Midweek Stock Report: An NBA star is born in Giannis
Every Wednesday, FOX Sports Wisconsin takes a look at which athletes’ stock is trending up and whose is trending down.
In other words, who is making a meteoric rise, and who is quickly plummeting.
With that in mind, let’s “take stock” of the current sports scene in Wisconsin, shall we?
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks forward
If Antetokounmpo wasn’t a household name among NBA fans before this past weekend, he is now (or maybe we should say Giannis is the name used in households). Antetokounmpo led the Eastern Conference All-Stars with 30 points — including several highlight-reel dunks (sorry, Steph Curry) — to go with six rebounds and three steals. If the East had somehow pulled out a win (and the West didn’t feed Anthony Davis of the host Pelicans — he had 39 shots!), Giannis could well have been bringing the MVP trophy back to Milwaukee.
Ethan Happ, Badgers center
While Wisconsin’s offense has gone on the fritz lately, Happ was making 17 of 24 shots (70.8 percent) in two games last week and averaging 21.0 points per game. Oh, he also had 13 rebounds, 9 assists, 7 steals and 3 blocks.
Matt Heldt, Marquette center
Heldt had played sparingly all season and hadn’t scored more than six points or grabbed more than seven rebounds in a game all season. In a win over Xavier on Saturday, Heldt played 24 minutes — his most since Nov. 30 — and had six points and nine rebounds. In the Golden Eagles’ next game, a win over St. John’s, the 6-foot-10 sophomore posted all sorts of career highs: 29 minutes, 15 points and 10 rebounds, while making all six of his field-goal attempts (he was 9 of 10 on the week) and all three of his free-throw attempts.
Markus Howard, Marquette guard
The 17-year-old established a school record for a freshman by scoring 34 points against Xavier and tied a school record — done in 1990 by Mark Anglavar — by sinking nine 3-pointers. And Howard had his masterpiece in front of over 19,000 fans on National Marquette Day. Talk about stepping up in the spotlight.
Trent Frederic, Badgers forward
The first-round pick of the Boston Bruins last year had a good weekend as Wisconsin knocked off Michigan twice. Frederic scored four goals, including one short-handed, in the series — two goals in each game — giving him three two-goal games this month. Frederic’s second goal in the opener on Friday broke a tie and gave the Badgers the lead for good. In Saturday’s game, Frederic tallied the quickest goal to start a game in Wisconsin history, scoring eight seconds into the contest.
Markus Howard, Marquette guard
How did Howard follow up his career night? By playing just 16 minutes, thanks in part to picking up four fouls, and scoring only four points on 1-of-4 shooting against St. John’s. Consistency has been a problem for Howard all season. He had three points in the game before his 34-point outburst and had nine points in 15 minutes the last time the Golden Eagles played St. John’s.
D’Mitrik Trice, Badgers guard
With starter Bronson Koenig sidelined due to a leg injury, Trice got the start for Wisconsin at Michigan and against Maryland, although in the latter he played just 19 minutes as Koenig came off the bench and tallied 31 minutes. Trice made just 5 of 23 shots (21.7 percent) in the two games, including 1-for-7 on 3-point attempts, and had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 5:4.
Dave Heller is the author of the new book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow as well as Facing Ted Williams Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns
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