Friday, February 8, 2013

2002-03 MBB: Where are they now?

As we honor the 10th anniversary of Milwaukee's first NCAA Division I Tournament appearance in 2003, we got to thinking, "Where is everyone?" The answer to some is, "Good question, no one knows." But, for the vast majority of the 20 players and the six members of the staff, we found out and here they are.

[NOTE: If you are most curious about Derek Huff, Adam Finley or Fernando Johnson, this will be quite a disappointing blog post. Sorry. - kc]

#1 – Derek Huff (F, 6-8, 245, Sr.)
Louisville, Ky. (Fern Creek/Marshalltown CC)
At UWM: Huff came to Milwaukee from Marshalltown Community College with one year of eligibility remaining. After sitting out 2001-02, he played in 18 games during the 2002-03 season. He missed some games with injury and averaged 1.3 points and 0.9 rebounds per game while blocking six shots.
Where is he now: We don’t know. Sorry.

#5 – Ronnie Jones (F, 5-9, 165, Sr.)
Las Vegas, Nev. (Las Vegas)
At UWM: Jones was the starting point guard for the 2002-03 Panthers, starting all but one game his senior season. He averaged 10.8 points per game, while knocking down 53 three’s and averaging 3.0 assists per game. He finished his career with 1,182 points and 201 three-pointers, while starting 82-of-118 games played.
Where is he now: Jones began a coaching career in 2004-05 at the junior college level before returning to Milwaukee a year later. He spent seven seasons on the Panther staff, the last of which as an assistant coach in 2011-12. He is currently teaches physical education at Greater Holy Temple Christian Academy in Milwaukee and is the assistant boys’ basketball coach at St. Joseph’s High School in Kenosha, Wis.

#10 – Mark Pancratz (G, 6-3, 185, Fr.)
Schaumburg, Ill. (Schaumburg)
At UWM: As a redshirt freshman in 2002-03, Pancratz made 18 appearances, scoring 19 points. He went on to play in 97 career games and was a part of the Sweet 16 team in 2005 and the vaunted seven-man senior class that went to the NCAA Tournament Second Round in 2006.
Where is he now: After graduating from Milwaukee, Pancratz joined the men’s basketball staff at Tennessee as a graduate assistant. He is in his sixth season on staff with the Vols, currently as coordinator of video scouting.

#14 – Dan Weisse (G, 5-11, 175, Sr.)
Oshkosh, Wis. (West)
At UWM: As a senior, Weisse played in all 32 games in 2002-03, making four starts. He scored 106 points on the season and dished out just under an assist per appearance. He played in 118 games over his career, making 43 starts. He scored 559 career points, but sticks out for his ball security, committing just 81 turnovers in 2300 minutes of action.
Where is he now: Weisse got into coaching in 2004, spending time as a graduate assistant at both UW-La Crosse and Middle Tennessee State. He then spent four years as director of operations at North Dakota State. Currently, he is an assistant coach and works in academic support at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

#15 – Dylan Page (F, 6-8, 225, Jr.)
Amherst, Wis. (Amherst)
At UWM: Page had a breakout junior season in 2002-03, averaging 17.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on his way to all-league first-team honors. He only got better the next year, scoring 20.9 points and pulling down 6.6 rebounds per night to be named Horizon League Player of the Year. Over his last two seasons he had 1,212 points and 411 rebounds in 63 starts.
Where is he now: Page continues to play professionally overseas. He has played for a number of teams throughout Europe, including Spain, Greece and France. He is in the states now, but is expected to head back overseas where he last played in Slovenia.

#20 – Marcus Conigliaro (G, 6-2, 195, Fr.)
Milwaukee, Wis. (Vincent)
At UWM: Conigliaro was a redshirt freshman as a walk-on in 2002-03, appearing in four games and taking one shot. He remained on the team for the 2003-04 season, making nine more appearances and grabbing a rebound before transferring to UW-La Crosse.
Where is he now: At UWL, Conigliaro became one of the top three-point shooters in school history, with his 46.1 percent shooting clip ranking second all-time. He was an all-league first-team selection as a senior and is now an assistant basketball and head men’s golf coach at Lakeland College in Sheboygan.

#22 – Jose Winston (G, 5-11, 180, Sr.)
Milwaukee, Wis. (Vincent/Colorado)
At UWM: Winston played three seasons at Colorado before returning to his hometown with the Panthers in 2001-02. After sitting a year out as a transfer, he appeared in 32 games for the 2002-03 team and made two starts. Winston made his minutes count, dishing out 80 assists and grabbing 31 steals in just 519 minutes on the season.
Where is he now: Winston teaches at North Division High School and is currently the head boys’ basketball coach at St. Joseph High School in Kenosha.

#23 – Adam FInley (F, 6-6, 230, Fr.)
Genoa, Ill. (Boylan)
At UWM: Finley spent two seasons at Milwaukee as a walk-on. As a true freshman in 2002-03, he appear in five games, making his only field goal attempt and pulling down four boards. He returned the next season and made 10 more appearances. He had two more points, seven rebounds and a blocked shot that season.
Where is he now: We don’t know. Sorry.

#24 – Jason Frederick (G, 6-4, 185, Sr.)
Waukesha, Wis. (North)
At UWM: Frederick was one of four double-figure scorers for Milwaukee in 2002-03. He averaged 10.3 points per game, knocking down a team-high 73 three-pointers at a 39.2 percent clip. He finished his career with 1,185 career points and 244 three-pointers made over 118 appearances. He made 57 career starts, including 31 as a senior.
Where is he now: Frederick graduated from UWM in 2004 with a degree in finance and spent seven years as a commercial real estate advisor with The Boerke Company. He is currently a trader with Centurion Investment Management.

#30 – Clay Tucker (G, 6-3, 195, Sr.)
Lima, Ohio (Perry)
At UWM: Tucker capped his impressive career with a standout senior campaign in 2002-03, leading the team in scoring, assists and steals. He scored 18.3 points per game, while dishing out over four assists per game on his way to all-league first team honors. He finished his career as UWM’s career leader in points, rebounds, steals, three-pointers and minutes. He is still tops with his 1,788 points, 264 three’s and 194 steals.
Where is he now: Tucker has played professionally since leaving UWM. He has been on teams all over the world, including Spain, Italy, Greece and stateside in the NBA D-League. He played for the Arkansas RimRockers from 2005-07 and set a league record with 51 points in a game. This month, he signed to play in Turkey.

#33 – Justin Lettenberger (F, 6-5, 190, Sr.)
Manitowoc, Wis. (Lincoln)
At UWM: Lettenberger made two starts among 32 appearances as a senior, averaging 6.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in almost 21 minutes per game. He would finish his career with 458 points and 472 rebounds in 98 appearances, including 17 starts.
Where is he now: After finishing his Panther career, Lettenberger spent a season on staff as a student assistant before playing professionally in Germany for a year. He returned stateside and coached collegiately for three years, first at the University of Dubuque and then Lake Forest College. Currently, he is a district manager with ALDI, Inc.

#40 – Nate Mielke (C, 6-11, 220, Jr.)
Waterloo, Iowa (East/Marshalltown CC)
At UWM: Mielke was a junior in 2002-03 when he was Milwaukee’s starting center. He played in all 32 games, starting 30, and averaged 6.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He also blocked a team-best 36 shots, while shooting 58.7 percent from the field. Mielke started his career at Marshalltown Community College and redshirted 2000-01. He finished his career with 399 points, 344 rebounds and 78 blocks in 89 games (31 starts).
Where is he now: Mielke earned his masters’ degree in engineering at Northern Iowa and is now likely the tallest manufacturing engineer at Lennox Industries in Marshalltown, Iowa.

#42 – Rob Sanders (F, 6-6, 185, So.)
Toledo, Ohio (Scott/Toledo)
At UWM: Sanders played his first season as a Panther in 2002-03 after transferring from Toledo. He appeared in 29 games, averaging 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per appearance. He battled injuries to appear in 65 career games, culminating his career during the 2005 Sweet 16 run. His career figures included 115 points, 85 rebounds and 15 blocked shots.
Where is he now: Sanders works at Greater Holy Temple Christian Academy in Milwaukee, serving as a mentor among other things.

#54 – Fernando Johnson (F, 6-9, 230, Fr.)
Milwaukee, Wis. (North Division)
At UWM: Johnson spent a half season in a Panther uniform, playing eight games in the second half of the 2002-03 season. He scored four points in eight games, pulling down four rebounds and finishing with an assist, block and steal.
Where is he now: We don’t know. Sorry.

#2 – Chris Hill (G, 5-10, 160, So.)
Chicago, Ill. (Whitney Young)
At UWM: Hill was a four-year letterwinner at Milwaukee, but redshirted the 2002-03 as a true sophomore. Despite not playing on the first NCAA Tournament team, he made trips to the tourney with the Sweet 16 team in 2005 and the vaunted seven-man senior class in 2006. He played in three NCAA Tournament wins, while starting 71 of 116 career games played. He averaged 6.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in his career.
Where is he now: Hill played professionally overseas for four seasons before returning stateside and getting back into college basketball. He began as a graduate student manager at Tennessee and joined the Milwaukee athletic department in 2011 as the men’s basketball academic advisor. This season, he joined the coaching staff as its video coordinator.

#3 – Gordy Zastrow (G, 6-4, 175, Fr.)
Manitowoc, Wis. (Lincoln)
At UWM: Zastrow redshirted the 2002-03 season as a true freshman, but never suited up for Milwaukee. He transferred to Paris Junior College the next season, returning to UWM in 2004 but never joined the team.
Where is he now: Zastrow currently works for the U.S. Army in California.

#4 – Kalombo Kadima (G/F, 6-2, 185, Sr.)
Milwaukee, Wis. (King)
At UWM: Kadima redshirted the 2002-03 season to maintain senior eligibility, but was otherwise a four-year letterwinner for the Panthers. He started the first 57 games of his career over 1999-01 and ended up starting 78-of-115 career games played. He averaged 5.0 points per game, while finishing his career with 252 assists compared to 152 turnovers and 105 steals.
Where is he now: Kadima has worked in the community since leaving UWM and is currently working for the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.

#13 – Joah Tucker (F, 6-5, 220, So.)
Glendale, Wis. (Nicolet/Bradley)
At UWM: Tucker sat out the 2002-03 season after transferring from Bradley. From 2003-06 he started all 94 games, scoring 1,416 points in a Panther uniform and pulling down 513 rebounds. His sophomore season he was named to the league’s all-newcomer team and was a first-team all-league performer the next two seasons. Despite missing out on the 2003 NCAA Tournament, he was a key player for Milwaukee during their Sweet 16 run in 2005 and Second Round appearance in 2006.
Where is he now: Tucker played professionally overseas for a variety of teams and has now returned to Milwaukee where works in real estate.

#44 – Adrian Tigert (F, 6-7, 240, So.)
Oshkosh, Wis. (West)
At UWM: After earning league all-newcomer team honors as a freshman, Tigert sat our 2002-03 with an injury and maintained sophomore eligibility. He bounced back to finish his career strong with 1,091 points and 760 rebounds in his career, playing in 120 games and starting 119. He did miss out on the 2003 NCAA Tournament, but was a starter on the Sweet 16 team in 2005 and Second Round squad in 2006. That year, he averaged a career-best 13.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Where is he now: Tigert earned his MBA from UWM when he completed his collegiate playing career and enjoyed a two-year profession career overseas. He returned to the Milwaukee area where his is now a territory manager with EMC, an information technology firm. He is also in his fourth season as a color commentator on Panther television broadcasts.

#55 – Ben Brey (F, 6-5, 200, Jr.)
Madison, Wis. (West)
At UWM: Did not play as a junior in 2002-03, his last in a Panther uniform. As a walk-on, he made 16 appearances from 2000-02, scoring 15 points and pulling down 19 rebounds. He also had five career assists and four steals.
Where is he now: After graduating from UWM in 2004, Brey earned his MBA from Wisconsin in 2006. He then spent nearly five years as a research analyst before joining Deductive Capital in New York in 2011 as a managing member.

Bruce Pearl – Head Coach
Pearl guided the Panthers for two more years, leading them to the 2005 NCAA Sweet 16. On the strength of that season, he went to Tennessee. He led the Volunteers until 2011, making the NCAA Tournament each year and posting eight tourney wins in that time. He is now Vice President of Marketing for H. T. Hackney.

Tony Jones – Associate Head Coach
Jones went to Tennessee and served in a similar position with the Volunteers until 2011. He is now the head boys’ basketball coach at Alcoa High School in Tennessee. He is also a basketball analyst for WVLT in Knoxville.

Ryan Swanson – Assistant Coach
Swanson left UWM for a coaching position at the junior college level and was named head coach at Hutchinson Community College in 2009. He held that position for three seasons before resigning and starting his own business called Phoenix Restoration.

Ken Johnson – Assistant Coach
Johnson went to Tennessee with Pearl as his director of operations until 2011. He is now a scout for NCSA Athletic Recruiting.

Jason Shay – Director of Operations
Shay went to Tennessee with Pearl and worked as an assistant coach until 2011. He is currently an assistant coach at Northwest Florida State College.

Dave Beine – Athletic Trainer
Beine was a longtime athletic trainer for the Panthers. He left UWM to become director of sports medicine at MSOE and is currently an athletic trainer with ATI Physical Therapy in Lafayette, Ind.