UW Health Sports Medicine 

Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Michigan State



Feb. 6, 2011

Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan
On how good the offense looks when shots are falling:

“I am not backing away from that statement, because we made some tough shots today. Michigan State was guarding the heck out of us, they were doing all the right things, taking away some cuts, doing what they needed to be doing. We had some tough shots with the shot clock winding down. You can always say, ‘Well you had a couple players make plays’, we did, but it was very difficult to get a good look at the basket. I know you might think, ‘Look at what your team shot from the floor’, but no, we made some tough shots, we really did. Defensively, I thought we did a nice job, offensively we did what we needed to do. Let’s be honest, I don’t know if we want to rely on a couple of those shots that we made all the time, in all fairness. But, you take those away and we were still pretty efficient offensively.”

On if Jordan Taylor's Big Ten Player of the Year candidacy:
“He has been doing just fine without us talking about it. If you are good, other people will take notice, and there were so many seniors who were back, that got the early attention. Then you have a freshman who starts dominating early. Basically it has been Sullinger and the seniors, that sounds like a singing group. That’s okay. With Jordan (Taylor) it is not even brought up in a conversation. Right now he’s hungry, he’s going to go eat, he’s rooting against the Packers so don’t be made at him, he’s a Minnesota guy. I have to root for the Packers because they beat the Eagles. But Jordan keeps working, shows up every day the same way. ‘How are we handling the screens today? What do you want us to do here?’ I will give him some things offensively that we want to run against certain teams because of what we see defensively. He absorbs it, he takes it in, he makes the calls in the huddles on the dead balls, and he makes the call coming out of the time outs. He’s just a leader, and he is getting better.”

On the team's defensive effort:
“I thought we challenged post entries pretty well. We gave up a couple perimeter shots where we didn’t fight through a screen or we went the wrong way on a screen. But that is the coach in you coming out. You would like for a team not to have any field goals, but that’s not going to happen. Overall though, I thought we did some nice things. It’s not like they shot a poor percentage or anything, I just thought we made them work for their shots and every defensive team tries to not give people good looks. Michigan State wasn’t giving us great looks and we weren’t giving them very good looks, it’s just that we happened to make more shots.”

On committing seven turnovers in the second half:
“The other team might turn up the heat and it gets a little bit tougher, and they gambled. Physically if you gamble and maybe create some contact and it wasn’t a turnover, but I don’t think that was the case with a couple of those. A couple decisions on passes that got away from us, Jordan just lifted his foot up on that walk that he had, but they were all good calls. It is above our average, I understand that. But, Michigan State was very physical out there, and I can live with that.”

Wisconsin Players

Senior F Jon Leuer
On going 5-1 after losing at MSU:
“I think it’s about playing for 40 minutes. At Michigan State we played 37-38 minutes. It’s kind of at a point for us where we just need to play a good 40 minutes. The past couple of games we’ve been able to do that.”

On Wisconsin’s defense:
“We know for us to be successful it starts on defense. There are going to be nights when shots aren’t going down and offensively it’s going to be tough, but we always control how hard we work on defense. We’ve been doing a pretty good job at that. We still try to get better everyday with practice and film. That’s how we start practice, with defensive possessions and preparing against what they’re going to do offensively because we know it’s that important for us.”

On him knowing what MSU is going through right now:
“I think a lot of players can relate to that in their four years in college. The Big Ten is a tough league. If you’re not hitting on all cylinders you can take a few losses in a row and then it becomes all mental. It grows from there, a snowball effect. It gets tough but they have talented guys and are well coached and they’re going to be fine.”

Junior G Jordan Taylor
On the amount of Wisconsin’s shots that were contested:
“Well, we took 39. I’d probably say 15 or 20, if I had to guess. I don’t really know. I don’t really pay attention. For the most part, if you’re confident in your shot, it’s a good shot. We all work on our games and we all practice taking shots. We know we’re going to have hands in our face at times. We just try to be focused and confident in the shot we’re taking.”

On his growing confidence in his game: 
“They’re a pretty good defensive team. We all knew it was going to be a tough game and we were going to have to work them on offense. I guess when the shot clock gets down, it makes it easy when you have guys like Keaton (Nankivil) and Jon (Leuer) – and Tim (Jarmusz), and Josh (Gasser) were making shots today too – who can spread out the defense and try to make a play. I have confidence in my teammates, and I think they have confidence in me. It might not look like the greatest shot if you’re forced into taking it with the shot clock down, but you just have to have confidence that it’s going to go in.”

Senior F Keaton Nankivil
On going 5-1 after losing at MSU:
“I think a big key for us has been finding our identity and playing consistently how we want to play. I think in the games we’ve had since then, for the most part, we’ve been playing the way we want to play and the way we play best.”

On what he means by “playing how we play best”:
“It’s when we play with composure. When Jordan (Taylor) has the ball at the end of the shot clock, we have a confidence about us that something good still will happen even if there’s only 10 seconds left in the shot clock, whether it’s creating an open shot or making a tough shot. I think that since the Michigan State loss we’ve taken it upon ourselves to kind of create an identity, as far as we know what we can do best and we know what doesn’t work as well for us. Hopefully more often than not, we’re leaning towards the stuff that works better for us.”

On what the team does after a good homestand:
“We do what we always do. We keep chugging away at the season. We look at the next team and approach it the same way we have in the four years I’ve been here. Just keep going with what works.”


Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
Opening Statement:
“I haven’t seen a barrage of shots made like that since I’ve been in the league. We went in saying we have to be more coachable and play better defense. Until (Keith) Appling went out, I thought we were playing a little better, but Jordan Taylor was unbelievable today. That’s one of the great performances I’ve seen. He made nine shots and three 3s, and I thought every one of them was a tough shot. I know he’s really improved his game, but that was another level. He just dominated the game. There were contested shots that they made, there were falling down shots that they made, there were acrobatic shots. And of course the free throws, they don’t miss, but we knew that. They made some shots and that’s about the best thing I can say. Our defense wasn’t great but it just seemed like every guy took his turn. That was one of the better shooting performances out of a team that I’ve seen and they deserved to win.”

On his team's effort:
“Honest to God, the guys did everything I asked them to do. They were coachable in the huddles. We made some mistakes, but their shots were bouncing in. The Badger gods, hopefully they’re with the Packers today like they were with Wisconsin, because those shots kept going in. I thought our effort was 10 times what it was at Iowa, which means Wisconsin’s awfully good. Jordan Taylor, I think he played like one of the best guards in the country, not just the Big Ten today. His strength, his demeanor, I was very, very impressed.”

On Jordan Taylor’s candidacy for Big Ten Player of the Year:
“I think with (Jon) Leuer here, being the senior, maybe you don’t even hear as much about him on his own team. I don’t get to see him all the time, but if he wasn’t, today’s performance does it. We had our best defender, Appling, on him, and he did okay. But the types of shots, the way he played under control, he would be a guy I would talk about. And if he wasn’t, he should be. He should be in the conversation, because as good as Leuer is, and I like Leuer, when they say Taylor’s the straw the stirs the drink, he is the straw that stirs the drink. He definitely has made them a better team. I told him after the game, I think he’s improved as much as anyone I’ve seen. Strength really helped, and then he hit shots early and late.”

On making adjustments:
“My options are limited on what I can do. We’re going to find a way to win some games. I just really think you need to give Wisconsin the credit on their shooting today. If they shoot like that, they’ll win the National Championship. I really mean that, I thought they were that impressive shooting the ball. Everybody that shot it, it went in. (Tim) Jarmusz hit one early, (Keaton) Nankivil hit one that hit the front of the rim and then I think the Cheesehead gods put it in. If they keep doing that, they’re going to go a long way. They’ve got good depth, a guard who is playing as well as anyone that I’ve seen in the country. Some teams have played well against us, and none better than Wisconsin today.”

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