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Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan
Q. Bo, one of the things that Iowa appears to do well is
really attack the offensive glass. I'm just curious. Is it
length with them? Is it tenacity? Is it getting guys out of
position offensively? What makes them so good with that?
COACH RYAN: They're long and bouncy. We use those
expressions a lot simply because they're true. If your
wingspan is longer than your height, then you're considered
long. And if your vertical's pretty good, then you're bouncy.
So they've got a lot of guys that fit in that category.
And they are aggressive to the glass. They're very
deep. All the things that we talked about for the first game.
Q. Bo, when you look at the Big Ten this year, this is
balanced and unpredictable as it's been that you can recall? I
know it's often unpredictable but just top to bottom, is it the
most balanced that you can recall it being?
COACH RYAN: Well, as coaches, we always respect our
opponents. To not respect your opponent only causes you
problems. So it's 1 through 12 everybody's playing hard,
everybody's playing tough. The scores indicate that. The
number of wins for each team, the number of close games, as I
mentioned, all those things are an indication that teams in the
Big Ten know each other pretty well, great crowds, great
So, yeah, I mean, from the time when I was an
assistant to now, I've never seen it one -- used to be 1
through 10, which is why they called it the Big Ten. And 1
through 12 now, I've never seen it as competitive, top half,
bottom half, so to speak, and that changes every game. That
top half, bottom half can change, but I've never seen it as
competitive as this.
Q. People talk about these atmospheres in the Big Ten
and we all know they're really good, but why is the road team
winning so much?
COACH RYAN: Well, when I say great crowds, that
means the visiting team isn't going to be cheated out of any
electricity. There are some people that turn that noise
into -- hey, they're cheering for us. Or, hey, this is fun
playing in front of these kind of crowds. You know, a lot
of teams have streaks on the line, and you go in and knock the
streak off. Or this team hasn't beaten that team since 1878
And you get so it's kind of like every game is to the
point where every team knows that the other team just is down a
little bit, has a tough team, is out making shots and we make
some shots, and there is not a team that doesn't believe they
can go in anywhere or a team that doesn't believe they can win
at home every game.
And I've never been around an atmosphere like that.
It's not like we've played everybody so far, but we know that's
been the case just by watching the way the teams go at each
So winning on the road sometimes is not always
indicative of the home crowd being the one spurring him on. It
could be that some guys play because they like that atmosphere.
I like guys that can play in both.
Q. Your team specifically on the road, what has them,
maybe the way they're built or wired, you guys have had such
COACH RYAN: I don't think it's anything different
than the fact that, you know, we've been a decent road team
year in, year out. So I don't see our guys going on the road
and not feeling that they can get it done. So it's a state of
mind. It's how you prepare, and if you believe, then you have
Q. What do you think of Frank Kaminsky's effort on Sunday? He
really seemed to have a different edge to him in terms of
attacking the glass? He was pretty relentless in that regard.
COACH RYAN: Yeah, Frank just recognized some driving
lines, and that helped him get to the rim, and by finishing or
getting fouled, that's -- you know, he's had some of those same
drives before where we've come up dry or the contact that was
made was not a foul. But he drew more contact, and he finished
stronger at the basket. Fortunately, he caught a break on the
step back three because he put his forearm up. That made me a
little nervous. He did clear a bit of space.
I'll point that out on the film here today. He
just -- you know, they talk about players being in the zone,
but his zone was driving lines and finishing and being active
inside. Can he do that all the time? No. Defenses are geared
to stop certain things.
I think Michigan was really concentrating on
eliminating any of our outside shots. Therefore, the driving
lines were a little wider. The driving lanes. And Frank
Q. Along those lines of the three-point shots, Josh Gasser doesn't shoot a high number of shots, but does he have a
good feel for when you might need a timely basket based on the
flow of the game, time and score and all that, because he seems
to want the ball in certain situations and make shots more.
COACH RYAN: Yeah, he's opportunistic. He's one of
those guys that isn't going to take a bad shot although in the
one around the basket, he didn't finish as strongly as we would
And unfortunately, it led to a basket at the other
end, but who's counting. He'll see that today. You know, if
you don't finish strong, if you're throwing up bad shots,
that's the first pass of a fast break that usually turns out to
be something negative for the team that didn't finish on their
shot, and we had a few of those that ended up being scores for
Michigan at the other end.
You try to eliminate as many of those as you can.
But Josh has been very opportunistic. He doesn't force. He's
a good teammate.
Q. From losing a few games to now winning four straight,
has there been a change that you've personally seen in this
COACH RYAN: No, they still work just as hard as they
did back in October, in the summer. They just come every day,
eyes and ears open, their minds open. Results are different,
but that's the same with every team. And ours isn't the only conference where you're
finding some of this.
Q. What stood out most to you about how Traevon Jackson has
handled himself as a point guard this year? Has he done a
pretty good job of staying even keeled even when things haven't
necessarily gone his way?
COACH RYAN: You have to. You have to remember the
next possession is going to be the most important one. If
something didn't happen the way you like that -- and he had
several of those against Iowa in the last game -- you have to
come back, take care of the ball, and then get a good shot on
the next one. Make a defensive stop, do something positive in
Because there's a lot of things that aren't going to
go your way 100 percent of the time. So you just have to be
the kind of person that cannot just pass it off but inside
say, okay, I can't leave my feet again. I can't make that
decision. I have to be stronger. So he's been able to catch
himself and improve.
Q. Because of the Canada trip and the more
practices during the summer, have you managed anything
differently in order to keep these guys fresh? Fresher, come
this time of year.
COACH RYAN: Not really. The only thing that's
happened this year where I've changed some of my practices at
all is a gate closing on your bus, getting back late because of
weather and not doing possessions, maybe doing more shooting.
When our guys practice, they are so physical with one
another because that's the way -- that's the kind of players we
recruit. We don't want players that are only going to play
hard in the games. Our practices are very intense on every
possession. So zoom times if we don't get 24 hours, if we're
back late from a trip or if we played a late game and the guys
don't have as much recovery time, then we'll not have contact.
By contact, I mean possessions.
Because if there's a loose ball, they're going to
dive for it. Evan Anderson is still going to set 50 screens
that will crunch your -- who needs a chiropractor when you've
got Evan Anderson out there setting screens and going to the
glass? He'll straighten up anybody's vertebrae.
So sometimes we just don't have as much contact.
Q. During the year when you've been forced to do that
and it seems that they -- I don't want to say fresh, but they
played well the next game, have you noticed in those instances
where it's helped them?
COACH RYAN: Yeah, and we've also done it where they
necessarily didn't. There's times, especially for some of the
things we've had, timing-wise. I mean, the one I keep going
back to is the playing at Iowa on a Thursday night late game,
snow. We don't get back till 4:00 in the morning, and we're
playing, I think, Saturday at noon. And years ago we played Purdue. I think it was Purdue, one of them.
It's not like we do a lot of possessions this time of
the year. I mean, we go 35. Day like today or tomorrow,
because we don't play till Saturday, we'll go extra. But
everybody, you've just got to do it based on how you feel and
who's healthy, who isn't. I mean, we got some guys sick today
that won't be practicing.
Q. Ben Brust has hardly ever struggled from three in his
career over the last couple of years, and he's kind of
struggled of late the last four or five games. Is he dealing
with something in terms of injuries?
COACH RYAN: He told me he's setting them up. Guys
won't guard him anymore. That's what he's waiting for.
No, he's -- we do our three-point shooting drills,
he's always one of the leaders. He can still shoot it. I
don't think you want to play horse with him.
But, yeah, he's had a few games where they're not
going down, but do you ever watch other teams and watch the NBA
and watch high school? I mean, it's just -- it's the game.
The game of basketball is like that at times. It's how you
battle through it, and what you end up getting is your final
results that will tell the story.
Q. Is he one of the guys on your team who doesn't let a
bad shooting day affect his play that day? I'm thinking of the
number of rebounds he got.
COACH RYAN: No, he'll still play hard. He doesn't
change his energy level. Still moves away from the basketball,
makes good cuts, gets a lot of attention from defenses. So
that's helped free up some other guys.
Q. Nigel Hayes' obviously been tremendously efficient. Is
there a way to get him more minutes without limiting Frank's
minutes? How do you kind of balance that?
COACH RYAN: He's been in a position to get more
minutes, but fouls have also been an issue. So that's probably
the main reason you haven't seen even more.