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Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan
Q. You talked about points per possession on
teleconference this morning. Has that been a stat you've worked
out since you got into coaching?
COACH RYAN: Yeah, I started using that a long time ago,
back when I was an assistant Coach here and talking to some
different people who kind of use something similar like e okay,
how many times do you get the ball and how many times are you
making something happen in a positive way, or how many times are
you drawing fouls? And then it comes down to points per
possession. You get an offensive rebound, and that is the same
possession. So if you score on that, on the stat sheet it says
points after turnovers, points off turnovers. That’s amazing how steady it stayed. This is before the three-point
But then with the three-point line, and I think now with we'll
see by the end of the year if the mean changes, which I think it
will in conference play, on how many free throws teams are
shooting. So it's probably closer to 1.1 now.
But, man, anything in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 1 was pretty much
the magic number. Especially before '87 at the three-point
Q. You've beaten Indiana 12 times in a row. Is there one
thing in particular you can look at and say this is the
advantage that we've had over them the last 12 games?
COACH RYAN: No, not really. Because this is the next time
we play them. So what you just mentioned, I didn't know the
numbers, the players certainly never hear it from us. I just
don't dwell on that kind of domain. We just prepare for the
next opponent, and we don't say -- I don't try to get my guys
ready to play somebody by using anything other than the facts,
the stats, here it is. Here's what we've got to do. This guy
likes to do this for them. This guy likes to do that. Here's
what we have to do better. I've never coached from the
standpoint of trying to use extraneous factors to get my guys to
play. So, as I said, you telling me that number, it's the first
time I've heard it.
Q. Josh Gasser talked about sometimes his knee still gets sore
and that wearing the brace has caused his back to hurt
COACH RYAN: Other than that he's okay?
Q. Has he done a good job of hiding whatever frustrations
he's had about his body this season?
COACH RYAN: Yeah, he just works whatever he's called on.
But there are times in practice where you can see where he
doesn't complete something. Where I'll just get up next to him
and say, now, Josh, I know in a game you're diving on the floor
for that ball, right? And he goes, Yep. So it's never held him
back in a game doing what he normally does. But there was one
practice where there were two possessions in within like 30 feet of a loose ball, maybe 10. He didn't dive
for it. I knew, No. 1 he realized his angle probably wasn't the
best. But in games he's going after all the loose ones.
Q. You talk about not worrying about all those other
things like winning 12 straight or anything like that, but
obviously you guys are ranked third in the country, 16-0. There
is certainly a bigger target on your back than maybe normally.
Do you think the other team is talking about that stuff?
COACH RYAN: I can coach is one team, so I don't
know. But I was thinking about this: Most of these high school
guys or most of these guys when they were, they
played on teams that had won 12 straight, 20 straight. Yours truly, my senior year, we were 25-0 until we were 25-1.
I don't remember anything other than the coach I played for getting
us ready for the next team we were playing. A few teams I have been fortunate enough to coach did that, and I just kept
trying to get them ready for the next one. So I know the thing about the target. I understand all that. Just look around the country. It's conference time. Anything can
happen. Our guys know it. They're not practicing any different
now than they did a month ago, I can tell you that.
Q. Obviously, you've focused a lot on what you were
doing, but did you get a chance over the weekend to watch any of
the conference games with Iowa and Ohio State and Northwestern
and Illinois? Did any of those upsets surprise you at this
point in this conference?
COACH RYAN: I tell you, there are just too many
players in too many good teams. Iowa's win doesn't surprise
anybody that I know. I'm just telling you the circles I travel
in, and that's not a surprise.
Minnesota playing the way they are, Northwestern hitting some shoots and a team going cold in Illinois.
I mean, all of those things, maybe because I'm older, I've
seen all of this before. Whether it was 1998, 2006 -- I'm just
making these years up -- or 1959, I saw a big upset in the Poe
less that when I was 12 years old. They called it an upset. So
it's conference play, and that's why everybody keeps coming back
the next year. The fans, the media because you guys
secretly that helps our job, that keeps us employed, that's
great. We keep each other going, don't we because there is that
much interest in a game of guys with T-shirts and shorts and
sneakers. Can you imagine that? I think it's unbelievable. We
Q. I'll preface this by saying in your eyes they have a
lot more work left to do. But how have your post players,
primarily Frank Kaminsky, Nigel Hayes and even Sam Dekker, helped open things
up for you guys on the perimeter or other areas where you've had
such balanced scoring the last couple weeks?
COACH RYAN: I think we've had balanced scoring pretty much
throughout the year. It probably shows up maybe in some
segments more one way than the other. But we've got to be good
inside, we've got to be good outside in order to be sitting
where we are. And if we don't keep improving in each of those
areas, then we also know what else can come around.
So what we're trying to do, like in practice yesterday, is
improve on certain areas of taking care of the ball, being able
to handle pressure, being able to handle dribble attacks by
somebody as quick as a Ferrell. All of those things
you're doing every day, there is a purpose to every possession.
It seems like they're trying to get better every possession.
That's all I can ask for with the staff when we're out there
working with them.
Q. Duje Dukan said you guys pumped in the noise before the
North Carolina game at practice a couple years ago. How often
have you done that in your career?
COACH RYAN: We've done it a few other times. The first
time I started doing that was at Platteville because we got,
you talk about a target on your back. We got to be the team
that filled every gym, and everybody wanted to kick us, so they
packed their small gyms. You talk about loud? People have
asked about places in the Big Ten. Have you ever been Eau Claire
in the '80s, and '90s, Stevens Point, Whitewater, our gym at Platteville at that time. So, yeah, w
piped in noise a few times, we've done it here a few times. It
was over the break. Actually, I was trying to have some fun
with Otto, see what would happen with his hearing aids to be
honest with you. He survived. A couple of guys said they had
Q. What is the environment like at assembly hall down in
blooming ton for people who haven't been there?
COACH RYAN: It goes straight up, especially on the one
side because I walked to the top back in the '76, '77 season, my
first year as an assistant, and I was afraid to lean forward.
It's so steep. But it's loud, like the other places that we
play in, as far as that goes. They cheer for their teams. Few
times in the locker room I used the, ‘oh, hey, wait till you see
all the Wisconsin fans out there in red.’ I usually get the
freshmen, but after that they all know. But it's challenging
like the rest of them. I don't see it once things get going,
I'm immune to that stuff. I hope your players just play and not
worry about the other things.
Q. Some people look at Indiana's record and think they're
down this year. What are your thoughts on this team you're
about to face?
COACH RYAN: When you see how athletic they are and you see
their freshmen, their younger guys and what they can do
physically, their record might not be the same as it was last
year. But teams get better. Their comeback against Penn State,
Penn State's really tough at home. They didn't waiver. They
did what they had to do to come back. So that shows they've
matured already. It's not like we have the most experience in
the league, that's for sure. But Indiana's a good team. We
know it, and we know what we're going into.
Q. I know you don't like to compare teams, but what makes
this team in particular special on the offensive side. It seems
that it just comes more easily? Scoring comes more easily.
COACH RYAN: I wish it was easy. You know, they've stayed
true to who they are. They're sharing the ball. We've said
this so many times and I don't want to sound like a broken
record. But they're doing a lot of things where they're helping
their teammates get open, the dribble drives, the help comes on
the decision on when to make the pass, when to ball fake, when
to make the extra pass. To this point overall they've been
doing a better job of than maybe some other teams that
we've had, which has put them in a position to be sitting where
we are. We're going to have to keep doing it.