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STEINBACH STEPS DOWN AS LANCERS BOYS TENNIS COACH

For a guy who wanted to be a high school basketball coach, Dave Steinbach put together quite the tennis coaching career.

Steinbach, who has coached boys and girls tennis at Central since 1982, recently informed Don Kurth, the Lancers athletic director, he is stepping down as boys coach.

“The impact Dave Steinbach has had on Brookfield Central is hard to quantify,” Kurth said. “As a  teacher, coach and mentor, Dave has taught and coached thousands of kids spanning five decades, and in 2018, he is as relevant as ever.

“His no cut tennis program has set the standard for all others. We are lucky to have had Dave lead our kids over the course of his career. He is a class act, and his presence in our boys tennis program will be missed.”

Taking a look at the depth of Steinbach’s boys teams’ accomplishments is amazing. He is the only tennis coach in Wisconsin to win 500 matches for boys and 500 matches for girls.

His boys teams compiled a 513-147 (.777) won-lost record, winning 10 Greater Metro Conference championships and four state championships. They were runner-ups six times. They also won 19 sectional titles while finishing second eight times.

On the individual front, he had 61 singles players qualify for state and 60 doubles teams.

Steinbach, who will turn 82 years old this month, explained his decision to step down from coaching the boys program at this time.

“I have to give credit to the parents and the athletes, my assistant coaches (44 over the years) and the administration over the years,” he said. “My coaching successes have been dependent on them.”

“I have many facets in my life. Coaching is the one I controlled the least. If you don’t have good players you don’t win. for example, in one of my other facets, I umpired. Nobody had more control than me. I’ve broken my life down to 10-12 tennis facets and two coaching ones – girls coaching and boys coaching.”

But obviously, Steinbach had something to do with this team’s success.

“Now the fact that we have a big program – that’s me,” he said. “I decided not to cut. So many of these kids have more talent than I had when they were 14 or 15. If someone had told me I couldn’t play tennis, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So I wouldn’t want to do that to anyone else.”

When then athletic director Jack Charlesworth offered Steinbach the tennis coaching position in 1982, Steinbach said he had to have a non-cut program.

“I coached basketball for 17 years and I was forced to cut,” Steinbach recalled. “When Jack Charlesworth asked me to coach the boys tennis team I told me I would do it if I wasn’t forced to cut players.

“I told him it’s a lifetime sport and if I cut a player he would never play tennis again. So he agreed. The first year we had 32 kids on the team. Kids heard we weren’t going to cut and pretty soon we had 34, then 36. Then the next year I had 45. It just kept getting bigger and bigger. Once year we had 132 kids come out, but we ended with 120 – 12 didn’t finish that year.”

Steinbach points out he is the longest employed Elmbrook employee, having begun teaching at Dixon in 1960. He began coaching at Burleigh Junior High, Brookfield East’s feeder program, in 1965. Since the high schools were three-grades at the time, he coached freshman football, track and basketball.

“My real goal was to coach varsity basketball but (Laverne) Luebsdorf was at Brookfield East and he was going to be there forever and Bill Graf was at Central and he’d be there forever,” Steinbach said. “I was a good freshman (basketball) coach.

“Tennis would be my best option to be a varsity coach. I wanted to see if I could be a good varsity coach. Those two guys (Luebstorf, Graf) were entrenched and there was nothing I could do.”

Steinbach did plenty to keep busy as he also refereed football and basketball too. He also was a referee in a state championship football game.

“I was also game manager in 1982, which is like an assistant athletic director,” he said. “I did it for all the sports.”

Another reason he stepped down from coaching boys in the spring first was the weather.

“We’re leaving for Arizona and California this month,” Steinbach said. “I’ve been cutting certain facets out of my professional life. I stopped teaching tennis at UWM. I stopped officiating the Big Ten 10 years ago. I’m trying to eliminate some of the facets. Playing facets I eliminated a long time ago (he was a state-ranked player tennis in the 35 and 45 age category, but an injury stopped him from competing at 55).

“I’m eventually going to have to get out of coaching, but I didn’t want to do it all in one shot. I don’t want the program to lessen. In March I’m involved in the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament in Palm Springs. We’re always in California from end of February through March then coming back to Wisconsin in April. Well I eliminated that first.”

Other than the Grand Slams, Indian Wells is the biggest tournament in the world.

“I supervise the fitness area for the pros,” Steinbach said. “I get to see all the coaches and their pros to see what they do for their pre and post match fitness. I can bring it back to my team. They think being a good tennis player just happens in the court and not in the weight room.”

Steinbach has won 72 different awards on some level, topped off by winning the United States Professional Tennis Association Award twice (boys and girls). He also won the prestigious ‘Starfish’ Award (boys and girls) presented by the United States Tennis Association.

He was also named to the Brookfield Central Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

Steinbach smiled when asked the difference between coaching boys and girls.

“The first 15 minutes of the practice,” he said. “For the girls it’s social time. You let them talk about what happened in school. Then when it’s tennis time that’s all done with. Otherwise you are going to have them talking when they should be concentrating on tennis. Most schools don’t have girls as good as we have. Brookfield Central girls are very competitive. When boys come out you’ve got to work them right away, they’re so hyped.”

Steinbach also pointed out another difference.

“Girls don’t like challenge matches,” he said. “Boys can play challenge matches and the next day they’re buddies. Girls – if they get beat – hold it. Girls would rather me tell them who they’re playing or what position they’re playing. Boys would rather say ‘let me play him and see if I can beat him or not.'”

 

PACKERS’ ARROGANCE GROWING OLD

I am fed up by the arrogance which is Mark Murphy, Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy.
How many times have I heard McCarthy talk about “We think about Super Bowls in Green Bay.”
But then Murphy talks about making the playoffs 8 years in a row. Who cares, Murph. Green Bay cares about Super Bowls.
People are asking for the heads of Thompson, who feels his job description doesn’t include answering questions from the media, and/or McCarthy.
But that’s not going to happen.
Aaron Rodgers got hurt and everyone is off the hook. Maybe Dom Capers will be sacrificed to quiet the crowd, but don’t expect much more.
It’s time to stop using Rodgers as a crutch. If you lose one player – yes, he is a Hall of Fame player – your season shouldn’t turn into crap.
Brett Hundley is McCarthy’s project – and I thought Mac did the right thing by playing him to see what he has learned. But you won’t see people standing in line to give up a high draft choice for him.
It does look like Thompson made good draft picks in running backs Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. But if you aren’t going to use them because McCarthy wants to throw, throw, throw with Rodgers, obviously people aren’t on the same page.
People say get Rodgers more weapons – yet the ones he has, he doesn’t use.
As for Murphy, he sits on the top of the heap, handles building the neighborhood around Packer Stadium and makes money for the team which they don’t spend on personnel. It would be nice if he made some decisions in the football area. Saying Thompson can be the general manager as long as he wants shows how ignorant/arrogant Murphy is.
Personally I don’t think Murphy-Thompson-McCarthy are in the same book, let alone on the same page. And who suffers? The fans.
I tweeted when Rodgers got hurt that the Packers would win maybe two games the rest of the year. With two games left – vs. Minnesota and at Detroit with Hundley at the helm – they beat my prediction of two wins by one – beating Chicago, Cleveland and Tampa Bay, the latter two in overtime.
People say I’m negative. I think I’m a realist and I don’t see things changing.
And why should the Packers care. People are lined up to get season tickets and will be for years.
Not much to worry about if your names are Murphy, Thompson and McCarthy.

SOME PREP BASKETBALL OBSERVATIONS

Progress

With the girls and boys basketball seasons underway, here are a few observations, some based on games I saw, others I what I have talked with coaches about or read about.

AMAZING MORTAG

Sophomore Anna Mortag, who stepped up her game last year when Brookfield Central lost Claire Haynes to a back injury, has continued her performance and has taken over the top spot in the Lancers program.

The Lancers will be a work in progress this season, as Mortag has an inexperienced supporting class for the most part. She is averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds in Central’s 0-3 start (Franklin comes to town on Dec. 3). They meet Brookfield East on Friday.

Junior guard Emma Ticcioni averages 8 points and 7 rebounds a game and senior guard Jenny Cape averages 5 rebounds and does a good job team running the show.

Freshman guard C.J. Romero stands only 5-1, but she averages 3 points, 3 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.  Against Germantown, she lead the team with 9 rebounds.

If the Lancers are going to get better, they need to shoot better, rebound better and play better defense or coach Mallory Liebl will have gray hair before the season is over.

For the first time since covering Liebl, I saw the mild-mannered coach yell at her team during a timeout and then slam her clipboard to the ground afterward.

It will be interesting to see what they do against Brookfield East on Friday.

GAGE, ANDRES SPARKS LANCERS

Junior Gage Malensek (16.5 points) and senior Andres Peralta-Werns (15.5 points, 5 rebounds) led the Lancers in their 1-1 start. Junior Cole Nau (10.0 points, 3 assists) and freshman David Joplin (5.5 points, 5.0 rebounds) have also chipped in.

The Lancers host Brookfield East on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Look for my feature on Peralta-Werns on Dec. 14 on Preps2Pros.net.

VIKINGS LOSE OVERTIME THRILLER

Port Washington nipped New Berlin West, 59-58, in overtime on Saturday afternoon at West, as senior guard Joe Robey stood out with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals.

Sophomore Desmond Polk had 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists and senior Tyler Torosian had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists.

Coach Brandon Mattox should have a fun team to watch this year.

 

ON NOW THE FUN BEGINS

Here are some random thoughts on the prep season as some teams have already started the post-season.

I saw my first prep football game of the fall Friday – I have been rehabbing my left leg and can’t get around too well – and it was a doozie, as two-time defending champion Brookfield Central beat Brookfield East at East, 22-14.

The win left Central unbeaten (6-0) and dropped East (5-1) into second place with two games left.

Both Central and East fans packed the place and you had to walk blocks to find a parking spot. The place was rockin’.

Central has won the last two conference titles while East has won the last two post-season meetings.

In the next two weeks, the Lancers host Sussex Hamilton and travel to Menomonee Falls while the Spartans are at Germantown and host West Allis Hale.

Good luck to BC Coach Jed Kennedy & BE coach Ben Farley the rest of the way.

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OTHER POST-SEASON SCHEDULES

GIRLS GOLF – Has already started with the regional this week (Sept. 27-28) and the sectional Oct. 3. The state tournament is at University Ridge in Madison on Oct. 9-10.

GIRLS TENNIS – The Subsectional is Monday, Oct. 2 or Tuesday, Oct. 3 and the Sectionals are Wednesday, Oct. 4 or Thursday, Oct. 5. The State Individual Tournament – is Thursday, Oct. 12, Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14 at Nielsen Stadium in Madison. The Girls State Tennis Team Championships are Friday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Oct. 21 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.

BOYS/GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY – The Sectional is Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21, while State is Saturday, Oct. 28, at Ridges Golf Course at Wisconsin Rapids.

BOYS SOCCER – Regional begins Tuesday, Oct. 17, Thursday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, October 21. Sectional follows on Thursday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 28.

The State Tournament is Thursday, Nov. 2, Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL – Regional is Thursday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sectional is Thursday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 28. The State Tournament is Thursday, Nov. 2, Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 at Resch Center in Green Bay.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL – Regional begins – Friday, Oct. 27 and Sectional is Tuesday, Oct. 31 and Thursday, Nov. 2. The State Tournament is Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11 at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

GIRLS SWIMMING & DIVING Sectionals are Friday, Nov. 3 (Diving) and Saturday, Nov. 4 (Swimming). The State Meet is Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11 at the  Natatorium at UW-Madison.

 

FREE-LANCE WRITING OPPORTUNITY GONE

For the first time in 15 years, I won’t be covering prep sports this season. I learned this about a one and a half months ago.

When Gannett purchased the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – thus NOW Newspapers – they turned the web sites and the Journal Sentinel sports pages into USA TODAY II. For example, their MLB page shows scores which are 2 days old because of earlier deadlines.

Then they fired some outstanding sports reporters and photographers at NOW.  At first I was told it wouldn’t affect free-lancers and about a month and a half ago I received an email that said Gannett canned the free-lance budget. They seem to think ‘No one cares about prep sports.’  They compared the website ‘clicks’ on the Packers, Brewers, Bucks and Badgers to prep sports. Now they took away TMJ Prep Editor Mark Stewarts’ prep free-lance budget.

The bottom line is just that – the bottom line. Quality is no longer the most important thing.  For example, they’re delivery service is worst than ever. I am 68 years old. I love the internet, but I still like my morning paper with my coffee. I went on vacation and when I returned my paper started up 10 days  later than it was supposed to. I couldn’t get through on the phone and I emailed a generic website (heard back a week later).  All I wanted was the paper I paid for already.

I want my paper, so every day I went to the gas station and bought one. They continue to miss me on some Saturday’s, so when I call, they deliver the Saturday paper with the Sunday paper. They seem to miss the point that I don’t want Saturday’s news on Sunday. I want credit.

When I retired June 30, 2016 I subscribed to the Waukesha Freeman, which does a good job covering prep sports, focusing on the Waukesha Schools, but also covering the other county schools.

If you’re reading this, you know I started a website called preps2pros.net and I did it for one reason – I wanted to write feature stories about some of the top prep kids and tell their stories. Last year I started on Aug. 18 – my birthday – and wrote 51 stories about athletes from Brookfield, Wauwatosa and New Berlin.  I do this because these kids keep me young and every kid I met were great people as well as good kids.

So you might not see me covering a prep game, but I will be continuing my web site and will attend games when available.

After-all I am one of those people who still enjoy prep sports.

 

BREWERS’ STEARNS STUCK TO HIS GUNS

It was with mixed emotions I watched the trading deadline come to an end with the Milwaukee Brewers basically standing pat and not improving their sinking ship.

The addition of Anthony Swarzak and Jeremy Jeffress can’t hurt an overworked and not too talented bullpen (Jacob Barnes, Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes, Carlos Torres).  Paolo Espino and Wei-Chung Wang haven’t pitched enough to be considered yet.

That leaves you with Corey Knebel and Josh Hader as the closest to ‘sure things.’

Jimmy Nelson and two starting pitchers who don’t look like they’re old enough to shave (Zach Davies, Brent Suter) will hopefully be joined by Chase Anderson and Matt Garza off the disabled list soon. They won’t get you to the playoffs, but they will get you through the season.

Hopefully as they fall out of it, some of the minor league hurlers (Brandon Woodruff) will get an opportunity because Stearns is obviously looking to the future.

How good is the Brewers farm system? Obviously very good because many of the trades that didn’t happen were because other teams wanted their top prospects. Hopefully Stearns’ patience will pay off.

MR. NEGATIVE

I have been called negative because I have said all along that this team was not good enough to win the Central Division. Who cares if they are in first place June 1 or at the All-Star break, it’s where they’re at Oct. 1 that counts.

Sonny Gray was not going to get this team to the World Series and you have to be pretty stupid to think so. I think Stearns and his people have done a fine job since the Brewers are probably one and a half to two years ahead of schedule.

But the bottom line has more to do with the Chicago Cubs, the defending World Champions, than with the Brewers.

The Cubs weren’t playing up to their potential – they proved what they can do last year – and when they did they passed the Brewers. They simply have more talent.

But the other thing was the Cubs are playing to win the World Series – not the division – so they could afford to give up top talent and they did and got Jose Quintana and Justin Wilson, two players the Brewers probably coveted.

WHAT’S NEXT?

You can dream about catching the Cubs but that’s not going to happen. The Brewers need to worry more about St. Louis and Pittsburgh than they do the Cubs.

The Brewers need to get back to playing good baseball, finish second and win over 81 games. Now that would be a good – no make it a great – season.

 

 

DON’T BE FOOLED – BREWERS ON THE RIGHT PATH

If the Milwaukee Brewers are to continue to battle for a Central Division title – ‘if’ being the key word here – it is going to be a roller-coaster season.

One of the major reasons with the Brewers being in first place is a World Series hangover by the team 90 miles south. The Cubs are starting to wake up and anyone who thinks the Brewers match up with their talent, please stop reading right here.

I picked the Brewers to win 78 games. The fact that they have won 32 games on June 9 is amazing. The bottom line is this. They will have to win the division to make the playoffs, because there are too many good teams in the Eastern and especially Western Divisions to win a wild card spot.

In every area, the Brewers are having a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde season. Let’s take a look.

HITTING — David Stearns has done well with the offense. Corners Eric Thames and Travis Shaw and catchers Jett Bandy/Manny Pina have excelled. When healthy – which is not often – Ryan Braun is still one of the better hitters around – and it looks like Domingo Santana is coming into this own.

SS Orlando Arcia is holding down the fort on defense and I don’t expect him to be more than a .250 hitter this year. But the improvement is there.

That leaves Jonathan Villar at 2B and Keon Broxton in CF with disappointing seasons so far. Eric Sogard has been ridiculous in a good way filling in all over as has the always reliable Hernan Perez. Jesus Aguilar at 1B, who has struggled defensively lately, but not enough to be worried, has been a key bat.

The Brewers fast starts have been talked about a lot, but they have a tendency to shut off the offense down the stretch, especially with RISP.

MY THOUGHTS — It’s not a perfect world, but this offense is fun to watch, knowing there are reinforcements around the corner.

STARTING PITCHING — As of June 9, the jury is still out on this staff. I like Junior Guerra and Zach Davies – but as fourth/fifth starters on a decent team (not a title team). I feel this is it for Jimmy Nelson. Hopefully he feels the same way. He is really up and down, pitching well lately.

Matt Garza when healthy – like Braun, not healthy enough – has changed his way of pitching (adjusting from power to change of pace and control). I admire him for being able to do it and hope it lasts. Most importantly if he can’t be traded, he’s gone after this year.

Then there is Chase Anderson, who is going for Teddy Higuera’s team consecutive shutout record. He started strong, slumped badly and now he’s like “Who is this guy?” Man has been fantastic lately.

MY THOUGHTS — Sorry people. But there is no way I can see this rotation line up in a playoff series and be successful.

BULLPEN — Oh my goodness, I feel bad for Craig Counsell. Corey Knebel is the only one of eight relievers I have any confidence in. Jacob Barnes is the next best hurler, but there is a gap between him and Knebel.

Now the tough question. Please raise your hand if you feel brimming with confidence when Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes, Wily Peralta, Neftali Perez, Rob Scahill or Carlos Torres enters the game – no matter what the score.

I’m sure not too many hands went up.

MY THOUGHTS — No matter what the house line is about some of their righthanders can get lefties out – they have trouble getting right-handed hitters out. Somewhere they need a lefthander.

You can get one like Brad Hand of San Diego, who is rumored to be on the market, although the Padres would sooner trade closer Brandon Maurer, but Hand would cost an arm and a leg. Lefthanders are hard to find and expensive.

Or you can look to within. If you are limiting Josh Hader’s innings now to 2 innings an outing at Colorado Springs to save his arm, let him do that in the big leagues and keep an eye on him.

I remember when I worked with the Brewers. Dan Plesac was coming off a 12-5, 4.97 ERA season at Double A El Paso. Manager George saw him in his first spring training and was impressed by his stuff. Bambi said let’s use him in the bullpen and keep an eye on him instead of sending him out and Plesac never went back to the minors again.

I see a possibility of doing this with Hader.

BOTTOM LINE — I have said ‘enjoy the moment’ because I don’t feel the Brewers are going to make the playoffs. I have hardly missed a game. I do get upset because I care. When they mess up big time like walking the opposing pitcher on 4 pitches – or to strike out on a pitch a foot outside the strike zone – I go nuts on Twitter.

I hope Stearns sticks to his guns and doesn’t trade a good prospect if the Brewers are close. If he trades the farm to improve this team I would be disappointed.

The Brewers are ahead of schedule, which means the plan is working. Stick to it.

 

 

 

 

 

BREWERS FANS, ENJOY THE MOMENT

The Milwaukee Brewers are currently in first place in the National League Central Division. Say it again. The Milwaukee Brewers are currently in first place in the National League Central Division.
If anyone thought this would happen with Memorial Day right around the corner, I would like to take them to the Black Jack table at Potawatomi Casino.

Since he has been hired, I have been a fan of David Stearns, Brewers general manager. Like most fans I understand what ‘rebuilding’ means. It’s those fans who don’t know what it means who bother me.

Stearns has done a nice job of finding some talented stopgaps at the corners in Eric Thames at first base and Travis Shaw at third. They have already surpassed what I thought they would bring to the table.

I would pay to watch Orlando Arcia field a baseball. If he hits .260 this year I would be thrilled – maybe surprised is a better word – because this kid gets paid to FIELD a baseball.

I said that Jonathan Villar had a career year last season and I stick to my guns. He reminds me of Carlos Gomez without the flair for the dramatic. His base running skills are dangerous to the opponents as well as the Brewers, unfortunately. Villar is definitely a stopgap until some of the many talented minor league middle infielders who Stearns has accumulated are ready.

Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana is a respectable outfield. We all know everyone wants to trade Braun. But with all the talented outfielders at Triple A, I wouldn’t hesitate to move Santana as well. I am a Broxton fan. There aren’t a lot of outfielders who can run down a baseball like Keon. And he has worked hard on improving his batting style.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the outstanding catching combo of Manny Pina and Jett Bandy. Offensively AND defensively, they have surpassed my expectations.

I love Craig Counsell’s ability to move players around. Hernan Perez, Eric Sogard and Nick Franklin give the team flexibility and they know what to do with a bat in their hand. Jesus Aguilar was also an example of a good pick up by Stearns and his staff. Although limited to one position, he is an offensive threat off the bench and a solid fill in for Thames, who also adds versatility by having the ability to play the corner outfield positions. I think one of these guys (Franklin?) might be cut when they add a starter on Friday.

NOW LET’S GET REAL
This team is not going anywhere with the current starting staff. If anything holds this rebuilding back, it will be the lack of front line starters on the current team.
The fact that Matt Garza is the best starter on this staff (2-0, 2.43 ERA) since returning from the disabled list says a lot. I like to watch Zach Davies pitch, but if he is not nicking the corners (and more importantly getting the call), you’re looking at home run derby. Junior Guerra had a fine season last year, but he is no better than a fourth starter – if he can put together another good year at 32 years of age.
I’m not a fan of Jimmy Nelson and Chase Anderson. When they walk out to the mound you have no idea what to expect.

Little by little – this season – the Brewers need to work the young guns into the rotation. In any order – Josh Hader, Luis Ortiz, Brandon Woodruff, Jorge Lopez, Aaron Wilkerson, Corbin Burnes or Cody Ponce, just to name a few. Hopefully at least two of these guys see some starting action this year.

Corey Knebel has been off to an amazing start in the bullpen and Stearns has done a nice job of bringing in Carlos Torres (last year), Jared Hughes, Oliver Drake, Neftali Feliz and Rob Scahill. Locals Jacob Barnes and Wily Peralta round out the bullpen.
The poor starting pitching – if someone goes into the seventh inning is shocking – and will eventually will wear out the bullpen.

DON’T DO THIS
If the Brewers are still in a possible playoff mode at the end of July, please don’t trade a minor league ‘stud’ to add a pitcher and stray from their plan of rebuilding.
The Brewers ‘rebuilding’ is ahead of schedule which is nice. But they are still rebuilding, so don’t mess up a good thing.

BUCKS’ FUTURE IS GETTING CLOSER

The future is getting closer to being owned by the Milwaukee Bucks as they have been advertising.

Having just been beaten (4-2) by the No. 3-seeded Toronto Raptors – and only being blown out of one game – the young Bucks are closer to being a top contender in the Eastern Division of the NBA.

Here are my thoughts on this team.

        KEEPERS

Giannis Antetokounmpo –  Of course, the ‘Greek Freak’ is one of the best players in the NBA and should make second-team All-NBA at least. Besides being talented, his work ethic will go a long way toward him being a true MVP candidate down the road. Forget about 3-point shots, he needs to work on his free throws and his mid-range jumper. The treys would be a bonus.

Jabari Parker – He was coming into his own when he went down with the devastating knee injury (20.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG). Unfortunately, he will miss most of the season, so I don’t think he will be much help next season. But I like his future.

Khris Middleton – Made a nice comeback (14.7 PPG, 4.2 RPB, 3.4 APG) from his injury, but his shooting skills lost something in the playoffs when he was especially needed. His FG% and 3-PT% from the regular-season (45.0, 43.3) to the playoffs (39.7, 36) went down. He definitely gives the Bucks a legitimate 3-pronged attack.

BRIGHT FUTURE

Thon Maker – I was incensed with this pick because the Bucks needed another ‘project’ like I needed another 10 pounds. I felt if you draft this guy, play him! When he had some instruction and talks with Kevin Garnett and Jason Kidd started getting him some exposure, he showed an excellent outside shot – especially for a 7-footer – and shot-blocking ability. Now he needs to spend time in the weight room so he can bang heads with many powerful NBA big men.

Malcolm Brogdon – Possible Rookie of the Year candidate, but he lost some luster with a C grade at the best in the playoffs. Intelligent player, a steal by GM John Hammond in the second round. His court sense is beyond his years.

PLEASE STICK AROUND

I have been a Greg Monroe fan all season. He lost weight, improved his defense and was a threat inside or from the 10-foot mark. He accepted his role as offense off the bench and showed some solid passing skills on the pick and roll. He has a $17m option and I don’t know how the Bucks feel, but I hope he takes it. He was a key player when finally given an opportunity to play on a consistent basis.

Tony Snell – I wasn’t excited about the trade that brought Snell to the Bucks, but that’s why Hammond is a NBA General Manager and I’m a fan. Snell brought the defense and the length that was expected of him, but he added an important quality – a solid 3-point shot (45% from field, 40.6% from the 3-point line) and became a threat. He will be sought after as a free agent if he doesn’t accept his option.

LET THEM HANG AROUND

Jason Terry and Gary Peyton II add something to this team. Despite his age, his experience, his locker room presence and his ability to still shoot the 3 is a good reason to hang on to Terry, an ad hoc coach already. I put Peyton II here because of his defense and he signed a 2-year deal.

TRY TO MOVE THEM

Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson and Mirza Teletovic – I would try and move all three of them. Don’t like their production for the salary they are being paid. I like Delly’s punch you in the face attitude, especially in the playoffs where the Bucks were pretty meek. But I don’t need him shooting as many 3’s had he had to. Henson doesn’t see much action because of injury and coach’s decisions and his lack of time in the playoffs really showed that. Telly didn’t perform from the outside in his limited action and disappeared in the playoffs when a veteran is needed. If Hammond can give these guys away and free some of the salary he would be a genius.

SEE YA

Michael Beasley, Spencer Hawes and Rashad Vaughn – two veterans and an unfulfilled rookie who is supposed to be shooter. They certainly can be upgraded.

COACH

I was not a Jason Kidd fan. By that I mean I didn’t want him fired, but I couldn’t figure out his thought process when it came to the rotation. Sometimes I wondered if he knew what he was doing. I admire his coaching style on the sideline, I like the fact that being a Hall of Famer, players want to come here and play for him and he has a good coaching staff.

FRONT OFFICE/OWNERSHIP

John Hammond has done a good job, although I’m not a fan of all his moves. But he is right more than wrong. Now if the ownership will spend less money on the surrounding neighborhood and let Hammond spend some big money on some free agents that will bring the future here quicker, that would be nice.

 

LANCERS NAME CO-HEAD BOYS VOLLEYBALL COACHES

John Jablonowski & Riley Stone have been selected as the new Co-Head Coaches of the Brookfield Central Boys Volleyball Program.

Jablonowski is a 2011 graduate of Franklin High School where he played volleyball for 4 years. As a senior, his team qualified for state. Jablonowski earned 1st Team All-State Honors and was named MVP of the Southeast Conference. Jablonowski went on to attend UW-La Crosse where he continued his playing career, earning MVP honors twice as a member of the NCVF D2 National Champion teams in 2012 and 2015. He earned 1st Team All-Tournament honors in 2013 and 2014, and was named Wisconsin Volleyball Conference MVP in 2014 and 2015. Jablonowski coached JV girls at La Crosse Logan High School in 2015, and has coached the Franklin High School Freshman team for the past two years, where he currently serves as a high school science teacher. He has coached the 16-boys and 17-boys for the Milwaukee Sting since 2015. Jablonowski stated, “This is a great opportunity, at a great time with the new direction of the program. I am excited to get to work on further improving and developing this team to its utmost potential.”

Stone, also a 2011 graduate of Franklin High School, was a 2 year captain for the boys volleyball team there, qualifying for state his senior year and earning Honorable Mention All-State honors. Stone went on to attend UW-La Crosse where he played for the 2012 D2 National Champions. He transferred to UW-Milwaukee in 2014. Stone has coached the Franklin Freshman Boys Volleyball team for the past 3 years, and is currently in his 3rd season coaching 14-boys for the Milwaukee Sting. Stone stated, “John and I have been fortunate enough to play and coach alongside many great volleyball minds over the years. We look forward to using that experience to put our own stamp on the boys’ volleyball program here.”

“The selection committee was impressed with Coach Jablonowski’s and Coach Stone’s volleyball background, their shared vision for player development regardless of skill level, and their commitment to increasing student interest and participation in boys volleyball at BC”, said Don Kurth, Athletic and Activities Director at Brookfield Central. “We are thrilled that they will be joining our staff.”

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