- When asked by the Big Ten Network what the team learned and gained from its NCAA tournament run last year Bo Ryan said, "confidence." He explained that the team learned to come through adversity and they got a taste of what it takes to compete at that level. He also added that the tournament, more specifically the end of the Florida State game did a lot for Trevon Hughes' confidence. I get the impression he thinks this will be a big year for Hughes in a leadership and play-maker role for the Badgers.
- The main line of questioning for Hughes and Bohannon at media day was: 1.) The depth of the Big Ten; and 2.) How the Badgers are being predicted for the bottom half of the league. Bohannon's take on it is that it's kind of a double-edged sword. On one side, it's a disrespect to the program to think that it won't be able to compete among the top teams in the conference. Coach Ryan has never had a team finish lower than fourth in the Big Ten, and yet several years the preseason "experts" pick UW to stumble.
On the other side, Bohannon sees the lack of respect as a potential positive. He thinks the team can use that as motivation this year and thrive in the role of underdog. He added that he knows Coach Ryan will like being backed into a corner. He'll come out fighting.
- Coach Ryan seems to know everybody wherever he goes. That's just a product of his personality. But here at Media Day he not only knows all of the media and league officials, he knows several of the players around the league thanks to his experience over the summer with Team USA. Ryan coached Talor Battle (Penn State), Robbie Hummel (Purdue) and Evan Turner (Ohio State) and had Mike Tisdale (Illinois) in training camp prior to heading to Serbia for the World University Games.
- A reporter asked Jason Bohannon what he remembers from last season, whether it was the losing streak or the rebound the team experienced. He said it's a combination of both. He said they learned a lot from the losing streak, but when asked about if there are any positives he admitted no. That wasn't any fun and no matter how you want to spin it, that wasn't a positive.
- One of things Coach Ryan mentioned to the Big Ten Network that might surprise people is that he's excited to see Hughes and Jordan Taylor get out in transition a little. While I wouldn't expect the Badgers to run-and-gun, the team might have the athleticism this year to push the tempo a bit. The team actually played with a 25-second shot clock when they were playing pick-up ball over the summer. The idea being to look for a shot quicker and remove the tendency to walk the ball up the floor.
- Getting Hughes dressed for media day is probably worth its own blog entry. For a guy who had to wear a suit/uniform everyday in high school, he doesn't own a stitch of dress clothes any more. Somehow thanks to the help of Bohannon and few other friends, Hughes pieced a suit, shoes and tie together. He looked good too... he pulled it off.
One thing Pop had no trouble with was tying his tie. He said he learned all kinds of knots in high school and he put together a nice-looking double-Windsor for Media Day.
- I mentioned earlier that freshman Mike Bruesewitz came away with a black eye in the first practice of the season. Well, it appears he's dishing them out too and Hughes has the evidence to prove it. Hughes needed a little extra time in the make-up chair before shooting a Big Ten commercial to cover up the bruise above his left eye. They all call Bruesewitz "Bruiser," and apparently the nickname fits.