Men’s Basketball: Looking back on Wisconsin’s roller-coaster season

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s 2019-20 season was a rollercoaster in the truest sense of the word.While the Badgers season ended prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team rebounded after a rough start and finished the regular season with a 21-10 record, going 14-6 in the Big Ten to capture a three-way share of their first regular-season title in five years.Whether it was junior guard Kobe King’s decision to leave the team or the resignation of UW’s strength and conditioning coach due to accusations of him using a racial slur, the beginning of the season had many sports analysts and fans alike writing off the Badgers, citing coaching and player development issues as reasons for the team’s struggles.Men’s Basketball: Could Badgers really have captured 2020 national title?In a strange, unofficial end to the 2020 Wisconsin men’s basketball season, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index christened the Badgers as Read…This criticism, while harsh, was increasingly valid as the Badgers closed out the first month of their season with a 4-4 record, showing great inconsistencies in their play marked by losses against less-talented programs such as Richmond, New Mexico State and North Carolina State.The squad finished the remainder of 2019 with a 4-1 record, and started 2020 off with a bang, defeating No. 5 Ohio State in Columbus 61–57. This momentum carried the team throughout the remainder of the season, leading them to a 12-5 record with marquee wins against nationally-ranked Maryland, Michigan State and Michigan. The Badgers won their final eight games, helping them secure the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament, which was set to begin on March 11.While there is no doubt the disappointment of the season ending early is immeasurable, the 2019-20 season was one to be proud of. The team battled through many seemingly impervious obstacles, and the resiliency and determination they maintained as a group is nothing to bat an eye at.One key reason for Wisconsin’s late-season bounceback was the stellar play of junior transfer Micah Potter, who averaged 10.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game during his first season as an eligible member of the team. Starting off the season on the bench, the spark he provided whenever he was inserted into the Badgers’ lineup was undeniable, leading to him becoming a key member of the squad down the stretch.Another essential player during Wisconsin’s eight-game win streak to close out the season was junior guard D’Mitrik Trice, whose 28 points and four assists against Michigan helped secure the victory and propel the team to the top of the Big Ten standings.Men’s Basketball: Badgers declared NCAA National Champions in ESPN simulationThe Badgers have done it, they have pulled off one of the greatest turnarounds in college basketball history. The Big Read…While these few players were pivotal in terms of the team’s success, the Badgers’ remarkable turnaround was truly due to the ability of the squad to come together as one unit and win tightly contested games together, not as individuals. This aspect of the team is what Head Coach Greg Gard chose to hone in on during an interview with the Big Ten Network March 9.“The chemistry, camaraderie, and unification of the team has grown immensely,” Gard said. “They’ve played so unselfishly, they’ve just concerned themselves with what’s on the front of the jersey, they don’t care who gets the credit, they don’t care who gets the points as long as Wisconsin is successful.”After calls for Gard to be fired emerged among analysts and Badger fans alike in late January, Gard led the team to success despite the loss of King, culminating in a Big Ten Coach of the Year Award selection.Men’s Basketball: Senior send-off for Brevin PritzlWith the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s season coming to an abrupt end due to the coronavirus, Badger fans Read…When asked how the team moved forward after the unfortunate departure of King, Gard once again stressed the importance of the Badgers’ unification.“I think they came together, they understood that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” Gard said. “Once they figured that out and truly believed in that, they just took off.”Gard went on to acknowledge that while no Badgers were selected to the All-Big Ten first or second teams, they were able to find their success as a committee.In the last eight games of the regular season, no single player scored the most points more than twice, as junior Nate Reuvers put up 11 points against Northwestern and 17 points against Indiana, and junior Brad Davison dropped 30 points against Nebraska and 20 points against Minnesota.“They’ve just understood that if we bond together, we stick together, we stay true to who we are, and we continue to work, great things can happen,” Gard said. “This is the ultimate definition of what a team can accomplish when they work together.”The Badgers were primed to make a deep postseason run, and while the squad no longer has a chance to capture the Big Ten championship and make a run towards the Final Four, the accomplishments and strides they took throughout the regular season offers great hope for the future of Wisconsin’s basketball program.last_img read more

Miami Garden’s Vice Mayor Dr. Erhabor Ighodaro Receives Meritorious Honor from…

first_imgleft-r:ight Rev. Wayne Lomax, Dr. Erhabor Ighodaro and Mr. Charles George The City of Miami Gardens Vice-Mayor Dr. Erhabor Ighodaro has been awarded the Nathan W. Collier Meritorious Service Award by Florida Memorial University. The award is given for exceptional service to the University, and for outstanding achievements in the honoree’s community. Vice-Mayor Ighodaro accepted his award at the University’s 139th Founder’s Day Convocation on March 15, 2018.The Nathan W. Collier Meritorious Service Award was named for Dr. Nathan White Collier, who served as President of Florida Baptist Academy and the Florida Normal and Industrial Institute from 1896 to 1941.Vice Mayor Ighodaro is an educator with a background in public management, urban justice, urban education, curricula design and implementation of best practice methodologies, educational public policy and the intervention and resolution of school and community based conflict. He serves as Professor of Criminal Justice at Florida Memorial University, and he is the Founder/CEO of Oracle Consulting Group, LLC a dispute systems design and conflict resolution firm and he is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator.As Executive Director of the Dr. Robert B. Ingram Foundation, Dr. Ighodaro oversees the organization’s signature READ to LEAD program and has awarded over 5000 scholarships to students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. These scholarships entitle students to an all-expenses paid educational excursion of Black history sites in Florida.A former Miami-Dade County Public School Teacher and former Chief of Staff to School Board Member Dr. Robert Ingram, Dr. Ighodaro serves as the Miami-Dade School District’s Administrator for the Ingram Africa School Alliance (IASA) “Rites of Passage” Project and leads a delegation of students, teachers and parents on the district’s annual excursion and student exchange opportunities with schools in Africa.An often herald speaker on youth and non-violent engagement, Dr. Ighodaro is the author of the groundbreaking publication Curriculum Violence: America’s New Civil Rights Issue (2010). Nova Science Publishers. Dr. Ighodaro has worked with diverse political constituencies in the Miami Dade community and was appointed in 2012 by Mayor Oliver Gilbert to serve on the Miami Gardens City Council, at-Large Seat 6. He was subsequently elected in 2014 with the highest vote count in the history of the city. On the council he has established himself as a trailblazer and consensus builder. A promoter of inclusion he has pioneered the City’s efforts for its special needs population, and created Miami Gardens’ own Special Olympics Games. He hosts the City’s annual Stand Against Violence It’s Our Responsibility (S.A.V.I.O.R.) community violence and crime prevention initiative, and holds a monthly community and town hall meeting “Uni’Tea.” Vice Mayor Ighodaro recently sponsored a resolution to host the City’s first radio show Miami Gardens.An advocate for small businesses, Dr. Ighodaro established the business of the month recognition program and was an architect for the city’s Business and Resident Economic Plan.Dr. Ighodaro holds a Ph. D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University (2007). He graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Justice Administration from St. Thomas University (2000) and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Florida Memorial University (1997).last_img read more

LA Lakers’ Byron Scott to field same starting lineup in second preseason game vs. Utah

first_imgHONOLULU >> The lineup combinations remain fluid. It likely will stay that way until the training camp concludes at the end of October.Yet, Lakers coach Byron Scott said he “wouldn’t mind” if his starting lineup featured D’Angelo Russell (point guard), Jordan Clarkson (shooting guard), Kobe Bryant (small forward), Julius Randle (power forward) and Roy Hibbert (center). Scott plans to feature that lineup for the second consecutive game when the Lakers play the Utah Jazz on Tuesday at Stan Sheriff Center.“That group is a very good group,” Scott said following practice on Monday. “It’s very young. You have two veterans out there in Kobe and Roy. But I would love for this group to take it to the next level. The only way they can do that is by playing together a little bit more in game situations and in practice.”Bryant sounded intrigued about the lineup’s potential, too. After the Lakers’ 90-71 preseason loss to Utah on Sunday, Bryant argued “the pieces complement each other extremely well.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “It’s not horrible,” Brown said. “I want to take precaution. So I sat out. But it’s not horrible.”Brown’s instincts turned out correct. An MRI revealed a right shoulder strain, though the results came out negative. The Lakers have listed Brown to play Tuesday against Utah. Brown’s injury sparked confusion on how it happened. Scott believed Brown ran into a legal screen that reserve center Robert Sacre set, something he denied. Russell recalled it was Hibbert, who cited faulty memory.Brown did not offer any specifics. But he focused more of his anxiety on his training camp. He posted three points on 1-of-3 shooting and five fouls in 12 minutes against Utah. Brown also has defended Bryant, Metta World Peace, Nick Young and Lou Williams in practice.“Metta is a tank. He’s more brute strength and plays bully ball,” said Brown, whom the Lakers selected 34th overall. “Kobe has more skill. But they’re both extremely hard to guard.”How so?“They both know how to get fouled,” Brown said. “They can shoot in your face. The biggest thing is it doesn’t matter how close you are. They shoot the same shot. It doesn’t matter how much you contest. If Kobe misses it, it’s because he missed it. It’s not because you played good defense.”center_img The Lakers drafted Russell with the No. 2 pick because of his playmaking. Clarkson morphed from last year’s 46th pick to a member of the NBA’s All-Rookie team because of his scoring. Bryant’s resume speaks for itself, though concerns linger on whether he can stay healthy following three season-ending injuries in consecutive seasons. The Lakers remain intrigued with Randle’s versatility as a bruiser and playmaker missing nearly his entire rookie season because of a fractured right tibia. The Lakers acquired Hibbert from Indiana in hopes he can revamp the Lakers’ defense. Does Scott feel hesitant to rely on so many young players?“Not really,” Scott said. “If they’re good, it doesn’t really matter.”Nursing the pain The ice bag stayed firmly wrapped on Anthony Brown’s right shoulder. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti stood nearby finalizing plans for Brown to receive an MRI at a nearby hospital after the Lakers’ rookie small forward bumped his shoulder through a hard screen.last_img read more