaukee beats Wright State AND UIC loses to Cleveland State

No. 5
- Both Milwaukee and UIC winOR
- Both Milwaukee and UIC lose

No. 6
- Milwaukee loses, but UIC winsOR

This was a lot easier to figure out than on Tuesday.

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Milwaukee @ Detroit

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Milwaukee @ Detroit
Game #28 –Milwaukee 65, Detroit 55

Full game recap and stats here

Player of the Game - Angela Rodriguez/Lindsay Laur. Angela started the game on fire and Lindsay ended it. In the first half, Rodriguez hit 5 threes and had 15 of UWM’s 30 points. Laur scored Milwaukee’s last 8 points of the game, including am 6-for-6 at the free throw line.

Turning Point - 4:25 remaining. Lauren Allen tied the game at 51-51, erasing a 41-33 Panther lead. From that point on, Milwaukee outscored Detroit, 14-4, to finish the game strong.

Stat That Mattered - 33.3 opponent FG PCT. The Panthers executed their defense well, stifling the Titans’ offense and limiting it to 33.3 percent shooting.

The Notebook - Rodriguez broke the school freshman record with 59 three-pointers this season … that figure is also tied for the fifth-most in school history … Laur moved into third place in school history with 495 made field goals … the double-double was her 12th of the season and the 26th of her career … she scored in double-figures for the 27th time this season, tied for fourth most in school history … Rodriguez and Sami Tucker played all 40 minutes … Rodriguez has now played 1,024 minutes this season, fifth-most in school history … her 27 starts this season are tied for third in a season for a Panther freshman … Milwaukee was tied at halftime for just the second time this season and is 2-0 in such games … it got its first win when exactly three players scored in double-figures (1-9).

Up Next - The Panthers close out the regular season at Wright State Saturday.

Live Blog: Milwaukee @ Detroit

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2011 Horizon League WBB Championship: 256 simplified...

With two games in the Horizon League women's basketball season, not much is known for sure. What we do know is Green Bay is No. 1. Youngstown State is No. 10. After that, every team has room to move.

In games that effect Milwaukee, which is every game this week but the Loyola/YSU game Saturday, there are 256 possible scenarios. Of those, the Panthers can go anywhere from No. 4 (with a home quarterfinal game Wednesday) to No. 7 (playing in the first round game Monday, but at home).

Here is what I think* we know:

Milwaukee can get the No. 4 seed IF:
It goes 2-0 AND
- UIC goes 0-2 AND Wright State loses to Green Bay OR
- UIC beats CSU/loses to YSU AND AND Wright State loses to Green Bay OR
- Cleveland State goes 0-2 AND Wright State loses to Green Bay

Milwaukee will get the No. 5 seed IF:
- UWM goes 2-0 AND Cleveland State, Wright State OR UIC goes 0-2
- UWM goes 1-1 AND UIC goes 0-2 AND Wright State loses to Green Bay AND Butler beats Valparaiso

Milwaukee will be No. 7 seed IF:
UWM goes 0-2 AND Detroit beats Green Bay

Every other scenario puts Milwaukee at No. 6.

Things to Remember:
- Milwaukee holds head-to-head tie breaker with Cleveland State and Wright State
- Milwaukee holds head-to-head tie breaker with UIC IF Butler is No. 2 seed
- In a 3- or 4-way tie that involves UIC, Milwaukee is always the No. 2 team
- In a 3-way tie without UIC, Milwaukee is the No. 1 team

I hope this clarifies some things for those that are interested. As a reminder, the Panthers play at Detroit Thursday at 6 pm. central time and at Wright State at 1 p.m. central time Saturday. Neither game will interfere with you following men's basketball, so check it out on the Horizon League Network (video), AM 920 WOKY (radio) or my live blog. Links to everything can be found at

* Using an asterisk to cover my behind, but I worked hard, so I think I'm right... and my behind is covered.