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Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Michigan


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Jan. 18, 2014

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Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Michigan
Jan. 18, 2014
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan

On why they weren’t able to stop Michigan tonight:
“You know because they hit some jump shots, not that many, you would think they had hit more, but we took away the glass from them and we took away the drives to the rim and said ok you’re going to have to make tough twos. I watched four games today of other teams playing, and guys didn’t hit the twos like that, but it wasn’t the twos. After Robinson hit his two, it was LeVert hitting those threes. We didn’t really close out as fast as we should have, because maybe in their minds they’re thinking  well we need to protect the driving lines, we let that get away from us last game, so in some times we were trying to fix something, guys aren’t quite sure and you have to just keep working through it, which we finally did, we finally got them to miss and we started converting, 17 points on those last 10 possessions where was that before? You can’t wait. Still we had a chance to get it. Stauskas hit the step-back three and then the shot clock -- that was after we had the foul on the shot clock situation. Then he hit a two earlier when it was 14 seconds, they had the ball out of bounds, so we’ve had games where we’ve had guys who hit those shots -- it feels great when your guys hit them. It doesn’t feel so great when the other guy hits them. But those five points right there were when we made our move and then of course we had to foul and they made six and seven. I think they only missed one.”

On how he felt when Wisconsin decreased Michigan’s double-digit lead to single digits:
“Anytime you wipe out a lead like that and get it to one, I’d do backflips if I could still do them to be honest with you. But no, you haven’t done anything yet. I mean you’ve made a move, but a lot more possessions were coming and unfortunately on those possessions they came afterwards. Again, they hit a couple big shots. The easiest shot we got was when they opened up and let Trae (Traevon Jackson) drive for the layup. So what we needed to do was get a steal, try to keep the ball out of Stauskas’ hands and we didn’t, I mean he was pretty good at making sure that he was the guy who was going to touch the ball. Pretty good free-throw shooter, I’d say.”

On whether this team has what it takes to be a good defensively:
“See, I know the weaknesses, and other people will find out eventually. The thing is you plug one hole then sometimes you feel like you’re in a football game and your defense gave up x number of points and then you fix that and then the offense…you know some of these guys have to fight through some of this. The amazing thing is that last year when we didn’t do well offensively, we still did defensively with that experience we had on that front line we were making things pretty tough for people. We might not have looked good offensively, but defensively we still gave ourselves a chance. Offensively, the efficiency has been really good, but defensively, and then you’re playing teams that have got your marked, they’ve got you marked, and they play really hard, really smart, really well, and there are 18 of these. So can you do it the next time? Sometimes, it doesn’t work that way.”

Senior Ben Brust

On what it feels like to go from 16-0 to having lost two-straight games:

“It’s a very humbling game for sure, but we have no time to feel sorry for ourselves because we’re (going) on the road and I think everyone knows that it’s not easy to win road games in the Big Ten. It’s a good opportunity for us, I’ll tell you that much. Like Josh (Gasser) said, we’ve got to move forward and get after it.” 

On whether he felt the team’s pick-and-roll defense was up to par:

“I think we did a decent job. We got some stops, but they also made some tough shots. Give credit to Michigan, because credit is due. They made a lot of shots and they earned it.”

Junior Josh Gasser

On what it feels like to go from 16-0 to having lost two-straight games:

“You can’t look back. You just have to keep moving forward. We’re in the Big Ten. It’s the toughest conference for a reason, and you’ve got to play really well to win games in this league. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, it doesn’t matter where you’re playing. It’s definitely a little different taste in our mouth right now, but we’ve got to see what we’re made of. We’ve got to bounce back. It’s a long season, so two losses aren’t going to kill us, but at the same time we have to get better. That’s our main priority now.”

On what happened when he was called for a foul with the Badgers down one late in the game:

“We got a switch (on defense), and (Jordan) Morgan was on the block and I was just trying to fight around him. He’s a big fella down there, and the last thing we wanted to (give up) was an offensive rebound (followed by a) put-back, or an offensive rebound (leading to) a new (shot) clock. So I was just trying to fight around him, trying to get into rebounding position. I definitely grabbed him. It’s a tough call in that situation, is it going to be called or not. I didn’t really see how it looked, but I was just fighting around him like always. Morgan’s a smart guy—he’s going to sell it, as he should. They got the call which was unfortunate, and (Nik) Stauskas hit a big shot after that.” 

On whether he felt the team’s pick-and-roll defense was up to par:

“We played it well. The stats may not show it, especially in the first half. They made some tough shots. What are you going to do sometimes? We just had to be more physical on them, I think. I thought we were a little soft on them in a few of those screening situations early in the game and that hurt us. Obviously you can always do better. We didn’t play well, obviously, but (sometimes) you’ve got to pick your poison. I’m definitely not happy about it, but you have to move on.”

On whether the team could improve its decision-making when driving to the basket:

“We need to keep driving hard. We were in the bonus late in the game, but we didn’t get anything out of it. There are so many great athletes in this league that when we get (to the hoop) we’ve got to make better decisions—pump faking, kicking it out to open shooters. We needed to keep attacking. We’ve got guys that are capable of doing that and making good decisions. There were obviously times today where we didn’t make the right decision, but that doesn’t mean we stop attacking the basket.” 

On Nigel Hayes’ defense on Stauskas’ late three-pointer:

“That was a heck of a play (Stauskas) made. You’ve got to give him credit for that. Nigel is a great defender. He’s very versatile. He can cover perimeter guys as well as anyone and he’s obviously strong down low. (Stauskas) just made a great play. I’m sure Nigel would like to have it back and contest it a little more, but a play like that, you’ve got to give (Stauskas) credit.

Sophomore Sam Dekker

On what it feels like to go from 16-0 to having lost two-straight games:
“It’s disappointing when you lose two in a row, especially (when you lose) on your home court. We got a little bit embarrassed there when they took it to us in the first half and in the beginning of the second half when we didn’t respond well to what they did. We tried to fight back, but when you put yourself in a hole like that it’s tough to come back. There are a lot of things we could’ve done better and a lot of things we have to correct. You can’t dwell on these though. There are a lot of ups and downs in the Big Ten season, so you can’t dwell on a game or two. There’s a long way to go, and we’ve got another big one coming up this week. We’ve got to put our focus towards that now.”

Michigan Head Coach John Beilein

Opening statement:
“This Wisconsin program is so good and people make a lot of the Kohl Center because it is a great atmosphere and you have great fans in here. But for us to just beat Wisconsin at any time with the way they’ve run their program and how well they run their program, the quality kids that they have, the staff, it really feels good for our staff and for our team. So we have a lot of work to do, but we will enjoy this one for a few hours, but we really feel good because of who we just were able to beat and get a victory over.”

On if Nik Stauskas’ step-back three-pointer late in the game sealed the win:
“Oh no, no. Are you kidding me? You were here last year weren’t you? Tim Hardaway hit a three with 2.2 seconds left and the air never came out of the building. This game wasn’t going to be over until the buzzer went off and we had the win. So no, that was a great shot by Nik, but that is a lot of time left for them to still win the game.”

On if the team thought about Brust’s buzzer-beater last year while preparing for tonight’s game:
“I use the word redemption a little bit. These guys walked into there and I’ve walked into locker rooms before and it haunts you every year about what happened on the road against a certain team, and I thought our guys came in here saying that this is a really good program, number one, and we are going to make up for the loss last year by doing everything we can. And they really played with that type of sense of urgency. So I think it affected our guys, our returning guys, it certainly affected them, but I like the way they responded. Obviously it was very positive.”

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