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Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Iowa

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Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Iowa
Jan. 5, 2014
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan

On whether he thought the Badgers did a better job on keeping Iowa off the offensive glass in the second half:
“We did a better job. It still wasn’t up to our standards. There were some crazy bounces, and that accounted for some of it, but there were just too many that we gave up. I thought we got some (offensive rebounds), some opportunistic putbacks, but we didn’t finish on all of them. I thought they finished at a high percentage, the ones they secured, and I don’t think we did as good of a job finishing when we got the rebounds.”

On whether Iowa coach Fran McCaffery’s two second-half technicals were the turning point for UW:
“I thought we were making a push before (the two technicals), and when things happen like that in a game, you just go to the line, shoot your free throws and keep playing. I’ve seen games like that go the other way. But it isn’t because of anything that we do as coaches in that circumstance, it’s still all about the players and possessions. I thought we made our move before that happened, in a stretch where we got some opportunities to cut into the lead like we did in the first half. But just because you cut into the lead or take the lead doesn’t mean you’re going to keep it. (Iowa) certainly wasn’t going to stop playing hard.”

On what he was thinking as Sam Dekker fired a late 3-pointer despite starting the game 0-for-9 from the field:
“I think I lost my voice. I was happy for him, to finally see the net move. But he’s not going to back away from playing, so if he’s open he shoots. I never tell a guy, ‘Hey, you don’t take any more shots.’ You don’t have somebody on the floor and tell them that. You might tell them where they can shoot from, like what their range is and things like that, but everybody’s got to be a player on the offensive end and the defensive end. And we found just enough plays to get it done. But a lot of work needs to be done.”

On what sparked Ben Brust’s second-half surge:
“He was quiet (in the first half) from the standpoint of stretching the defense. He wasn’t getting a lot of great looks. It’s amazing, three of the shots that he made (in the second half) were from our chair drill. He’s a guy that listens. He works hard. He’s opportunistic, and he certainly was in the second half.”

On whether seeing the ball go through the net on free throws helped with UW’s overall shooting:
“I think so. I think that always helps, because it makes the scoreboard move. You usually get at least one point per possession. Now Nigel (Hayes) was 1-for-2 (from the free throw line) four times. That’s one point on those four possessions. I know people agonize and go, ‘He’s got to shoot free throws better than that’. If we can get one point per possession, we can live with that.”

Senior Ben Brust

On what difference was for him in second half:
“I think I kind of just stopped thinking out there and played basketball. I think, collectively, we didn’t play basketball in the first half. We were kind of just playing tentative and not being ourselves. We talked at halftime, we made some adjustments and came out hard. I think a couple shots got us going early. There was a swing of momentum in the second half and we rode it and took advantage of it.”

On playing in a game where the momentum turned that quickly and dramatically:
“No (I haven’t played in a game like that). But I can tell you that those were the four hardest free throws I’ve ever taken in my life. They all didn’t feel good, but they went in and that’s all that counts. We were down and then we got up. I remember gathering us up and saying, ‘We’ve got the lead now. We have to try and keep it now and build off that.’ They’re a good team—they’re long, they’re athletic, they rebound. We’re going to face them again and we have to learn from this one still because there’s a lot to learn and we’re going to face them down in Iowa City.”

On shooting four-straight free throws:
“They just did not feel good coming off my hand, but they all went down, so I was really happy. I think that’s just a testament to shooting free throws every day in practice. We shoot them every day and they’re going down, so I guess if you miss it by a little bit sometimes it still goes in. That worked.”

Junior Josh Gasser

On staying composed:
“It was great to see. We haven’t really been in that type of situation yet this year. It was great to see us respond the way we did. Obviously that quick turn of events sure helped out a lot. It was really good to see the grit and toughness and composure we have as a team. We missed a lot of bunnies that first half. Just didn’t play all that well. Sometimes we were in the right position, we just didn’t finish plays out. We stayed confident, stayed together and fortunately good things happen.”

Sophomore Sam Dekker

On staying composed:
“In some ways the first fifteen minutes reminded me a little bit of the Florida game that we had. We came out a little stagnant, didn’t know what looks to take and they really took us away from what we like to do offensively. But it seems like every night there’s someone that’s going to pick us up. Then we ride that wave when someone brings that spark. Today it was Frank (Kaminsky) hitting those three 3s in the first half and then some guys stepped it up and brought us back in the first half. And then in the second half it was Ben (Brust) getting us going, hitting that 3 on the first possession and then we kind of took off from there. This is a good group that responds to adversity because we have a bunch of guys that can almost light a fire underneath us. When we ride that wave we’re tough to stop.”

On shooting the 3-pointer in the second half after not making a shot all night up to that point:
“I knew I didn’t hit a shot yet. I didn’t know how many I missed. That’s basketball. It’s going to happen once in a while. All my shots felt good tonight. It’s not like I felt like it wasn’t there. I just wasn’t hitting them. That’s why guys like Ben (Brust) and Frank (Kaminsky) are going to step up—and Josh (Gasser)—and hit those shots for us. Usually I don’t show much emotion after a 3, but if you saw in that corner I yelled pretty loud there because there was a lot of frustration letting out of me. But that was a credit to Josh (Gasser) for hitting me right after I got that rebound. It felt really good to knock that one down and give us a little bit of a cushion there.” 

On hitting 3-pointers as opposed to getting the ball in the paint against Iowa:
“They’re a very long team, physical team inside. They took some good looks away. But there’s also ones that just didn’t drop. I remember in the first half I got one off an offensive rebound that I just had to turn around and flip it in and it hit back iron. Just ones that I usually connect on didn’t fall. But you can’t stop trying to be aggressive in that situation. I’m pretty comfortable in the paint. Tonight I just wasn’t finishing very well inside. But you just have to stick with it, stick through it. And you can’t stray away from your game because that’s where you start thinking too much and you don’t pay your style of basketball. Credit to them for doing a good job on defense in the paint tonight. But I think that’s why they call the 3-point shot the great equalizer because when you have a team like us that can get hot, the 3-point shot can really bring you back in to games and I think it did tonight.”

Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffery

On what led to his ejection…
“I can’t address that, as much as I would like to.”

On if he watched the game after his ejection and what the impact was…
“I did. I think what I feel bad about is getting a second one. I think the first one, I think it’s safe to say that I kind of went after that one a little bit. The second one, I’m not so sure about that.”

On if he inadvertently made contact with the refs…
“No. No.”

On if he believes his technical/ejection cost his team the game…
“No. I think, well, again, you’re getting into an area where I’m not allowed to go. I mean, I would love to go there with you and kind of explain to you my perspective, but it’s just not allowed. It’s not allowed by rules, so. I know that’s what you guys want to talk about.” 

On what he said to his team in the huddle before he left…
“Well, I think at that point, we were not the same as we were in the first half. I think that’s safe to say. The start of the second half, you could talk about any number of reasons why that was the case. And the momentum was shifting clearly, for a variety of reasons, some of which is under our control. Some of it’s not. So I thought if I’m going to get a (technical foul), typically, there’s still 12, 13 minutes to go. There’s time for us to figure out are we going to play better, are we going to play tougher, are we going to play smarter than we were playing?  I think we did that.” 

“I encouraged them to play tougher, play smarter, and to compete at a different level than I felt we had up unto that point in the second half.”

On if he is concerned that he may be disciplined…
“No. I got two T’s. Why would I be disciplined?”

On what happened with Iowa’s defense against Ben Brust in the second half…
“Well, with a guy like him, it doesn’t take much to get him going. He got that first look early. We left him, I don’t know, something happened to Dev (Roy Devyn Marble). Mike (Gesell) came over, then Mike went back to his man, then he (Brust) got a clean look. Then he was on from there, so that’s unfortunate that we left him there, but that was a mistake.”

On Devyn Marble being the only Iowa player to make a 3-pointer…
“We didn’t take a ton, but I do think it was a little bit… That’s a tough one, because against them (the Badgers), you want to shoot 3’s, you can shoot 3’s. I think what you want to do is mix it up where you’re shooting some 3’s, you’re driving some, you’re post-feeding some. You don’t want to just start jacking because I think if you do that—we did a little of that at the start of the second half—then I think you’re going to be in trouble against this team.”

On what cost his team the game…
“I think we lost the game at the start of the second half. We got Brust going, we don’t pick him up. We quick-shot the ball. You can’t go on the road against a ranked team and quick-shoot the ball. Then the momentum is shifting. It’s a hard one, because it’s not like you would say any of those shots we took were horrible shots. Good players were taking pretty good shots, but we didn’t do anything like we had done in the first half, which is work the ball side to side. We tried to get a little better one, and we tried to get on that roll. I don’t know, we didn’t have a basket for a long time at the start of the second half. We kept trying to get one five seconds into the shot clock, and it’s just not how you want to play against a team that is as disciplined and has as many weapons as Wisconsin has. So that was what we were trying to guard against, and at that point, I wasn’t happy with what we were doing there, but I thought as the second half went on we improved.”

On Jarrod Uthoff’s return to the Kohl Center…
“I thought he was great.”

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