Join the Badger conversation on Facebook! Go to our Facebook page and "like" us!
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan transcript
THE MODERATOR: The men's basketball team is home for
a pair of games this week hosting Northwestern on Wednesday at
8:00 p.m. on BTN and then Ohio State on Saturday at
11:00 a.m. on ESPN.
Q. How are you feeling?
COACH RYAN: All's I know is I wouldn't wish this on
you, Brian. Come on. I was hoping it was a 24-hour one, and
then Henry informed me that the 72-hour one is going on in
Madison. I said, well, you can put me on that list. It just
knocks you down.
I average six or seven hours a night. Saturday
night, went to bed at midnight when we got back, and woke up at
11:30 on Sunday. I was afraid it was Monday. And then 9:00
last night and slept all the way through until 8:00. So you
might say I'm well rested.
But I coach -- I'm glad -- I just hope the players on
Saturday in the huddles I didn't -- there was no touching. I
only asked for the trash can once. But the players played well, and that was what's
Q. You mentioned (trainer) Henry (Perez-Guerra). Were there any special
instructions for Henry during the game? How helpful was he and
the rest of the staff in making sure you're hydrated and
keeping you upright?
COACH RYAN: Well, he knew the routine. Any time
this has happened before with players or coaches, you put a
towel over the person's head that has their head over the trash
can. There's a -- and you stand around it. And you kind of
look off in the distance like there's nothing going on.
Henry's been through all that before.
But it was -- you know, it's -- with the travel and
with the times and with the thing that happened to us Wednesday
night and we get back three hours later than we were supposed
to, all that kind of stuff, it adds up probably on coaches more
than the players. Just hope the rest of my staff doesn't get
Q. I'm guessing the only way you wouldn't coach a game
is if you were pulled away screaming and scratching and
clawing? Is that about right?
COACH RYAN: 42 years, never missing a practice or a
game. That's the only reason I'm here today, we have practice.
Not to see you guys, no.
I did cancel flying back to Philly tonight for the
favorite son award, and I told the guy, and he understood.
Q. On the Big Ten teleconference today, you mentioned
talking to Nigel last week saying, I've got to get you more
minutes. You've earned it. And you talked about his response.
What exactly did he show you that earned the more minutes? Are
you surprised by how casually he responded by he's ready for
whatever you need?
COACH RYAN: It's not casually. It's just he's a
matter of fact guy. He's one of those
guys, I'm sure, 20 years from now, when I look back on coaching
different people, he'll be one that will pop out for a lot of
the right reasons. He's just one of those kind of guys you
want in there with you.
It used to be we use the term the kind of guy you'd
want in the foxhole, but people don't use that anymore. He'd
be the kind of guy you'd want to travel with.
Q. We didn't get to talk to you after the Purdue game --
COACH RYAN: I know you missed me.
Q. We did actually.
COACH RYAN: I was lying on the floor. How about
this? Purdue every year, as an assistant and head coach, we go
there. Where they put the coaches to change in and all after
the games for their locker room, there was the nicest couch you
could ever imagine. Well, they did some things where they
remodeled. All's I looked forward to was lying down on that
couch, and it wasn't there.
So when Gardo came back from the press conference, he
and Patrick, I was lying on the floor. The carpeting was okay.
I just laid down.
Anyhow, were you asking me something?
Q. We'll get back to it. As Kaminsky got in foul trouble, both at Minnesota and Purdue, the first time you went without him in the first half of Minnesota. This time you decided to try to change strategy
and go offense for defense. Why is it you handled it
differently in Minnesota versus Purdue? I'm just curious.
COACH RYAN: He didn't
respond real well by sitting, but also I didn't want him in
there banging with (A.J.) Hammons. In Hammons, you have a guy who
can take over a game, or if he gets in foul trouble and he gets
on the bench, he didn't do anything in the game. It's kind of
like, if Frank's not on the floor, he really can't help.
But offensively, he really felt like he was in a
groove because he can pass. He can knock down the outside
shot, and he can still post. So we tried to use him on offense
some so he didn't get too stiff on the bench.
But I'll tell you what, Evan (Anderson) sure did some nice
things for us. The big E kept us in there in the first half
and blocked out Hammonds. So fundamentally sound, Evan Anderson blocked out Hammonds. Hammonds could do nothing but
reach over the top of him, and he got the foul that put
Hammonds to the bench. So Evan went in there and neutralized
their inside source, and that really helped.
But we were able to do that because of some stoppages
of play, we could go offense and defense. It doesn't always
Q. Bo, regarding Evan, does that show you, or does that
give you confidence that in certain situations he's available,
you can use him if you need him?
COACH RYAN: Yeah, but we really haven't had that
many, and you know, sometimes are you playing from behind? Are
you playing even? Are you playing with a lead? There's a lot
of things that determine on who I can go to and when.
But he's been working so hard. He's just glad he
hasn't lost confidence.
Q. Do you feel like the defense on the defensive end,
your team took a step forward on Saturday? The statistics
would provide that that would be true.
COACH RYAN: He had a different type team than
Purdue. All teams are different. There's still a lot of
things that our guys need to work on defensively, as all teams
do. We can tell you how we've broken down teams, and coaches
saying, man, we've got to shore up this, we've got to shore up
that. All through the year you've got to have that because
points are being scored. How are they being scored? Who's not
in position? Who didn't rotate?
It's not just one rotation in basketball with five
players. If one player does one thing, that affects the other
four players. So if one of those four players breaks down in
any kind of penetration, any kind of screening situation, then
it affects. You're only as strong as the weakest link. So if
it's one guy breaking down on one play, could be another guy
breaking down on another.
In football, if they take a guy and they've got a
safety that can't cover, a corner, they keep exploiting the
heck out of that corner. That's one thing. But in basketball
with the different ways that people score, it isn't just one
person. Sometimes you can go with a big inside and say you're
going to do this, but as far as the outside perimeter play,
On the breakdowns, it's you're only as strong as the
five guys that are on the floor at that particular time, and
that's how offensively we've been able to be so efficient.
We've been able to find the weak link in the other team for the
most part, which is why our numbers are what they are this
So on one end we're better, but on the other end, you
know, you can't talk about the three front line guys that play
defense so well for us anymore. It's many will February. So
these guys have to have improved to this point.
And not just the front line, it's guard play too.
And they are working at it. But when I see a Minnesota put on
the spurt that they did, when I see Michigan play the way they
did against Michigan State -- of course, I didn't see the game.
I was asleep on the bus.
Anyhow, I see (Nik) Stauskas do other things to people that
he did to us. I see the other guy from Minnesota light up
against Nebraska and make a comeback to where they almost win
the game. And then (Yogi) Farrell do the things that he -- we've been
beaten by some teams that can do some pretty good things. So
here we are.
Q. Northwestern's clearly playing better than the team
you beat four weeks ago or so. Do you notice a difference?
Anything jump out at you?
COACH RYAN: Yeah, that first half we had against
them. Since then, they have done a lot of things where they
know they can play better than what they did. They have not
had a spurt -- they have not had a spell like that since maybe
the second half at Iowa. But try to play from behind against a
team that's as deep as Iowa and as experienced. That's pretty
So they're much improved. They're playing well. You
take away maybe eight minutes, eight, nine minutes of that game
against Iowa. And people will tell you in the league they're
playing as well as anybody. We know what we have coming in