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Mike Wickett

 


Wickett's World - Remember Kato Kaelin? He LOVES the Brewers

Remember Kato Kaelin? For the younger 1250 listeners, Kato was a guest at O.J. Simpsons' house and was present the night Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered. What you may not know is that Kaelin is from Milwaukee, went to Nicolet High School (class of 1977), and went to UW–Eau Claire. He's now an actor living in Los Angeles. Why am i blogging about him? Here's why: he's a huge Brewers fan...and a huge Ron Roenicke hater. I follow him on Twitter @Kato_Kaelin


There's this tweet... and this one... and the always popular... Kaelin is not alone. Lots of Brewers fans are critical of their manager...and that's weird. As far as I can tell, the Brewers are in 1st place as I type this with the 2nd best record in the NL. They just took 2/3 from 2 of the best teams in the National League (Giants & Dodgers). Are they a perfect team? No. Is RR a perfect manager? No. Is he above criticism? No. Does he always push the right buttons? Nope. He let's his guys play. He's encourages them to be aggressive. He doesn't flip out. He doesn't micromanage. And (this year) he's winning.

I'm 100% certain that this happens in every city where professional baseball is played and not just a "Milwaukee thing". But ask yourself, where did you think this team would be by now? The last 6 weeks of the season are gonna be really fun!! Enjoy the ride...even you, Kato Kaelin.

Cheers...
~mw
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Wickett's World - Just because you're great, doesn't mean you can coach.

Today on Twitter, I came across a national TV host who claims that because Becky Hammon was named one of top 15 WNBA players of all time, that she'd make a good assistant coach with the San Antonio #Spurs. While I think it's great that a woman is getting a chance to coach in the NBA, I am VERY curious to see how she does. This national host needs to take a quick look around the rest of the great players who have hung up their shoes as players and tried to coach at the pro level. There are lots of examples of great players who suck as head coaches. Are there some who have excelled? Yes. However, most of the time the great ones have problems getting their message across.

Why? Because the great ones were lucky enough to be blessed with amazing skill and talent at their sport. Coaching is teaching.

Ask Wayne Gretzky how hard it is to teach someone to pass the puck like he did or score at will. THE GREAT ONE was 143-161-24 and never made the playoffs in his 4 seasons as the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Magic Johnson lasted 16 games and gave us the famous line: "Can you believe I'm the coach of the Lakers? What have I gotten myself into?"

Mike Singletary was a GREAT linebacker for the Chicago Bears. he was 18-22 at the helm of the SF 49ers and hasn't sniffed a HC job since dropping his pants and giving us this rant on TE Vernon Davis

There are more including: Bart Starr, Ted Williams and Isiah Thomas (to name a few).
Yes, I realize Larry Bird won coach of the year and Lenny Wilkins was a 9 time all star and one of the winningest coaches in NBA history. But let's not jump to any conclusions about a great WNBA player figuring out the NBA game.
Oh...and i sure hope new Milwaukee Bucks head coach, Jason Kidd, can buck the trend. He has 1 good year under his belt...let's hope he's got a few more coming around here.
cheers...
~mw
follow me on twitter and instagram @mikewickett
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Wickett's world - Bucky to the top of the Big Ten?

After the Wisconsin Badgers were knocked out of the Final Four by the Kentucky Wildcats, lots of Bucky fans needed a little time before looking at next year. Some were real quick to figure out where UW fit in to next years Big Ten (and beyond) race. Personally, I needed a little time. I had to see what the top underclassmen in the B10 were going to, when it came to their NBA careers, specifically the current powers in the Big Ten. Let’s take a look at who left:

Michigan lost Big Ten Player of the year, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III. Stauskas grew more from his freshman year to sophomore year than any player at that stage I’ve ever seen. He’s a top 20 pick. GR3 showed flashes of the player many think he can be. I don’t think he was very consistent. He probably should’ve stayed but who am I to judge? He’s a late 1st/early 2nd rd guy. Michigan will likely take a step back.

Michigan State’s Gary Harris went pro. When you’re the leading scorer on the trendy powerhouse team in the Big Ten, why would you stay? I think he’ll be a really good pro who will create on his own more than Tom Izzo allowed him to. Couple Harris leaving with Keith Appling & Adreian Payne gone to graduation and MSU will struggle to find points!

Ohio State is losing 2 big contributors from last years team: LaQuinton Ross & Aaron Craft. Ross was the teams’ leading scorer & rebounder. Craft was the team leader & the best on-ball defender in the country last year. Sorry, osu…you’re not as good either.

Indiana has lost 4 players from last years team either due to transfer or in Noah Vonlehs’ case, the NBA.

I’m sure there are others that I’m leaving out but with all that talent LEAVING the Big Ten, and most of Wisconsin’s team coming back? (Dekker, Kaminsky, Hayes, Gasser, etc - SG Ben Brust is the only major contributor UW will lose) Look out BigTen…the Badgers are gonna be TOUGH to keep out of the spotlight. Bo Ryan’s NEVER finished out of the top 4 in the B10 and I’d be SHOCKED if it started next year.

Cheers…

~mw
 
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Wickett's World - Larry Sanders...Man. Face of the franchise.

Larry Sanders...Man. Face of the franchise.

Milwaukee Bucks C, Larry Sanders just doesn't get it. This is not a "slam Larry" blog. I'm just so frustrated (like many Bucks fans) with this guy. He was building block. A focal point. A defensive force. A "Milwaukee" guy with a midwest workman like attitude that fans could get behind. Well...that's out the window. Who is Larry Sanders? None of the above (except the defensive force part). Let's review, shall we??

August 21, 2013: Larry Sanders signs a 4-year $44 million dollar extension with the Bucks. A questionable contract for a offensively challenged Center who no doubt is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. By the way, he signed his contract at a Boys & Girls Club in downtown Milwaukee. LOVED THIS. Thought it was great to do it in front of the kids in the city & provide some inspiration. Sanders said this was going to help him become the MAN that he wants to be and the face of the franchise.

November 5, 2013: Larry Sanders was involved in a bar fight at Apt 720 in downtown Milwaukee. Video shows Sanders throwing Champagne bottles into the crowd, in the VIP area. Why was the fight started? I've heard lots of stories and versions of the incident. Regardless, Sanders SHOULD NOT be getting into fights at bars. Can he go to bars? YES. I have no problem with that. But there is no reason he should get involved with fights. We all know Larry has a problem with his temper ON the court (which he's admitted to). And now we know it's not just a "basketball thing". By the way, Sanders hurt his thumb during the fight, causing him to miss significant playing time. Man. Face of the franchise. 

November 13, 2013: Reports surface that Larry Sanders was cited twice in January 2013 for cruelty to animals. According to court records, a neighbor called police to say Sanders kept his two German shepherd puppies outside in the cold for hours without proper shelter, food and water. Sanders paid a total of $330 for the two municipal citations. (via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Man. Face of the franchise. 

December 5, 2013: Larry Sanders responds on instagram to the heat he's taking for the 720 bar fight. I can't even describe this...just read it. As you would imagine, this didn't stay online very long. Man. Face of the franchise. 

April 4, 2014: Larry Sanders was suspended 5 games for violating the NBA's drug policy. Sanders got busted for smoking marijuana...FOR THE 3rd TIME. Sanders apologized but has vigorously defended his stance on the legalization of the drug. I agree with Larry. Weed SHOULD be legal, in my opinion. But here's the problem, Larry: ITS NOT. Just because you're a millionaire and a celebrity, doesn't mean the laws don't apply to you. When they say "don't smoke weed"...well...DON'T SMOKE WEED. Man. Face of the franchise.

What should the Bucks do? Not my call but thats FOUR strikes in just over a year. As far as i can remember, you only get 3 strikes before you're out. 
 
Larry is no longer the fan favorite he was just one year ago. As for trading him? Ask any GM in the league & they'll tell you that Sanders trade value is ZERO. Due to injuries, Sanders has played in 23 games this season. He's started 20 of them. He averaged  7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.74 blocks per game. Oh, and by the way, his $44 million dollar extension? It BEGINS NEXT SEASON. 

Man. Face of the franchise. 

~mw
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Wickett's World - Welcome to Milwaukee, Wojo!


Welcome to Milwaukee, Wojo!

After a long search, Marquette University has named Steve Wojciechowski as it's 17th basketball coach in school history. 

Not Shaka. Not Ben "i've been to 3 final fours" Howland. Not Cuonzo Martin. Wojo. This is one that's gonna very interesting to watch. Why did Wojo finally leave  Mike Krzyzewski's bench after a decade & a half at Duke? I've got 3 theories on this...

1 - He got sick of waiting. Seriously, was Coach K EVER going to leave Duke? He's been there forever. He's still got great teams every year...although it looks like it's getting tougher for him to go deep in the tournament lately (see Mercer, Lehigh). Recently Coach K said publicly that he'd like to be at Duke for AT LEAST 5 MORE YEARS. At age 37,  you figure Wojo wasn't gonna wait til his early 40's to get his 1st gig. So he took it. 

2 - He's using MU as a stepping stone to GET BACK to Duke. He may have been told, "go get some experience, then come home". It's a possibilty. Duke doesn't strike me as a "first gig" type of place. Marquette does (see: the last two guys...and now this one) Time will tell if this is a long term buy, or a short term lease at MU for Wojo.

3 - He's been told he's not in line to get the Duke job. This would be a bit surprising, considering how committed to Duke Wojo has become. Player/coach - LIFER. But maybe someone else is in the eye of Coach K. My best guess? Shaka Smart. Why not? He  won't go out west. He won't come up north. Maybe he REALLY wants that Duke job, and he's willing to wait around for it. Call it a long shot...

I'm excited to see what Wojo will bring to this team. Will we see the "3-pointer friendly" offense that the Blue Devils run? I hope not. Will Wojo be like Tom Crean & Buzz Williams & bolt for another job? I hope not. But this is what Marquette does. They don't hire the "big" name. They took a chance on an assistant coach on Tom Izzos' bench and that got them elevated to Big East status + a final four (along with other post season tournament births). Buzz? He was on Creans' staff & took the Golden Eagles to 3 straight sweet 16's.

A LOT of programs in this country would kill for that. So let's sit back and watch Wojo work...

cheers...

~mw
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Wickett's World - BRACKETS!!

I warn you…while I may talk about sports for a living, and probably watch more college basketball than anybody you know…I’m terrible at picking the brackets. I’ve only won ONCE in my life (thank you Maryland in 2002) But…here we go!

SOUTH REGION (the one with Florida)
I’ve got the #1 Florida Gators coming out here. They’re just so good at EVERY position. New Mexico to the elite 8 is my sleeper here with TWO 7 FOOTERS. UPSET CITY: Stephen F. Austin to the sweet 16, Dayton over ohio state.

EAST REGION (the one with Virginia)
I’ve got Iowa State coming out here. LOVE Fred Hoiberg & what his team can do. TONS of inside/outside talent. I was on the Cyclones last year to get to the Sweet 16 but an Aaron Craft 3 with 1 second left kept me from my genius. UPSET ALERT: Connecticut over Villanova.

WEST REGION (the one with Arizona)
I’ve got the WISCONSIN BADGERS coming out here. THIS is Bo’s best team and their path is nice. I worry about a S16 matchup with Creighton, but they should AT LEAST get to the Elite 8. UPSET CITY: Nebrasketball over Baylor, North Dakota State over Boomer Sooner

MIDWEST REGION (the one with Wichita State)
I’ve got the Michigan Wolverines going to their 2nd straight Final Four. John Beilein is a PHENOMENAL coach & like Trey Burke last year, I expect Big Ten Player of the year Nik Stauskas to come up BIG. UPSET CITY: Kentucky crushes Wichita State’s dreams.

FINAL FOUR
After splitting the 1st 2, Michigan will knock out Wisconsin in their 3rd meeting this season. Florida takes out ISU.

Championship
Gator CHOMP. They’re just loaded.

So there it is! ENJOY THE MADNESS!!!

Cheers…
~mw
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Wickett's World - Big Ten Tournament Picks

Since the guys at the Big Ten Network made their selections for the Big Ten Tournament, I figured I should do the same thing...so here we go...

B1G tourney champ: Michigan State
MOP: Gary Harris
Bold prediction: how about 2? 1- Northwestern busts Iowa's bubble. 2-Illinois makes it to the final.

How's that sound? What do you have?

GIVE ME YOUR PREDICTIONS BELOW!!!

Cheers...

~mw
 
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Wickett's World - Congrats to the Panthers!

Congrats to the UWM Panthers!

Can't say ANYONE saw this one coming. The 5th seeded Panthers won FOUR games in the Horizon League tournament (Detroit, Valpo, Green Bay, Wright State) and now they're dancing. UNREAL. This is MADNESS. But then again, this IS March.

What now? The Horizon League champ was a 14 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament (Valpo). They also won the regular season crown. UWM was 5th and i can't see the NCAA selection committee rewarding their great late-season run with a number that high. Had Green Bay won the tournament? They'd be a 14 or a 13 but these Panthers? They may just have to play in the "first four" AKA: Play-in games.

But so what? This was a great run for a team that was picked to finish DEAD LAST in their league. One "writer" in this city said the University should "throw in the towel and move on". GIVE UP BASKETBALL?? NO WAY.

Good for you, Coach Jeter. Good for you, Panthers. Good for you, UWM Alumni.

You may get Florida. You may get Wichita State. Who knows? But I know this: This was a great run for Milwaukee. The city is behind you, hoping for some March magic once again.

Congrats & good luck in the dance!!

Cheers...
~mw
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Wickett's World - Final Four Picks - THE REMIX


I’m a day late, but here’s my latest final four blog…

Last week I picked Florida/Louisville/North Carolina/Creighton to go the final four…of course, Louisville & Creighton lost during "Upset Saturday". And as we sit less than 2 weeks from Selection Sunday, I’ll update my picks…again, I have the right to change until I turn in my bracket.

Florida – No reason to change this pick. #1 keeps on winning. 21 in a row as I type this with South Carolina this week…then they close with Kentucky!!!!

North Carolina – also keeps on winning. 12 in a row. I know they EEKED out a win over Notre Dame…and don’t look now – Tobacco Road round Two is this Saturday night.

Virginia – Yep, I’m jumping on the UVA bandwagon…for now. NO ONE is talking about the Cavaliers but THEY (not duke or unc) won the regular season ACC title and with a win over Maryland, could finish 17-1 in the ACC. Their SMOTHERING defense & outside ability could push Tony Bennett’s team to the F4.

Arizona – It’s taken me a while to jump on the Wildcats bandwagon but this week, I’m in. Nick Johnson & Aaron Gordon are a lethal 1-2 punch. (Gordon should stay at AZ, btw). And did I mention the size of this team? They are HUGE at every position.

Sorry to Wichita State (I’m not a believer), Syracuse (something has changed lately) and Duke ( I just hate Duke)…

Until next week…ooooohhh baby – CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT WEEK!!
Cheers….
~mw
 
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Wickett's World - This Final Four stuff is TOUGH

This Final Four stuff is TOUGH…

OK…Here we are just a few weeks out from the NCAA Tournament and the one thing I can tell you is this: I have no idea who’s going to make it to the Final Four. The field is so evenly matched this year that I can make an argument for about 12 teams. Each week I’ll give you my Final Four picks, but they will likely change often…

Creighton – one of the deadliest offenses I’ve ever seen. A hot shooting team like that can go deep especially with Craig McBuckets leading the way

Florida – Big. Physical. Can beat you inside AND out. So much talent on that team. How does Billy Donovan not get talked about in the “Mt. Rushmore” discussions? 

Louisville – Maybe the best team CURRENTLY in college basketball. Just knocked off Cincinnati…oh, and they KNOW how to win- see: last year. 

North Carolina – is anybody hotter than this team? 10 wins in a row & they’re the only team in the AP era to beat the top 4 preseason teams in the same year (Lou, KY, msu, Duke)
 
I could be 0-4 here…but who knows. What’s your Final Four as we sit 3 weeks from the Big Dance? 

Cheers…
~mw
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