We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Wisconsin sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, hockey or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.
This is your Wisconsin Wake-Up Call for Sept. 13. Let’s get started.
Next man up
It was a good news, bad news situation for Wisconsin on Monday when it released their injury report.
First the good, as running back Corey Clement did not appear on the list despite leaving the game against Akron in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said he anticipates Clement practicing this week.
The bad news, though, came in the form of cornerback Natrell Jamerson, who will miss an extended period of time after sustaining a leg injury last Saturday.
Coach Chryst says he is unsure exactly how long Natrell Jamerson will be out (injury), but he'll likely miss 4-6 weeks for the #Badgers.
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) September 12, 2016
The impact of the injury, which happened in the the second half of Saturday’s game against Akron, will be felt in multiple ways. Jamerson is on four special teams units, including being used as the main kick returner, while also playing in the Badgers’ heavily-used nickel package on defense.
Unlike the season-ending injury to starting inside linebacker Chris Orr, Wisconsin doesn’t have any proven depth behind Jamerson in the secondary. Junior Lubern Figaro has played more safety than cornerback, redshirt freshman Titus Booker did not have the breakout fall camp everyone expected and true freshman Caesar Williams has yet to play at all despite being listed as a backup on the depth chart.
The loss of Jamerson is probably more significant than most realize, and it will test the depth of Wisconsin’s secondary, a group that already was in the beginning stages of replacing three starters from a year ago. Luckily for them, they do have a warmup game against Georgia State before hitting the toughest part of their schedule, starting with a trip to Michigan State.
Ironing out who that fifth defensive back will be, and to a lesser extent, who the main kick returner will be, are among the questions at the top of the list as Wisconsin closes out the preseason.
Herro in the fold
Wisconsin basketball coach Greg Gard nabbed another big-time recruit on Monday, getting a commitment from 4-star shooting guard Tyler Herro.
— Tyler Herro ™ (@raf_tyler) September 12, 2016
Herro was one of the biggest names on the Badgers’ board in the 2018 class, and his decision to commit to Wisconsin had former players — and even current ones — excited.
— Nigel Hayes (@NIGEL_HAYES) September 12, 2016
Congrats Tyler, big thing await in madison! Welcome to the family, keep it going. https://t.co/N6dV6lPtd6
— Sam Dekker (@dekker) September 12, 2016
Let's gooo https://t.co/pCB5jtl9Tv
— Josh Gasser (@JPGasser21) September 12, 2016
This is just the latest recruiting battle Gard has won since taking the full-time job in March, replacing long-time coach Bo Ryan. He fought Arizona, Indiana and Marquette to land Herro, several months after fending off Stanford and others to get 4-star point guard Brad Davison out of Minnesota in the class of 2017. Add that to 4-star power forward Nathan Reuvers, and the first three commitments of the Gard era have been home runs.
For those that know Gard, this isn’t a surprise. He’s as personal and genuine as any head coach in college basketball, which with his on the court acumen, combines to give Wisconsin an advantage held by few others in the country.
Many people outside of Madison questioned whether Gard had the stuff to replace a legend like Ryan. If the first seven months on the job are any indication, Gard is more than up for it, and he has the potential to keep Wisconsin at the level Ryan raised them to and perhaps even higher.
Taking a stand
Wisconsin basketball player Bronson Koenig is putting actions behind what his social media feed has been saying for weeks.
— Bronson Koenig (@BronsonK_24) August 23, 2016
In an article by Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports, the Wisconsin point guard revealed that he will join fellow Native Americans this weekend in North Dakota to protest an oil pipeline that they believe will impact sacred tribal lands.
“I hope to bring awareness to the cause and give everyone there a little bit of joy and a little bit of hope,” Koenig told Yahoo Sports. “I want to take time out of my schedule to pray with them and protest with them and show them that I’m right alongside them. They’ve always had my back whether I have an awful game or a great game, and this is my way of repaying the favor.”
Koenig, as Eisenberg notes, is one of about a dozen Native American basketball players in the college game, and easily the most visible after playing in two Finals Fours and hitting the game-winning 3-pointer that sent the Badgers to the Sweet Sixteen last March.
The senior has been vocal in the past about his heritage and wears it proudly in the form of tattoos. That he’s taking it a step further should be commended.
So often we hear athletes talk about change being needed, but rarely do we see them go out and actually do something tangible to affect the change they want. What Koenig’s presence does remains to be seen, but he’s taking steps that others don’t and deserves credit for it.
Well, this is embarrassing
With their new equipment and apparel deal with Under Armour taking effect over the summer, and the football team’s jerseys taking on a new look, Wisconsin decided to follow suit when they redid the end zones at Camp Randall Stadium using a new font. When the Badgers made their 2016 debut on Saturday, things appeared to go off without a hitch in a 54-10 win over Akron.
But one person out of the 77,331 that attended the game noticed something off in one of the end zones.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 12, 2016
Rovell isn’t totally accurate, though. As the Wisconsin State Journal’s Nico Savidge reports, the only N that is correct is the one on the right. The other one in that end zone is upside down, as are the two in the other end zone.
“Senior Associate Athletic Director Justin Doherty said the letters were installed by FieldTurf, the company that makes Camp Randall Stadium’s field. It’s not clear how soon the letters will be made right-side-up — Doherty said UW has not yet been able to reach FieldTurf to discuss the letters.
“It’s something that we will look to get fixed as soon as we can get it fixed,” Doherty said.”