-MADISON, WI – 1/13/2021 

By: Mitchell Speltz 

Another game, another quality win for the Wisconsin Badgers (14-2) as they avenged their only conference loss of the season against Ohio State (10-4) on Thursday night with a wire-to-wire victory, 78-68. The Badgers earned this one with a true team effort as they got big-time contributions from Tyler Wahl, Brad Davison, and Steven Crowl with Johnny Davis having an off-night by his standards“It shows you we’re more than Johnny”, Head Coach Greg Gard explained after the game. Maybe the top concern of this team was put to bed as the Badgers needed everybody to capture their sixth straight win and improve to 5-1 in Big Ten play. 


  • Tyler Wahl had a career-high 21 points Sunday against Maryland and although he didn’t quite match that on Thursday, this was the best performance of his career. Wahl finished with a complete line of 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists and had another strong defensive performance against Ohio State’s top player, EJ Liddell. Wahl is solving the question of who the Badgers’ No. 3 scorer is behind Johnny Davis and Brad Davison. The Junior has averaged 15.5 PPG during Wisconsin’s current six-game win streak and it’s easy to connect the dots that Wahl has been a key cog in the team’s recent success. And the best part about it is he made his first three-pointers of the season against the Buckeyes after an 0/17 start this season. We’ll see if the outside shooting sticks after a 2/4 night against Ohio State, but it’s another reason Wahl continues to improve. 
  • Steven Crowl is also making significant strides after a down month of December. Greg Gard confirmed the sentiment that Crowl is improving in a variety of ways but mostly pointed to his defense and confidence. The Sophomore big-man started the night with a three-pointer on the opening possession that set the tone for his night as he finished with 9 points and 7 rebounds. But most importantly, he held his own on the block against Zed Key and EJ Liddell when he went against them one-on-one. The physicality of the Big Ten has ramped-up Crowl’s toughness and he’s becoming the player the Badgers need him to be as they continue towards a Big Ten title. 
  • As this Wisconsin team continues to win, you can argue Greg Gard is having his best season as Head Coach. Gard has had some incredible coaching jobs during his tenure at Wisconsin, but I’m starting to believe this one may be his best. The Badgers 14-2 start is the best under Gard since he took over in December of 2015, and this is with a team that was picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten Preseason-Poll. You can tell Gard loves coaching this group, perhaps more than any team he’s guided in his career, and he’s more than deserving to be in the conversation for not just Coach of the Year in the conference, but nationally as well. 


  • “What it shows you is we’re more than Johnny. I’ve thought all along we’ve had some really good pieces. They weren’t household names to start the year but as this team has come together, you’re starting to see that” – Greg Gard on overcoming a tough night from Johnny Davis 
  • He’s gotten better. He’s playing with a tremendous amount of confidence and when you cross that threshold from sophomore to junior, there’s a lot you hope comes with that including leadership, which is helping him improve his game in all areas. He competes exceptionally hard and you want those kinds of players on your team” – Gard on Tyler Wahl 
  • “His confidence. I see it in practice every day. It shouldn’t have taken him this long to hit his first three but this was a damn good time to do it” – Johnny Davis on Tyler Wahl’s recent play  
  • “Getting to the free-throw line. Not only do you rack up fouls for them, but it gives you a chance to set your defense and it helped us stop their transition game tonight” – Brad Davison on the biggest improvement from the matchup with Ohio State  


By: Aaron Morse 1/12/22

The Packers have been one of the most injured teams in the NFL this season. David Bakhtiari did not play until last week and he only played 27 snaps. Jaire Alexander has not played since week four. Elgton Jenkins was lost for the season in week eleven. Robert Tonyan has been out since injuring his knee in week eight. Aaron Rodgers has been managing a broken toe for the last few weeks.
The list goes on and on and on. And it all started back in week one when Za’Darius Smith only played 18 snaps against the Saints. Za’Darius had back surgery and has not practiced since. The Packers have been waiting to get their defensive pressure threat back and they finally did on Wednesday. After months of rehab and getting a few individual workouts completed, Smith has returned to on-field work with his team.

It is great news for the Packers as it now looks like they will get Za’Darius back in at least some capacity for the most important part of the season- something that seemed like a long shot just a few weeks ago. Just like everyone else, Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur wants to have the best eleven players on the field at all times, but also knows you cannot just throw guys out there:

An important note for Za’Darius and whether or not we will see him out on the field during the playoffs is the position he plays. Outside linebacker is a spot where you do not have to be on the field for every play. Za’Darius could play 15 snaps on passing downs and the defense would not miss a beat. However, someone like David Bakhtiari, playing left tackle, could not be in and out of the offensive plays because it would throw off the rhythm of the unit. So as long as Za’Darius is in respectable playing shape, expect him to be out there at some point.

Smith is not the only guy slowly getting healthier. Aaron Rodgers has been nursing his broken pinky toe while not missing a game since he was in quarantine in week nine. The recent time off and a lack of hits taken over the past few games has allowed that toe to recover without the surgery:

While David Bakhtiari did not practice on Wednesday (load management) he did get some game action in week 18 which means he is likely to return to a full game workload for the playoffs. Jaire Alexander continues to practice and should be good to go for the playoffs as well. Additionally, Billy Turner has been out of the lineup since he got injured in week 14. He was just activated off the Covid list and seems to be on track to return this season, as well.

It is a scary thought for the rest of the league that the team with the best record in the entire NFL is only going to continue to get stronger as the days move along.


MADISON, WI – 1/6/2022 

By: Mitchell Speltz 

The eyes of many college basketball fans tuned in Thursday night to watch the Wisconsin Badgers (12-2) host the Iowa Hawkeyes (11-4) in a rivalry showdown, but much of the attention was on the individual battle between Johnny Davis and Iowa’s Keegan Murray, the nation’s leading scorer. Fans got what they bargained for as they finished with 26 and 27 points respectively, but it was Johnny’s team that got the win in a complete, near-wire-to-wire performance, 87-78. All five of Wisconsin starters scored in double-figures with Davis leading the way, Brad Davison scoring 18, and Tyler Wahl producing 16. Following the Badgers’ most significant win of the season, some wondered whether Thursday night would be a letdown against a Hawkeye team looking for a résumé-boosting win, but it was anything but. Wisconsin controlled the game in nearly all facets from the jump as the Badgers now look for their third win in seven days on Sunday against Maryland, but first, the recap of Thursday’s win: 


  • With back-to-back impressive wins in conference play, one thing has really stuck out in addition to Johnny Davis being spectacular – and that’s points in the paint. Wisconsin has scored 68 points in the painted area over the last two games including 40 in the victory over Iowa. This offense has changed and Greg Gard has adapted his offense to be more down-hill and fast-paced based on the personnel he has. This is important because it’s unlocking some of his players to their fullest potential such as Davis and freshman Chucky Hepburn who’s been a maestro orchestrating this offense. It’s also allowed them to not be reliant on threes like previous Wisconsin teams. The Badgers are barely shooting 30% as a group from downtown and struggles were expected in that department. But the fact they can score in so many ways inside makes it a deficiency they can overcome. 
  • The Badgers haven’t been a strong team statistically rebounding the basketball, but it was an area they dominated against Iowa. Five different Badgers had at least four rebounds with Johnny Davis and Tyler Wahl tying for the team lead with 9 boards. But I specifically want to focus on offensive rebounding. This team is averaging nearly 11 offensive boards per game… 11! For perspective, the Badgers under Greg Gard have averaged around 8 offensive rebounds a contest. Typical Wisconsin teams have never been around their current mark because they’ve put an emphasis on stopping opposing transition by dropping players back after shot attempts. This team is going for second chance oppurtunities frequently and it’s paying off. They corralled 15 misses on Thursday and registered that into 18 points, an effective ratio. Chris Vogt has been a key help to this as he has great instincts and timing when he’s around the basket and those extended possessions can wear on opposing defenses throughout a game such as Iowa on Thursday night.  
  • The connectedness of this group is something I did not expect to materialize quickly and it appears it’s caught Greg Gard by surprise too. The Badgers’ Head Coach mentioned after the game it’s hard to ever get mad at this group because they never have a bad day – not something you expect from a team with 12 underclassmen. It almost sounded like he was about to get emotional talking about them and really showed his love for coaching this team. He’s credited most of that due to their consistent competitiveness at practice and games and it’s led to chemistry I haven’t seen before in my years of covering this program. There’s something special going on here and it’s really started to come to light this week. 


  • It’s pretty cool to be ranked up there with him and all those talented scorers but I don’t care about that right now. He’s averaging more than me, but they lost” – Johnny Davis on competing against Keegan Murray 
  • “We got a lot of guys who bring different things to the table and whosever night it is, they look to produce as much as we can. This team is pretty dangerous and we’ve got a lot of good things coming” – Tyler Wahl on everyone playing a role 
  • “We have a lot of weapons, we have one of the best players in the country, Chucky (Hepburn) does a nice job at finding guys, we have rim runners, and guys who can shoot in transition. It’s important to take advantage of the opportunities, especially if it means we don’t have to work as hard on the offensive end and get those transition buckets when we can” – Brad Davison on scoring in transition 
  • “This is a very competitive group. When you have that everyday mentality, it shows up because every practice is competitive. It’s nothing magical, you just have to have the right people. I can’t even get mad at them. They just give me everything they’ve got, dang near every day. They haven’t had a bad day” – Greg Gard about not having a letdown after upsetting Purdue 


By: Aaron Morse 12/16/21

As sports leagues continue to see a large uptick in Covid cases and players being added to the Covid lists, the Packers had avoided any players being added over the past week. However, they have just added Kenny Clark to the reserve/COVID list. With just three days until the Packers will be in Baltimore to take on the Ravens, Clark is unlikely to be able to suit up.
Because Clark is vaccinated, there is a slim chance he could make a quick turnaround. For vaccinated players, they are allowed to return to the team once they produce two negative tests that come 24 hours apart. Clark has just enough time to maneuver his way back to playing in week 15. If he was not vaccinated, he would need to be away from the team for at least 10 days, similar to Aaron Rodgers earlier this season.

Kenny Clark is a huge part of the defense and one of the most disruptive defensive tackles in the entire NFL so this is a tough loss for the Packers to try and cover up, especially late in the practice week. What makes it even more difficult is the scheme that the Ravens play with. While Lamar Jackson is dealing with an ankle sprain and might not play this week, his backup, Tyler Huntley, is a shifty runner as well and produces similar results to Jackson at the quarterback position. In addition, the Ravens are one of the more run-heavy offenses in the league. Last year they ran the ball on 55% of their plays. This year that number has dipped to 44% (because of an insane amount of injuries to the running back position) but they still want to establish the run and establish it early.

Establishing the run could come a lot easier for the Ravens on Sunday without Kenny Clark to stuff up the middle of the field.


-MADISON, WI – 12/15/2021 

By: Mitchell Speltz 

For the second time this season, the Wisconsin Badgers (9-2) were down their top scorer, Johnny Davis who was ruled out nearly an hour before the game with a non-covid illness after participating in shoot-around earlier in the day. Without him, earning a win against Nicholls State (7-4), the favorites from the Southland Conference proved to be anything but easy. The Badgers found themselves down 37-28 at halftime after a very uncharacteristic half on both ends of the floor. It was a script that played out very similarly for Wisconsin as it did in their record 22-point comeback against Indiana, except they didn’t have their best player to lead them back. It took an improved defensive effort and another spark off the bench from Chris Vogt as Wisconsin rallied to top the Colonels, 71-68. I wouldn’t take this game completely at face value if I’m a Badger fan, but here were my takeaways from Wednesday night:  


  • I’m starting to grow some level of concern about the play of Steven Crowl. What looked like an opportunity for a get-right game, Crowl struggled again and produced just 5 points and 4 rebounds in only 14 minutes. Chris Vogt was given the majority of the playing time at the five and rightfully so as he played a key role off the bench in the second half. Crowl was taken out at around the 17:00 minute mark of the second half and did not see the floor again until the final seconds of the game after Brad Davison fouled out. With competition starting to gradually get stronger, Crowl hasn’t responded the way I thought he would and it’s not going to get any easier from here. Am I giving up on Steven Crowl? Absolutely not. But he’s going to have to adapt his game and play a lot stronger with Big Ten play on the horizon. I do not believe Greg Gard wants to make a change in the starting lineup and switch Vogt and Crowl, but it is something to watch. 
  • With Johnny Davis out of the lineup, this was an opportunity for this team to develop and become a deeper team. Despite the performance against Nicholls State not being pretty, some players grew up in this game, especially Jahcobi Neath. Neath has been a really tough player to judge at this juncture of the season because he’s missed time with a lower leg injury and an illness. He was given the opportunity to start in place of Johnny and I thought he played well. The transfer from Wake Forrest finished with 9 points and a quiet 7 rebounds. The Junior isn’t a guy who’s going to stuff the stat sheet with points, but he’s physical, athletic, and can create high-energy plays with his rebounding ability. Greg Gard praised Neath for some of his key offensive rebounds and gritty plays that led to points. He’s been a bit of a forgotten player, but Neath is going to be a key cog for the Wisconsin backcourt. 
  • The Badgers rallied from 10 points or more down to win for the fourth time this season with their come-from-behind win against the Colonels. Give Nicholls State credit for the way they competed, but Wisconsin probably shouldn’t have been in this spot even without Johnny Davis. The point here is, don’t count this team out. Gard has loved the grit of his team all season long and how they’ve learned to battle against adversity, something you don’t often see from young teams. 


“I felt we were just kind of dead in the water. We didn’t have a lot of energy in the first half and I was just looking to provide a spark anyway I could” – Chris Vogt on helping the team rally in the second half 

“The best-coached teams are the player-coached teams. We were mostly on the same page with Coach Gard at halftime and we were able to come out and play a much better second half” – Tyler Wahl on the halftime adjustments   

“We were confident the whole second half that if we did things the right way we’d come back and win. You obviously don’t want to be in that spot at the end but this is a game that can help us adjust and get ready for conference play” – Brad Davison on closing them out at the end 

“We benefited from this in a weird way. We’ve been trying to develop depth and those opportunities have been presented to us with guys not being healthy. Guys have been stepping and they’ve had extra practice time to prepare for these moments” – Greg Gard on players stepping up  


By: Aaron Morse 12/08/21

The Central RiverHawks Boys Basketball team, led by Head Coach Todd Fergot, has enjoyed some early season success. They are off to a 3-0 start with an average margin of victory of nearly 15 points. It has been the defense leading the way early on as the RiverHawks have allowed less than 36 points per game. The offense is still coming along, but they have some very capable scorers, including Seniors Devon Fielding (13.6 ppg) and Porter Pretasky (10.3 ppg). Juniors Nic Williams (8.7 ppg up from 2.7 ppg last season) and Bennett Fried (6.3 ppg) are also part of an experienced scoring bunch.
While Fielding, Pretasky, and Fried’s scoring numbers are down from last year’s season averages, the offense is not everything, as proved by their defensive numbers so far.
For Fried, he is only getting better- and still growing- according to Coach Fergot:

Devon Fielding is the leader of the RiverHawks and he is an all-around player that is only growing into the ceiling he has, says Coach Fergot:

The Central program has had really good success over the years and especially recently with players like Johnny and Jordan Davis and Terrance Thompson. Six of the players on the roster this season- Fielding, Pretasky, Fried, Noah Compan, Quinn Servais, and Colin Adams- were on the team in 2019-2020 when Central won the Section Championship before Covid-19 ended the season early. The experience of making it that far in the season, as well as playing with high-caliber players like the Davis twins and Thompson is huge for the current team, explains Coach Fergot:

One of those former players, Johnny Davis, has burst onto the scene this season for the Wisconsin Badgers. He was not really on any NBA draft boards to begin the season, but with his torrid start to the season, he has been catapulting up the projections. A week ago he was on the “lookout for these guys” lists. Just a few days later, some analysts have him going late in the first round. Johnny should only continue to rise his draft stock throughout the season and Coach Fergot will only continue to get more questions about Johnny. Fergot laid out the questions he gets on a daily basis and says that he expects Johnny to be an NBA guy sooner rather than later:

Another former player of Fergot’s, Kobe King, is back out on the court after not playing for nearly two years. After transferring from Wisconsin to Nebraska and not playing for the Cornhuskers because of Covid-19, King decomitted from Nebraska. After taking a few months off, he decided to get back into basketball. He hired an agent and entered the G-League draft, but was not drafted. So, he decided to look at the college ranks. He chose Valparaiso because Head Coach Matt Lottich recruited him out of high school and Trevor Anderson and Joe Hedstrom played there, two of his former Badger teammates. Fergot talked a little bit about King and who he is:

Central has had a lot of great players over the years and while they may not have that big name guy on the roster like they have in years past, they have a team that plays all-around basketball and will win plenty of games this season because of it. The defense has led the way during their 3-0 start to the season, but once they get that offense clicking, they could find themselves at the top of the tough Mississippi Valley Conference. Central will take on Minnesota’s Benilde-St. Margaret’s on Saturday at 3 pm at Hiawatha Collegiate High School.

To listen to the entire 13 minutes with Coach Todd Fergot, CLICK HERE.


By Mitchell Speltz – 12/8/2021


The young, Wisconsin Badgers (8-1) entered conference play with significant momentum after multiple signature wins in the first month of the college basketball season. But on Wednesday night, Big Ten play started about as poorly as it possibly could. The Badgers found themselves down 22 points in the first-half to the Indiana Hoosiers (7-2) with nothing going right on offense or defense. In the second half, a completely different Wisconsin team came out of the locker room, a team Badger fans have been accustomed to seeing. Led by a 23-point effort by rising star Johnny Davis, and unlikely contributors such as Chris Vogt, Ben Carlson, and Jordan Davis, Wisconsin tied a program record with a 22-point comeback ignited by their defense to win their conference opener, 64-59. The team’s defense shined again by holding the Hoosiers to just 17 second-half points. In addition to the record-breaking comeback, it’s also the third time this year Wisconsin has rallied from 10+ points down to win (Texas A&M, St. Mary’s). The Badgers will look to make it a 2-0 start in the Big Ten on the road against No. 21 Ohio State on Saturday, but first, the takeaways from Wednesday’s victory: 


  • Defense. Defense. Defense. Wisconsin was able to make their historic comeback thanks to an elite defensive effort in the second half. After surrendering 42 first-half points, the Badgers held the Hoosiers to just 17 points on 5/22 shooting with no three-pointers in the second. Their ability to shut out Indiana from the perimeter was key, but the team’s capability to defend All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis one-on-one in the post set the tone. Greg Gard admitted after the game the goal was to double him and put pressure on him in the first half but adjusted to more straight-up defense against him after halftime, which helped the guards on the perimeter close out better on shooters. One could argue every player for Wisconsin who’s touched the floor is a plus-defender and this team continues to show that every game. 
  • Chris Vogt established himself in a major way on Wednesday night and was the ultimate difference-maker in Wisconsin’s impressive rally against Indiana. Vogt led the team with a +13 margin while he was on the floor and made several impacts. His defense against the Hoosiers’ interior players changed things defensively, but what he did on offense stood out most. He extended possessions with offensive rebounds and hustle plays and contributed 9 points off the bench, showing a nice touch around the basket. With Steven Crowl struggling and dealing with foul trouble, the transfer from Cincinnati provided the spark off the bench Wisconsin needed. He’s been relatively quiet up to this point in the season, but against Indiana he showed what he can do and it will be needed against some of the elite big-men of the Big Ten due up on the schedule. 
  • The influence Tyler Wahl had in this game cannot go unnoticed. Wahl grabbed a season-high 12 boards for the Badgers and his defense was most noticeable at the end of the game when he came up with a key block at the basket with Indiana looking to regain the lead in the final minute. He came up with just 7 points on Wednesday, but the Junior has carved out a role for himself as perhaps the best back-to-the-basket player for Wisconsin. Wahl has consistently shown the ability to back down his defender and score underneath the hoop. He’s a strong finisher around the rim and he’s made an impactful jump this season after being a stellar, glue guy his first two years in the program.

  • Wisconsin turned the ball over just four times in this game. You read that right, just four turnovers. This Badger squad is playing like a vintage Wisconsin team by taking care of the ball, playing great defense, and executing all the important fundamentals. They lowered their turnover mark/game to 8.6, which is Top-10 nationally. Maximizing possessions and not turning the ball over is an aspect I did not expect this team to be thriving at this early in the season. 


  • “Next man up. Jordan Davis was huge. We’ve said our numbers this year are really good for us. Everyone stepped up tonight” – Brad Davison on the impact of the bench 
  • “It was awesome, when it comes to March and you’re competing for a Big Ten Championship, this is a game you look back to. These are the games that help you contend for championships” – Davison on the significance of the win 
  • It’s easier to play when you’re down because you can play more aggressively. But we came back tonight because of our defense, we held them to 17 second-half points” – Johnny Davis on how the team was able to rally  

  • Flashback to when Brad hit that three against Maryland. But when I hit that I knew we were going to win because our defense was going to lock it down from there” – Davis on hitting the go-ahead three-pointer 

  • “One led to the other. They forced us into some bad shots and it led to easy ones for them on the other end. We were much better inside-out in the second half, which allowed us to set our defense better” – Greg Gard on what changed after halftime 


By Aaron Morse – 11/30/2021

Little-known, small town recruit Leo Chenal became the third Wisconsin Badger to win the Big Ten Linebacker of the Year award on Tuesday following previous winners Chris Borland (2013) and Joe Schobert (2015). He was also named to the All-Big Ten team.
Chenal came into the season a tad under radar with so many great players around him, but Chenal was outstanding all season long. Chenal finished the regular season with 106 total tackles, fourth-best in the conference. He also was tied for fourth in the Big Ten, with fellow Badger Nick Herbig, with seven sacks, and second in tackles for loss with 17. He did all of this while playing two less games than everyone else near the top of those leaderboards.

Chenal was not the only Badger to be recognized by the Big Ten, however. Chenal did not do it all by himself this season and the Big Ten noticed that as the other ten defensive starters for the Badgers were honored.
The captain of the Badgers’ defense, Jack Sanborn was named to the first team. Sanborn improved on his third-team selection last year by collecting 88 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and he added 3.5 sacks.
Keeanu Benton was named to the second team with 24 tackles, five for loss, and he collected 2.5 sacks.
Matt Henningsen and Caesar Williams were awarded with third-team honors. Henningsen had 31 tackles, 5.5 of which were for a loss, and three sacks. Meanwhile, Williams had three interceptions and broke up an additional six passes this season.
The other six starters on the Badgers defense- Noah Burks, Herbig, Isaiah Mullens, Faion Hicks, Scott Nelson, and Collin Wilder were all given honorable mentions.

An extremely talented defense was honored appropriately.

Brewers’ Burnes Wins NL Cy Young

By Karl Sessions – 11/18/2021

The Milwaukee Brewers have their first Cy Young Award winning pitcher in nearly 40 years.

Corbin Burnes was announced as the recipient of the National League’s top pitching honor on Wednesday, becoming only the third pitcher in Brewers history to win the award.

The two previous wins came in back-to-back seasons, with Rollie Fingers and Pete Vuckovich winning in 1981 and 1982, respectively.

Burnes’ win marks the first NL Cy Young winner, as the wins for Fingers and Vuckovich came during the Brewers tenure in the American League (1970-1997).

Burnes became eligible for his first of three years of salary arbitration this offseason and is currently scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2025, though, back in October, Brewers GM David Stearns alluded to the possibility of a contract extension in the works for Burnes.

Packers’ A-Rod Takes #2 Spot on a Not-So-Great List

By Karl Sessions – 11/17/2021

Packer QB Aaron Rodgers has been beat out by the one and only Tom Brady once again — but, this time, that could be a good thing.

Michigan Online Gambling site recently conducted a nationwide survey of NFL fans to find out who they think are the league’s biggest complainers. Once again, as it has been years running, Tom Brady took the honors.

The margin for Brady’s “win”, however, is not what it once was. Rodgers tailed closely behind for the second spot in this year’s survey — in part, no doubt, to the offseason drama surrounding Aaron’s perceived unhappiness with the Packers front office and whether or not he would show up to play this season.

The survey also looked at which team’s fans complain the most — while not quite reaching the “heights” of Rodgers, Packer fans did come in 6th. The biggest whiner fans in the league award from this survey goes to the Cowboys fanbase. The Bears fans came in at #8, while the Vikings were in the bottom half at #18.

That big #6 vs #18 matchup comes this Sunday when the Vikings host the Packers with a Noon kickoff.

See the entire story and survey results here.

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