By Drew Olson Special to Published Feb 28, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Welcome to Saturday Scorecard, which this week is dedicated to the people who wrote, edited and produced the Rocky Mountain News, with a special tip of the cap to longtime baseball writers Tracy Ringolsby, who is in the writer's wing of the Hall of Fame, and Jack Etikin, who may join him there one day.

On to the notes...

Unfinished business: The time for mourning and depression is over. Beginning tomorrow afternoon in Louisville, the Marquette Golden Eagles will have to adapt to life without senior point guard Dominic James, who underwent surgery in the wake of his season-ending foot injury (broken fifth metatarsal, left foot).

James' exit is hauntingly, heartbreakingly familiar to MU fans who remember losing Travis Diener and Jerel McNeal to late-season injuries in recent years. It was a tough break for the team and a terrible break for James, whose transformation as both a player and a person has been remarkable over the past four years.

James was averaged 11.7 points, 5.3 assists and posted a terrific assist-to-turnover ratio of nearly 3-to-1 this season. With him, Marquette was considered a solid bet to advance to the Sweet 16. Without him, nobody is certain where the Golden Eagles will end up; but, it's reasonable to expect that the selection committee will be watching how the team performs in his absence.

James had his detractors, some of whom feel he did not live up to the immense promise he showed during a phenomenal freshman year. But, it's hard to argue the impact that he had on the program. It was his steady play and leadership helped running mates McNeal and Wes Matthews blossom as players. It was his decision to stay in school for four years -- despite the lure of professional dollars and the distraction of a coaching change -- that helped this group of seniors ensure that Marquette's move to the Big East was an instant success.

The Golden Eagles wrap up their home schedule a week from tomorrow at the Bradley Center and James will undoubtedly receive a huge ovation from the fans. He deserves it.

More MU: Although James' leadership and intangible contributions were enormously valuable, it's not a reach to say that the Golden Eagles are better prepared to absorb his injury rather than one to McNeal, Matthews or Lazar Hayward.

Maurice Acker, who will see a lot of the playing time at point guard, looked solid against Connecticut and is a better outside shooter than James. At 5 feet 7 inches, Acker is nowhere near as dominant as James on defense.

James plans to be ready for the NBA pre-draft event at Chicago, which is scheduled to start May 27.

Let's step outside: The Wisconsin athletic department is finalizing plans to host Michigan in an outdoor hockey game Feb. 6 at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers beat Ohio State, 4-2, before 40,890 on Feb. 11, 2006 at Lambeau Field.

Nice gesture: The Bucks are recognizing the teams from Milwaukee Madison and DeKalb (Ill.) high schools for their display of sportsmanship in a game earlier this month. The two teams played Feb. 7, hours after Carlitha Franklin, the mother of Madison senior captain Johntell Franklin, died of cancer. Officials considered canceling the game, but Franklin wanted his teammates to play even though he wasn't expected to attend the game.

Franklin arrived in the second quarter, suited up and entered the game - which drew a technical foul because he was not entered in the scorebook. DeKalb senior captain Darius McNeal took the two foul shots and intentionally missed them. Franklin scored 10 points, Madison went on to win the game, 62-47, and the story received national attention.

"Once in a while we hear of someone or some team in the sports world doing something so remarkable that we can't help but be inspired," Bucks general manager John Hammond said.

"It is a great privilege for us and for Kapco to be able to recognize the selfless act of sportsmanship exhibited by the DeKalb boys basketball team towards Johntell Franklin and the rest of his team. We're extremely proud of the example they set and are happy to help share their story with others."

Road trouble: The Milwaukee Panthers enter their season finale this afternoon at Detroit with a six-game road losing streak and a 2-10 record in true road games. The Panthers averaged 71 points at home and six on the road. A Panthers victory combined with a Wright State loss to Green Bay would move the Milwaukee to fourth place in the Horizon League. Otherwise, Milwaukee will be the fifth seed in the upcoming league tournament.

Heading south? Packers defensive tackle Colin Cole seems ready to head to Tampa Bay, which means that Green Bay will lose depth on an already short defensive line and a local law firm will need a new TV pitch man.

It's interesting to note that Jim Bates, the Buccaneers' defensive coordinator, worked with Cole in Green Bay. So did Tampa Bay defensive line coach Robert Nunn.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.