A look at who is trending up and down the past week in Wisconsin sports, including Marquette guard Kam Jones, two guys who play in the Bucks backcourt and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP candidacy.
Kam Jones, Marquette guard (UP ⬆)
The leading man at Marquette, whose unselfish surge under coach Shaka Smart has it trending toward a possible NCAA tournament victory for the first time since 2013, Jones has practically doubled his stats across the board in his second season in the Golden Eagles program. In 21 games in 2022-23, Jones is averaging a team-high 16.4 points, with nearly three 3-point makes per game, in addition to 3.6 boards, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals. Jones is shooting 68% from inside the arc and 48.9% overall. And get this: Since the Dec. 20 game against Providence, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound sophomore Jones has hit double figures in all nine of Marquette’s contests. Even greater, in his past two games, Jones has 21 and 22 points, six total steals and nine 3-pointers via a 53% clip. He’s led Marquette to a 16-5 record and 11-1 mark at home.
Rodgers era in Green Bay (DOWN ⬇)
It’s funny – not – how Rodgers’ weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” falls the day before we check stock on the players and teams in the Wisconsin region. How so? Because it almost guarantees we’ll write about Rodgers the next day (Wednesday). The annoying part is there’s no news, there’s only as No. 12 put it “conjecture.” Still, Rodgers gave us some insight Tuesday as to what he’s thinking for 2023. The main takeaway: Rodgers isn’t ignorant when it comes to his contract. He knows it would probably need to be restructured if he returns to the Packers. His three-year, $150 million extension that he signed in March carries a cap hit for next season of $31,623,570 and guarantees approximately $60M. That’s if he plays. Which we have absolutely zero clue about. We do, however, know the four-time NFL MVP isn’t opposed to finishing his career elsewhere. In fact, he sounded like someone welcoming of the possibility to sport a different uniform for the first time in his professional career. He sounded, for the lack of a closer analogy, like a boy who doesn’t want to break his girlfriend’s heart but goes to sleep each night dreaming of all the other fish in the sea. “If they feel like it was in the best interests of the team to move forward, so be it," Rodgers said. "That wouldn't offend me, and it wouldn't make me feel like a victim. I wouldn't have any animosity towards the team. I love the organization, I love the city, I love the region.” He loves her family, loves her personality, loves how she looks when she gets dressed up. But he doesn’t love his relationship with her … at least not anymore. Usually, that’s a guaranteed dealbreaker.
The name Brian Anderson (UP ⬆)
B.A. for short has been synonymous with excitement for the last decade-and-a-half. That’s about the length of Brian Anderson’s tenure as the play-by-play wizard for Brewers’ telecasts on our channel. In case you missed it, there’s a new kid on the block and he’s got the same name. What a coincidence. This Brian Anderson was signed by Milwaukee to a one-year, $3.5 million deal early last week. Coming over from Miami – Anderson, 29, spent his first six seasons in the majors playing for the Marlins – the former third-round pick (out of Arkansas in the 2014 MLB draft), who can play the corner infield spots or in the outfield grass, is getting used to sharing his name with an established voice in baseball. Anderson, the player, said that he was labeled during the pre-draft process in college with “boring name syndrome.” First, what the heck is that? Second of all, Anderson is going to learn quickly his B.A. initials are beloved.
Brewers' Anderson on two Brians, 'boring name syndrome'
Jrue Holiday, Bucks guard (UP ⬆)
Holiday’s arrow is pointing sky-high. We mentioned his feats last week, but feel he deserves more love. The veteran point guard followed up back-to-back performances of 35 and 37 points on 29-for-45 shooting (64.4%) by pouring in 28 points via 12 field goals and three foul shots Jan. 21 at Cleveland. He came back to earth in Milwaukee’s latest affair, a 150-130 romp of the Pistons on Monday night, scoring 16 points. Still, Holiday SZN is in full effect. Don’t believe us? Just look at his last seven games. Dating to Jan. 11, Holiday has lived up to his “Big Money” moniker, averaging 25.6 points, 8.7 assists and 1.4 steals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP candidacy (DOWN ⬇)
Listen, nobody’s a bigger “Giannis is the best player on the planet” advocate. We’d die on that hill. Antetokounmpo gives us that confidence dang near every time he steps on the floor. He’s pairing a career-best 30.9 points per game with 11.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 0.9 blocks and 0.8 steals. There’s one issue, however, and it’s capsizing his chances of contending for his third NBA MVP award. He’s missed 11, or 23.4%, of Milwaukee’s 47 games this season. That stinks for the obvious reasons – the Bucks are 6-5 in those contests and 24-12 when the Greek Freak is active. It’s made Bucks basketball less entertaining and has put the player who should be the face of the league – due to his charisma, humbleness and pursuit of legendary status – at the back of people’s minds. Knee soreness really is a witch, with a b.