The University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams open their season at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon with a meet against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay at the UW Natatorium. The Badgers will begin their quest to improve on last year’s impressive run, where the men finished 19th at the NCAA national meet and the women placed 11th. The road to improvement will be difficult, however, as both teams lost key members from a year ago, most notably Olympian Carly Piper.”We have a very young squad this year, especially on the men’s side. I’m looking forward to watching the younger kids especially to see how they handle certain situations,” said head coach Eric Hansen, who will take the first meet with a grain of salt, but believes his swimmers have the mindset that they will be in top form against Green Bay. “They are all business. I understand how long the learning process is going to take, but they will put a lot of pressure on themselves.”When the two teams met a year ago, Wisconsin’s men’s and women’s teams emerged from the pool victors, a feat Hansen is confident can be repeated Friday.”I like our chances. The women’s team is really impressive right now and the men’s team is just young,” Hansen said. “The thing we are really stressing is to be aggressive, but to implement the things we have taught here technically. The main purpose of this is to come together as a team, though.”Because the lineups and events that UW swimmers will race in are still very fluid, Badger swimmers will likely be subjected to a variety of races beyond their personal specialties.”Each kid will swim one primary event, but we are going to challenge some of them to swim events they don’t normally swim, early in the season, so it will be interesting to see,” Hansen said.The women’s team has high preseason expectations, with many of the swimmers able to swim competitively in many different events, epitomized by first-team all-Big Ten selection and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Susan Johnson, who will likely see work in the backstroke and butterfly, as well as the team medleys.”We have a lot of women with national and international experience and I don’t think anything is going to surprise them, and this is just the first step towards what we want to do for them, which is to climb into the Top Ten in the country,” Hansen said.The men only return two upperclassmen this season in senior Michael Hamm and junior Tom Molzahn, who also serve as team captains. Gaining experience will be priority one for the men’s team as they look to overcome their youth and surprise teams in the Big Ten and on the national scene.”The big theme of this year is going to be gaining experience, because we only have one junior and one senior,” Hansen said. “Our two upperclassmen are very much our leaders and other than that, our kids are very much in the learning phase right now. At the same time, I can’t remember ever having a more motivated group of people as a team. It’s very exciting.”
The Americans defeated New Zealand, Lithuania and Senegal by an average of 29 points. Their greatest concern in trying to regain the gold medal won in 2009, 2013 and 2015 is whether they can shoot well enough to win the biggest games. Their 3-point percentage of .204 ranks 15th out of 16 teams. Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton has been the team’s one consistent player from long range; he is 6 of 11 through three games, although he was scoreless against Senegal. 10 of the 12 players on the roster have not made even two 3-pointers.That could be problematic against a team such as France or Serbia, which were stuck together in Group D. Although Serbia finished pool play undefeated, same as the USA, they could meet in Saturday’s semifinal round. A balanced scoring effort led a dominant second half that dropped Senegal from a six-point deficit just minutes after halftime into an 87-58 defeat Tuesday in Crete, Greece. The U.S. got 14 points each from Jalen Suggs, a point guard from Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis and Jalen Green, a wing from Prolific Prep in California, as well as 11 points and 9 rebounds from Purdue center Trevion Williams and 10 points from Oklahoma State guard Isaac Likekele. Mississippi State power forward Reggie Perry delivered 9 points and 8 rebounds for the U.S.MORE: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant listed as Rookie of the Year favoritesThe U.S. outscored Senegal by 27 points in the second half.The Americans did a poor job on the boards, allowing Senegal to bring down 31 offensive rebounds, 50 percent of the available total. They made up for that by forcing 27 turnovers. Three games. Three wins. Three blowouts. But that doesn’t make pool play of the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup any different than most of these tournaments for the United States junior national team.What always has been decisive for USA Basketball has been the medal rounds, which start Wednesday, with the U.S. seeded as the No. 1 team in Group A against Group B fourth-place team Latvia. The Americans stand four wins from regaining the U19 world championship that has belonged to Canada since RJ Barrett beat them almost singlehandedly in 2017.
MOST READ Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Teen gunned down in Masbate Huelgas, who along with Chicano has been training around the region for the last two months, clocked one hour, 59 minutes and 30 seconds to win his second straight SEA Games gold medal.READ: Favorites to win, PH triathletes reminded not to be complacentFEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Chicaco checked in four minutes later to make it a 1-2 finish for the Filipinos. Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Ravena lauds Standhardinger’s efforts in Gilas cadets’ opener win National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano PH bags 2nd Gold as triathletes Nikko Huelgas (right) and John Chicano (left finish at 1-2 at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. – marianne bermudezKUALA LUMPUR — Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano dominated the men’s triathlon here in the Southeast Asian Games Monday as the Philippines picked up its second gold of at Putrajaya Water Sports Complex here.READ: PH bets also snatch gold, silver in women’s triathlonADVERTISEMENT Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas