Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State


ON WISCONSIN
ON WISCONSIN

ON WISCONSIN

Feb. 12, 2011

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Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan
On Jordan Taylor’s performance getting the team back in the game:
“I’d like to be able to explain that, but it’s hard, even for me and I see him every day. Good decision after good decision. Not because he pulled up on some of the shots, but he read whether or not he was open, whether there was separation on the ones he scored, and then the ones that he assisted on. Some really good decisions – to drive along the baseline and find Mike Bruesewitz in the corner. Of course Mike Bruesewitz is a hard guy to miss when he’s open. And Mike just starred it down and knocked that one down. And Ohio State was answering for a while.

We chipped into the lead, but again we got the separation, played with the lead, and finished it off. Jordan Taylor, what he did there, if people don’t take that and frame it, for a one game performance. He’s a pretty good player all through the season, but what he did right there I don’t know if there are too many players in the country that have ever done. Not just this year, but at any time, against the No. 1 team in the country. And they earned the No. 1, it’s not early in the season, Ohio State worked their way into that spot and they’re a very good team.”

On the team’s reactions coming back from a large deficit:
“I check eyes. I’m an eye guy with players. I watch players when they come to practice, when they come over from timeouts, in huddles. They were a little disappointed. You did not hear me say once about our trip this week. But to do what they did, to have those kind of legs and lungs, to get back from that lead that Ohio State had, and then get the lead ourselves. I don’t know what else you can say about these guys and how tough they are. Rattled, no, they just didn’t seem that way. The crowd obviously helped us get back. I don’t know if you want to be down 15 on the road to this team. Our fans just willed us on. The guys made some big plays.”

On what he saw in the eyes on Bruesewitz and Gasser:
“Bruesewitz, I can’t see his eyes all the time. To have those guys knock those shots down. Those guys are pretty good shooters, they maybe haven’t shown that in a season. A freshman and a sophomore, they’re developing, but they picked a good time to knock them down. They’re opportunistic, and they’re solid individuals who work hard. Especially after Josh made the biggest play of the game at Iowa diving for that loose ball. For him to come and do what he did today, that’s a real positive sign for our team. That’s a freshman proving he’s getting better.”

On Bruesewitz:
“Mike’s a mixer. A guy that sticks his nose in there, you have to put a body on him. He’ll get his hand on the ball, find his way to making something happen. He really cares and sometimes he goes 110 miles an hour. He’s always into something.“

On the game plan and the heavy amount of 3-pointers:
“Our gameplan was to get layups. You always start inside and work out. They were hard to get. When you see Ohio State on film, and then in person, wow. Physically, because of the age of some of there guys, and then Sullinger, not because of the age but physically older, he’s strong, good balance, good hands. We wanted to get stuff inside. If the perimeter shot was open, let’s face it, you have to make them.”

On the team’s response to Ohio State’s second-half lead:
“They had a couple shots go halfway down the basket and come out. A couple of in and outs, then we were able to score so the momentum goes in our favor. We had to do some things, that, if you could do them all the time, you would never have to worry about being on the wrong side of the score column. We know that that was forty minutes, and we happened to get the best of that forty minutes. Jordan Taylor was as good as it gets, and he was the one that spearheaded it.”

On how tough it is to go undefeated:
“Conference play, plus neutral tournaments, night games followed by the next day at noon, injuries. Teams get hot, team’s get cold. It’s not like you play on Saturday and get a week to prepare for the next team. I tell football coaches, they’ve got it made, they get a whole week to prepare. We’re traveling all week. College basketball, to go undefeated, just think about all those factors. It is hard, for all those reasons.”

On Jordan Taylor’s quiet first half:
“I don’t think they did anything differently, they just played good defense. They took away some of his read and react situations that we like to put him into.  And, what he needed was a bit of help. Jordan needed someone else to get an angle to draw help. We needed help from another perimeter guy. I thought in the second half, the way with Jon (Leuer), Keaton (Nankivil), and Mike (Bruesewitz) hitting a couple, how are you going to play him coming off the ball screen? What Jordan did, in the second half, was he read every opportunity, almost flawlessly.

On Jordan Taylor:
“I’ve always liked his character, from the first time he visited this campus. If you just look at his eyes. He came on a visit and tried to impress me. A lot of young men aren’t doing that these days. Jordan wanted us. And we liked what he did. When you do what he did in high school, you know you’ve got something.”

On beating No. 1 Ohio State in basketball and football in the same year:
“It’s Madison, Wisconsin. It’s been said a lot of times, about what this campus is all about and what this school is all about. In our sport, to be 20-something and zero, that means you have to win November, December, January, into February. I kinda like ours, because it just happened. I loved football’s, because I was there for the game. It’s just good for the school. What they’re doing, plus hockey, volleyball, track, wrestling, everybody. Women’s basketball, contending for the Big Ten championship. I’m all for it. I can’t tell you what it meant to get the head job here after being here as an assistant. The people, what it represents, it’s all good.”

Senior F Jon Leuer
On Jordan Taylor’s play down the stretch:
“It made all the difference in the world. He came down and hit those back-to-back 3s and got us right back into it. From there, you could just see that we had some momentum. Guys were running the floor, he found Mike (Bruesewitz) running the floor that one time. You could feel the energy in the building and the crowd, we just fed off that. It was unbelievable what he was able to do in such a short period of time when we were battling adversity.”

On Mike Bruesewitz’s play:
“Yeah it is huge when Mike steps up and gives us production like he did today. It opens things up for everybody. It opens up lanes for Jordan to drive and opens up post plays for the big guys. He stepped up and hit some huge threes down the stretch. When he does that, it builds our team’s confidence and we can really get rolling.”

On the post-game celebration:
“Definitely, it had a lot of resemblances to the Duke game when the fans stormed the court. It was a great time to be out there celebrating with them. You can only be out there for so long, because there are so many people trying to get closer and closer, it is suffocating almost. It is fun to celebrate with them, but once you can’t breathe your like, ‘Alright I have to get out of here.’”

On Josh Gasser’s work on the offensive boards:
“He makes those kind of plays all the time that you might not see in the box score. He is just a kid that is hard-nosed and will stick his face on the ball like Coach Ryan says. He makes those plays consistently, and those are winning plays. He is a great all-around player and that is what makes him so good.”

On the defensive strategy against Jared Sullinger:
“That was our game plan to kind of limit his touches, because when he gets it down there, he is pretty much unstoppable. He was able to show a little bit of that when he got the ball, there is not a whole lot you can do, he either gets fouled or he scores. It is hard to score if you don’t have the ball and, that is what we were trying to do with him. Obviously he is a great player and he was still able to be effective.”

On what he thought about Jordan Taylor not being named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award:
“I thought that he should have definitely been on that. When I heard about that I almost thought it was a joke. He is the best point guard in the Big Ten and maybe the best point guard in the nation. He deserves all the recognition he gets.”

On what this game meant for the team:
“We are right where we want to be right now, I said that before the game. I said if we lost this game we would be taking steps back. This was a huge win for us to keep moving forward. We are not done yet, though, we feel like we still have a lot of work left to do. We are just trying to get better every day so we can be playing our best basketball down the stretch. I think we are on our way to doing that.”

Junior G Jordan Taylor
On the team’s second half comeback:
“I think we were a little tentative on offense, kind of standing still. Then Ryan (Evans) stepped into a tough jump shot and that was a big shot, he got the run going. I think that aggressive play just turned on a switch for the whole team and it just snowballed from there. Guys were getting great stops, great defensive plays on defense, rebounding, but I think that Ryan’s shot was a huge shot in the run.”

On what Coach Ryan said to the team when they were trailing by 15:
“When we were down I don’t think things really changed. We obviously knew we were down but coach just kept pushing on, trying to stay aggressive, stay positive, and stay tough. We just had to toughen up. They made a run and we knew we had a run in us. We just tried to stick with what we can do and eventually, we started getting stops and started making plays. Everybody made a big play, not one person didn’t.”

On the atmosphere after the game:
“After the game it was an unbelievable feeling. We were at the football game when they beat Ohio State and a few of us got to go down on the field. Just to be in another court-rushing game like that, similar to Duke last year, it was unbelievable. It was something we will remember forever.”

On if the team did anything different to start the second-half run:
“I think we were just running better offense as a team. We got a little stagnant in the first half and everybody was standing still. We just got bodies moving a little bit and were coming off ball-screens a little quicker. But, I think he (Aaron Craft) is one of the best defenders, if not the best defender, in the Big Ten. He plays his role better than anybody in the Big Ten and probably in the country. Jon (Leuer) and Keaton (Nankivil) did a great job of screening and separating. It made it difficult for them to react, especially their big guys, and I was able to get free for a couple shots.”  

On the team’s attitude during the second-half:
“It all goes back to guys staying aggressive, staying confident and trusting in each other. (William) Buford was making some tough shots and Ryan and Mike(Bruesewitz) came in there and chased him pretty hard off those screens to make those shots even more difficult. We got a few bounces that way, and Jon was a beast on the boards as always, so were Mike and Keaton. Just staying aggressive and having trust in one another, and eventually things started to go our way a little bit. The shots that Buford was making started to rim out a little bit. Staying confident in one another is a big key for us.”

On if he is motivated by the lack of recognition he has received:
“Honestly I have no idea. I don’t know what the (Bob) Cousy thing is, I didn’t know until the day after anyway. The Twitter thing, you would probably have to ask Brett Valentyn about that, that is more his thing. I don’t really pay much attention to that stuff. It is cool, but I am just happy to have the win. I am going to have a good time with my teammates, get something to eat, and then have a good time.”

Sophomore F Mike Bruesewitz
On the confidence he felt when taking big shots down the stretch:
“Nothing new I guess, just getting in and getting some work done, coming in early before practice and stuff like that. Also, guys being confident in me. Jordan said he would come set a ball-screen for me a couple possessions earlier and I kind of messed up. But he came right back to me and had confidence that I would knock down a shot. Guys had confidence in me and I think that was a big thing. Other guys just believing that I could knock it down, so I felt like I could.”

On the last 3-pointer that he made to close out the game:
“The play was to set a high ball-screen, and I separated and shot-faked. I was thinking about kicking it to Jon, because Jon was open and then they jumped to him. I was just kind of like, ‘Oh I guess I am going to shoot this and knock this down.’ That is kind of how it went.”

Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta
On what led to the loss:

“You have to give Wisconsin a ton of credit, they got rolling there, they were banging shots deep and they were going in. We got that lead and had some great looks, I thought, but it just kind of went in and out on us. It flipped, we started missing shots and they started making shots.”

On what UW did to get better scoring:
“They went exclusively to ball-screen actions their second half. In the first half they were trying to run them off screens and I thought we did a pretty good job of guarding the screens and having some awareness. First four minutes we took a heck of a hit and we were down, but I think we finished off the first half pretty well, but he got them rolling and challenged with some tough shots. Bruesewitz, that was the guy we were saying of the five let him be the guy that beats us and he did, he hit the two.”

On UW’s 3-pointers:
“We saw that happen last Sunday against Michigan State, where I think they ended up 11-for-17. You’ve got some size that’s shooting them. I don’t know what exactly we could have done a whole lot different. We tried everything we had, in switching rotations and switching matchups, and taking guys out of the help position and rotating them and they were going in.”

On the biggest disappointment:
“Losing. I think that you come on the road, you shoot 54 percent, you shoot 88 percent from the free throw line, you out-rebound your opponents, you only have seven turnovers, you feel pretty good.  As we said, they had to play for that stretch damn near perfect to get us and they did. They deserve the credit for that.”

On the team’s first loss:
“We talked about that. I think that the biggest challenge is that we get back, start preparing for Michigan State and away we go. The goal of this basketball team as we set out was not to go undefeated. I think we’ll see our character in how we recover when we come back into practice tomorrow.”

“We never talked about being 24-0, we just talked about trying to play better basketball. It’s just one of those things, like I told the guys we’ve got to pick ourselves up and get going. I really think they’ll do that.”

On any OSU weaknesses he noticed:
“I thought we played probably 36 minutes of really good basketball. I think that any time you’ve got a team hit 24 of 49 shots; we’ve struggled a little bit against teams that shoot half their shots or 3s. When you’ve got as many guys out there that can shoot them, it is difficult. There’s not question about it. “

ON WISCONSIN
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