Mark Daniels' Ear Piece Mark Daniels' Ear Piece

  • Phoenix takes down Marquette

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    The Green Bay Phoenix finally got to play the Marquette Golden Eagles at the Resch Center and before a big crowd, scored a big victory, 49-47.  Here are the game details with plenty of post-game comments from Phoenix coach Brian Wardle, players Kiefer Sykes and Alec Brown along with Golden Eagle coach Buzz Williams.

    Phoenix beats Marquette

  • Bielema bolts from the Badgers

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    Capitalizing on his most marketable moment, Brett Bielema has stunned the University of Wisconsin by accepting the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas just days after leading the Badgers to a third straight Rose Bowl.   The hand picked successor to Barry Alvarez, Bielema led Wisconsin to a 68-24 record with 6 overall bowl appearances.  Alvarez, now the Athletic Director, admitted he was surprised by the decision in a statement released by the school.  Bielema quickly worked out the lucrative deal at the school in the powerful Southeastern Conference over the weekend and informed the team of his decision in a meeting Tuesday night.   Bielema is expected to earn anywhere from 3.2 to 4 million dollars annually.  His salary in Madison this past season was around 2.7 million.  While Bielema did win a lot of games with the program, he struggled against conference powers Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan over the years.  Perhaps realizing Urban Meyer has Ohio State in a strong position to dominate the Big Ten's Leaders Division after going 12-0 in his first year in Columbus, the lure of coaching in college football's pre-eminent league and the fatter wallet was too much to resist.  Alvarez indicated the search will begin immediately and Bielema almost certainly won't be on the sidelines in Pasadena when Wisconsin plays Stanford.  Last year's offensive coordinator Paul Chryst is a prominent name on the list but after going 6-6 in his first year at Pittsburgh, Chryst issued a statement saying he's committed to the Panther program.  On the link below, comments from Wisconsin players and some fans after Bielema delivered the stunning news to the team Tuesday night.

    Bielema leaves Badgers

  • Packers 49ers Preview

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    Can you imagine taking nine months to rid oneself of a bad taste in the mouth?  The Packers remarkable 15-1 season of 2011 took a huge jolt of indigestion after the New York Giants surge to the Super Bowl included the 37-20 stunner of the NFC's top seed at Lambeau Field January 15.   An entire off-season spent picking up the pieces can rid the Pack of that sour taste by opening 2012 with a victory.  It will have to come against a San Francisco 49ers team that swallowed just as hard following a breakout 13-3 campaign and a playoff loss to yes, the Giants, in overtime, in the NFC title game.  The Sunday afternoon debut at Lambeau is easily the premier game of the NFL's opening weekend.  The Packers are anxious to answer some lingering questions, is the defense going to recover from a season in which they gave up more passing yards than any team in league history?  Will the offense find a running game that won't include Ryan Grant who was let go and James Starks who is hurt again?   We'll find out soon enough.  Here's how I see the matchups.

    The Packer defense would have preferred to play last year's Niners, much easier to defend a team conservatively focused on running the ball with Frank Gore grinding out 1211 yards and quarterback Alex Smith being very selective in the air.  Smith was steady if unspectacular in throwing 17 touchdowns to a league low five interceptions.  The 49ers realized the needed to upgrade in the air and went about adding compliments to dangerous tight end Vernon Davis and receiver Michael Crabtree by drafting A.J. Jenkins out of Illinois late in the first round, signing Mario Manningham off the Giants free agent list and coaxing Randy Moss out of retirement after one year away.  If San Francisco does open up the attack, they will target some young defensive backs who will see action in the nickel and dime.  Sure, Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Morgan Burnett can hold their own but Sam Shields, Jarrett Bush, Casey Hayward, M.D. Jennings or Jerron McMillian will be sought out by Smith looking for matchups.  The front seven must still contend with Gore but I feel they'll be up to it.  Even against a large offensive line led by a pair of former first round picks in Mike Iupati and Joe Staley.  Smith still endured 44 sacks behind that big line last year and with youthful energy from Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy added to the heat brought by Clay Matthews, the Packers hope Alex doesn't have enough time to find his new collection of receivers.

    On offense, not many teams can contain the multiple array of playmakers at the disposal of Aaron Rodgers, maybe not even the vaunted 49ers defense.   All 11 starters return to a squad that was the NFC's best, 4th in the league in yards allowed per game, second best in scoring defense.  They piled up 42 sacks, led the league in turnover ratio at +28 and were the stingiest defense against the run allowing only 77 yards a game.  Justin Smith and Aldon Smith are freakishly good on the right side of the 3-4 alignment.  Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman are fly to the ball linebackers while Dahon Goldson and Donte Whitner lead the secondary at the safety spots.  The Packers will sprinkle in some misdirection to have Rodgers get outside the pocket and get rid of the ball quickly, hoping to get receivers in space for extra yards.  Any help from the running game will make play action more desireable and shots could be taken downfield.  This defense will test Mike McCarthy's play calling rythym maybe more than any other all season.

    This won't be the wild shootout of last year's 42-34 opener against the Saints, the Pack will be hardpressed to hit 30 points but they should score enough to purge that bad taste and get 2012 off to a rousing start.  I like the Pack to win 26-20.  On the link below, quotes from the locker room on how the players see Sunday's matchup.

    Packers-49ers preview

  • Gamblers grab the Cup

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    The Green Bay Gamblers are USHL Champions again.  Before a big house at the Resch Center Wednesday night, the Gamblers defeated the Waterloo Blackhawks 5-2 to win the Clark Cup championship series in five games.  On the link below, you'll get a recap of the game along with plenty of happy Gamblers on the ice as they partied with the Cup.

    Gamblers are champs

  • US Womens Open Coming Soon

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    In just a matter of weeks, the best female golfers in the world will compete for the game's greatest prize, the US Womens Open championship, right here in Wisconsin.  Blackwolf Run in Kohler, for the second time, will host the 67th annual championship July 2-8.  In 1998, South Korea's Se Ri Pak defeated Jenny Chuasiriporn in a dramatic 20 hole playoff. Chuasiriporn rolled in a 40 foot putt on the 72nd hole to force the the playoff.  Pak was forced to take off her shoes on the 18th hole to launch a shot from a creek that extended the tournament to it's thrilling conclusion.  Blackwolf Run underwent an extensive renovation over the past two years and the tournament will be played on it's original 18 hole layout.  On Tuesday, defending Open champion So Yeon Ryu, another South Korean, played the course along with members of the media.  Afterwards, officials held a news conference to talk about the 5th major to be hosted on a Kohler Company course.  On the link below, you'll hear press conference highlights on the 2012 US Womens Open tournament.

    US Womens Open media day

  • Kevin Borseth returns

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    The second head coach in UW Green Bay Womens basketball is now the 4th head coach in program history as Kevin Borseth returns to replace Matt Bollant.  Here are highlights from Thursday's re-introductory news conference at the Kress Events Center.

    Borseth comes homes

  • Bollant sips the Champaign

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    Matt Bollant is the new head coach of the womens basketball program at the University of Illinois.   He leaves the Green Bay Phoenix after five years, 148 wins, five conference titles and 4 trips to the NCAA tournament.  He follows another former coach, Kevin Borseth, now at Michigan, into the Big Ten conference.  He was introduced at a news conference Wednesday and on the link below, highlights of the media session from the new head coach of the Fighting Illini.

    Matt Bollant takes Illinois job

  • US Womens Open returns

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    It was a pleasant afternoon in the clubhouse at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, talking golf with LPGA and World Golf Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, looking forward to the return of the US Womens Open Championship in Wisconsin this summer.

    US Womens Open returns

  • Road to State begins

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    It's every player's dream, to reach the state high school basketball tournament.  The road to state begins tonight and on the link below, a preview of the WIAA boys state tourney with two coaches who made it to the Kohl Center last year, De Pere's Brian Winchester and Jon Murphy of Seymour.

    State boys hoops preview

  • St. Norbert hoops eye NCAA

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    Both the St. Norbert Mens and Womens basketball teams will participate in the Midwest Conference Tournament championships this weekend.   The winners will advance to the NCAA Division III national tournament.   On the link below, we'll visit with Green Knights coaches Gary Grzesk and Connie Tilley in advance of the conference tournament showdowns.

    Green Knights seek hoop titles

  • SNC Hockey looks for place to skate

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    The St. Norbert Hockey program, the defending NCAA Division III National Champions, may soon have no place to skate in terms of conference affiliation.  The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference made it official on Wednesday, withdrawing the five state schools, Superior, Stout, Eau Claire, River Falls and Stevens Point from the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association effective with the start of the 2014-15 Academic year.  The Green Knights have dominated the NCHA of late, capturing their 13th regular season title in the past 16 years a week ago.  The creation of a WIAC hockey conference would leave St. Norbert and St. Scholastica in Duluth as the remaining members of the NCHA.  We spoke with both WIAC Commissioner Gary Karner and St. Norbert officials about the decision and it's impact on the Green Knights program.

    St. Norbert hockey without conference

  • Backup Tackle found

    Posted by Mark Daniels

    The Packers formally placed rookie number one pick Derrek Sherrod on injured reserve Tuesday after he shattered his lower right leg against the Kansas City Chiefs.  The Mississippi State tackle underwent emergency surgery in a Kansas City hospital last Sunday night after the 19-14 loss to the Chiefs.  He's expected to return to Green Bay by the end of the week.  With starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga working through a knee-cap strain, the Packers were dangerously thin on the offensive line.  To take Sherrod's roster spot, the Packers signed former Chiefs tackle Herb Taylor out of TCU. Taylor (6-4, 305) was a 6th round pick of Kansas City in 2007.  He played in 18 games as a backup, staring once before getting released.  He was signed by Denver but was cut in 2009 and Taylor failed to make rosters in each of the last two training camps of the New York Giants and again, the Broncos.  Depending how long Bulaga sits and with Chad Clifton possibly just returning to the practice field on a limited basis this week,  Taylor will almost certainly suit up Christmas night against the Chicao Bears.