4. Get loose #Fieldof16# pic.twitter.com/1YebQPrsNa-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 27, 2014
Wednesday was the Badgers' introduction to the Honda Center, the site of UW's Sweet 16 game vs. Baylor on Thursday night. But before they got to step on the court, the players and coaching staff met with the media to talk about the matchup with Baylor. The complete transcript from the podium sessions with Coach Ryan, Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson can be found here.
In addition, here are some quotes from the Badgers' open locker room:
Sam Dekker on defending Baylor's big men: "Me and Frank [Kaminsky] will probably have to share the duties inside on those two early on. It doesn't matter who we have [to defend] as long as we are physical. We need to out-tough them. We can't play weaker on those guys, otherwise they will eat you alive."
Josh Gasser on Baylor's strong play in March: "They are playing really well right now. You have to come out with a lot of energy and match their intensity. It will be a physical game with their bigs down low. We have to come out right from the start."
Bronson Koenig on breaking down Baylor film: "Obviously we saw a lot of length and athleticism out of them. They are quick in closing out on the shooters in their zone."
Also check out our complete photo gallery of the Badgers' day at the Honda Center.
28. Nigel, Sam, Trae meeting w/media right now. Nigel on whether he likes seeing upsets: "Personally I fear upsets." pic.twitter.com/MZ5AJr5CXJ-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 21, 2014
24. Another round of wake up calls for Ben Eckburg this a.m. You can never underestimate the value of team managers #Fieldof32-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 22, 2014
23. Nothing like a police escort for the 3 block drive from the hotel to the arena. #Fieldof32-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 22, 2014
18. Shoot around: the only place on Earth you will witness Evan Anderson drain a 3 off the dribble while coming off a screen #Fieldof32-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 22, 2014
2. Oregon going with what they refer to as "Apple Green" uniforms. Ducks are 1-3 in these fits #Fieldof32-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 23, 2014
The partisan Bradley Center crowd was getting a little antsy about midway through the first half but a Ben Brust 3-pointer ignited a 22-5 run over the final 9:17 to give Wisconsin a 32-22 lead heading into halftime.
The Badgers started the half hot offensively, going inside to Frank Kaminsky for their first three buckets of the game. A dunk by Sam Dekker gave the Badgers a 10-5 lead but then UW went cold, missing its next seven shots. During that time American went on a 12-0 run until Brust halted it with Wisconsin's first 3-pointer of the game, at the 9:17 mark. From that point until the end of the half, American scored just five points, going 1-7 from the field with four turnovers.
After a hot start, Kaminsky picked up his second foul with 4:44 left in the half. Undaunted, the Badgers outscored the Eagles 12-4 the rest of the way.
At the half, Brust leads all scorers with 11 points, Jackson has seven and Kaminsky has six. Guard John Shoof started hot for American and led the Eagles with eight points.
Despite missing seven in a row at one point, UW finished 11-of-26 (.423) from the field and made all seven of its free throw attempts. American was 8-of-18 (.444) from the field, 3-of-4 from the free throw line and committed eight turnovers.
58. Getting the team on gameday schedule - that means breakfast (pregame meal) at 7:40 a.m. #Fieldof68-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 19, 2014
52. Most common phrase heard at practice today? "Run it again." Can't see American's offensive sets too many times. #Fieldof68-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 19, 2014
43. Bo Ryan: "I have not seen a team run the 'pure' Princeton offense like American does. They do it really well." #Fieldof68-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 19, 2014
40. Ryan sat backstage listening to players do presser. After, he told em they might lose playing time for some of the answers. #Fieldof68-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 19, 2014
39. Ryan opens press conf: "well, I was an economics major & I was good enough to get drafted... (Wait for it)... By the army." #Fieldof68-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 19, 2014
37. Bo Ryan tells Nigel Hayes: "the early bird gets the worm." Nigel responds "but the 2nd mouse always gets the cheese." #Fieldof68-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 19, 2014
27. Ben Brust at the pep rally, "Let's make the Bradley Center feel like the Kohl Center." #Fieldof68— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 20, 2014
25. Nigel "Burgandy" after watching his Q&A w/ teammates from earlier today: "When you put me in my natural habitat I flourish" #Fieldof68— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 20, 2014
22. Barry Alvarez issued a challenge at pep rally: "We better have a home court advantage!" #Fieldof68— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 20, 2014
17. First official duty on Gameday was manager Ben Eckburg giving wake-up calls to every player at 7:30 am. Rise & shine #Fieldof68— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 20, 2014
15. Everybody prepares differently. For Vitto Brown, that meant a workout this morning in the hotel fitness center. #Fieldof68— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 20, 2014
8. Only 22 seats on bench during tourney games. Means non-participating players will take over in-game duties of team managers #Fieldof68— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 20, 2014
3. "One thing that will never change is the effort you have to give. Let's try to get another 40 minutes." - Bo Ryan to team #Fieldof68— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 20, 2014
Ben Brust, Josh Gasser, Frank Kaminsky and head coach Bo Ryan met with the media on Wednesday in advance of the Badgers' game Thursday morning against American. The complete transcript from their sessions can be found here: ASAP Sports.
Here are some of the highlights:
Josh Gasser on playing in Milwaukee: "It's awesome. It just means that you did something special during the year to get rewarded to play close to home. And it's great for my family, these guy's family, to be semi close. Just to be able to experience NCAA Tournament atmosphere is awesome for my family and friends and other people as well. It's kind of a home-court advantage in a way, but, at the same time, once the clock starts, once you get between the lines, it's all what we do and we control that."
Frank Kaminsky on his high growth spurt in high school: "I got into high school at 6' 2" and left high school at 6' 10". I had a lot of growing to do both physically and mentally. Sometimes I would just be running down the court and trip over my own feet because I was just getting awkward. And I think just growing into my body took a little bit of time because I did kind of have a later growth spurt than most people."
Ben Brust on Coach Ryan winning 700 games and earning national respect: "It's very special to be a part of that, and I think the number 700 just shows if you're getting that many wins, you're doing a lot of things right. As players we'd be smart to listen to a guy who has won that many games because he's successful for a reason. You don't get 700 wins with luck. He's doing something right, and, you know, Coach doesn't care what other people think. He's the type of guy who wants to get stuff done and get it done the right way, and we're just looking to continue what we can do."
Coach Ryan on his philosophy: "I always tell young coaches when they're asking for advice, 'take a job at a place where you can coach for five years or 50 years.' Because if you take a job and you're always looking left, right, behind you, in front of you, if you're always looking in different directions, you're not going to do as good a job with the people who believed you in the first place and hired you. So, if you're hired to do a job, for a nickel, give them a dime's worth. That's been my philosophy that I learned from my parents. I'm sure they learned from their parents."
Coach Ryan on Nigel Hayes' humor: "I got a guy that beats me, and old line is obviously 'the early bird catches the worm.' As we're done with our video session, Nigel always tries to beat me to the court. I said, "good, Nigel, the early bird catches the worm."
"Coach, the second mouse always gets the cheese."
-- Photo Gallery
With the Badgers stationed in Milwaukee, the fan and media interest is at an all-time high. As shown in the picture above, even the Marquette locker room wasn't quite spacious enough to contain all the media hoping to get a word with the Badgers. And what is normally just a handful of fans on on a weekday afternoon, turned into a couple hundred in the stands as the Badgers took the floor at 1:30 p.m.
The fans that did come out were treated to an inside look at pretty much what happens every day at a normal Badgers practice. Start off with some full court passing, then some shooting drills. The highlight, as always, was the half-court shooting contest to end practice. Bronson Koenig made the first, Evan Anderson tied it up and Zak Showalter won it at the end. A Sam Dekker dunk sent the crowd home happy. Thanks to everyone who came out today!
Hey Badger Fans!
A big thank you to all those who came out and supported us this past weekend as we battled Harvard in the NCAA quarter finals. The team was blown away when we hit the ice for the start of the game and the crowd erupted. The atmosphere and energy in the building was amazing and unlike anything we have experienced yet in our new home and we are very grateful to all those who helped us from the other side of the glass.
The team was very pleased with our effort Saturday night and it was a special moment for the seniors to get a win in our final game on home ice. This week is sure to fly by quickly as we will practice the next few days and then head out early Wednesday for the Frozen Four. The team plans to prepare for the upcoming weekend the same way we have all season, and is excited for the opportunity to face off against Minnesota Friday night.
There are a number of banquets set to take place along with a few other events, but the sole focus of our team is the game Saturday night and working harder than we have all season to achieve our ultimate goal. I am proud of my teammates for all the hard work that has been put in this season. There were a lot of people who were skeptical about us being placed so highly along the way, but we battled hard Saturday night, earning the right to play this weekend and gaining confidence along the way.
The game Friday night is something we have looked forward too all year, now the time has come to prepare and go to work. We are proud of ourselves for reaching the tournament, but also recognize simply making the trip is not the goal we set for ourselves last September.
I encourage all those who cannot make the trip to tune in to the various outlets that will be available to act the action this weekend. It is set to be some of the best collegiate hockey this season and will be something hockey fans do not want to miss.
Again, my teammates and I want to thank all our fans and the community for being supportive throughout the season, and on behalf of the senior class, thank you to all those who have come out to cheer us on throughout our Badger career. We have traveled all across the United States, and there are no fans louder or more loyal than those who come out in Madison. Thank you also to our families who have been supportive not only throughout this season, but since day one, we share this journey with you! Be sure to check back in throughout the week as I will have a few more posts and some special interviews with teammates as we head out in search of our ultimate goal at the 2014 Frozen Four! Until next time, thanks for reading, and ON WISCONSIN!!
After an impressive showing in Fullerton, Calif., at the Judi Garman Classic last weekend, head coach Yvette Healy praises assistant coach Randy Schneider's offensive leadership so far and previews the keys for continued success as the season moves forward.
Be on time: That's been the quote of the week from our offensive coordinator, assistant coach Randy Schneider. Timing is everything going into our final seven games before Big Ten play opens against Northwestern next weekend in Chicago. Our spring schedule has really challenged and prepared us to return to the Midwest and face some of the best competition in our region. We played our best softball of the season last weekend in California, with a big upset of #6/7 Arizona. That momentum is starting to build just in time, as we ramp up for the most competitive Big Ten field to date.
With our pitching staff, we're focusing on keeping hitters off balance, not letting them get comfortable. We have a lot of big offenses on the schedule in the weeks ahead. Our goal is to contain those hitters and teams. We know they'll get their hits yet we'll work to spread out the hits, not give teams extra base runners and pressure our opponents by eliminating the leadoff hitter each inning.
From an offensive standpoint, coach Schneider is emphasizing quality over quantity. It's about pressuring teams and getting key hits when it counts. I've been so impressed with Randy's offensive strategy and philosophy this season. It's not about getting more hits than our competition, it's about getting runners on base and creating pressure every inning. If you can do that, and come through with some timely hits when it counts, you have a chance to win games--even against the best opponents.
We still have some young players who have yet to emerge. Our message to those athletes is simple: work hard, study the game, continue to improve, believe in your skills and preparation and the success will come. That relentless optimism, focus and work ethic is what separates not only players, but people. If you can continue to work, train and believe, even when you're struggling, you'll be successful in life. We know there are three or four athletes on our team who have battled injuries and slow starts who could still be major factors in our team's success in the Big Ten and throughout this year. A slow start doesn't mean that success is impossible, it simply means we have more work to put in. Timing is everything.