Postgame Quotes: #20 Wisconsin vs. #13 Ohio State




Feb. 17, 2013

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Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan

On how his team bounced back from a tough loss to Minnesota:
“Well, the one thing we didn’t do was change our intensity on defense. Sometimes when you have a bad game, when the ball doesn’t go down or you’re not making shots, you let it affect other things. The key with our guys is they never took a step backwards defensively or on the glass as far as how aggressive they were going to play, knowing that there were going to be times where shots will be going down. A lot of people have said to me, ‘heaven help the team when you guys shoot a decent percentage’. It just so happened that it was today. The guys got good looks and they went down, but we didn’t change anything. I’d like to say we did.” 

On Traevon Jackson and Ryan Evans performing better today than they did against Minnesota:
“They were better. I think they can get better again. Never too high, never too low. I’ll find clips for tomorrow where I’ll encourage the guys to improve their play, improve their decision-making. There will be other plays that show why they made good decisions when they did. I’ll show a little of both. Those guys did their jobs. They worked hard. They worked hard against Minnesota—just offensively didn’t make real good decisions and didn’t hit shots.”  

On his team’s ball movement today:
“The defense was playing the way they were playing. You have to read and react to what the other team’s doing. They were overplaying, they were getting into us a little bit, so angled penetration (worked). Nobody’s going to let you get directly to the rim, but we attacked some angles and driving lines, forced some help, and that allowed us to kick to people. That’s a nice number of assists to have for the number of field goals we had.” 

On UW’s defense on Deshaun Thomas:
“We took the same approach (that they did in the first game against Ohio State). We didn’t change anything that we did on how we were going to play him. He still had a decent day from the floor because he’s that good. But we did make him work. Sometimes you’re more effective than other times. We could play him again, and no matter what happened in this one, for 40 minutes or more you’re still going to have to guard him. He’s good.” 

On whether he’s ever been in the situation that Thad Matta is in after the loss:
“We all have. They know his voice, they know what he needs, and they’ve also been ranked No. 13 because they’ve done a lot of things well. If this one gets away—like games have gotten away against us—you get ready for the next one with the idea that ‘if we do this a little better, if we do that a little better, this is what we can have’. But I found out a long time ago that the types of practices you have before games are overrated. When people say ‘oh man, we had a great practice, I knew we were going to play well and we did’, I learned  a long time ago, coaching in high school, never to say that because I thought we had some of our worst practices and played really well in the game and just the opposite. So as a young head coach in the 70s in high school, I learned never to say that.”   

On Ben Brust’s double-double:
“He likes to compete. He still feels in life that he has something to prove. I love those kinds of guys. Ohio State has several. He works hard, he has a great nose for the ball on rebounding, especially defensive rebounding. I know he had one put-back on an offensive rebound too.” 

On whether today’s game seemed like a role reversal of OSU’s 93-65 win in Columbus in 2011:
“Anytime a guy like (Jon) Diebler has a 19 percent shooting percentage against another team and gets one more chance, he wasn’t going to waste it. I thought they put a manager in who hit a 3-pointer. When that happens, I’ve seen it happen to other teams too. No one is immune from some of those. You just try to make them the exception and not the rule, needless to say.”

On whether he felt Sam Dekker was better defensively today:
“If I say (he was), and he watches your station, he’ll think ‘wow, Coach really likes my defense’ and he’ll stop working on defense. He did some good things. He showed that he’s listening and improving and still has some gaps to fill in.” 

On limiting Aaron Craft offensively today:
“I thought our team did a very good job. He’s still a good player, a tough competitor, and there isn’t a team in the country that wouldn’t want him out there.”


 Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta

On the quality of shots his players took during Wisconsin’s 18-0 run in the first half:
“Well, we had some point-blank layups that didn’t go in. It’s hard to get great shots against Wisconsin but I saw the panic more on the defensive end. We shut down defensively more so than the offensive end. The way we opened up the game defensively, we weren’t even challenging shots. We took the time out. Bewilderment.”

On why Ohio State has struggled as of late, especially on the defensive end:
“I don’t know. It’s funny because I felt like we had two great days of practice in Columbus. We were specific with what we were going to do. I knew we were in for a battle. This was a flip of two years ago at our place. I’m sitting over there like ‘my gosh, I’ve seen this before but on the other side of it.’ I don’t know, whatever I did didn’t work in terms of getting this team to compete at a level we needed to compete at to give ourselves a chance.”

On how Ohio State can put today’s loss behind them:
“This is a team you have played before, this is a team you just played two weeks ago and the familiarity that you have in terms of what they are trying to do and how they are trying to do it. We won’t forget this basketball game.”

On why he took out many of his starters with 10 minutes left to play:
“I was trying to find somebody that could make a layup or free throw.”

On how Wisconsin responded after struggling offensively against Minnesota:
“It’s a funny thing, just in terms of sometimes guys get it going, get in that groove and we didn’t present much resistance to them, especially early on in terms of challenging shots and guarding the basketball, simply guarding the ball.”

On how important defense is to his team’s success:
“The first timeout we took, I, with composure, lost it. I was saying ‘where is our defense? I don’t understand, I don’t know who is in your jerseys right now in terms of just being where your supposed to be and doing what you’re supposed to do.’ We have to get back to that. There is no if, and or but. You have seen the results if we are not going to play defense, we are not a good basketball team. If we are going to rely on trying to outscore people, that is not going to happen. We have to play defense. Every time we have played good basketball we have defended well.”


Wisconsin Players Jared Berggren, Ben Brust and Ryan Evans

Jared Berggren on if the team put together a good team win:
“Yeah, I think so. We shot the ball better. The defensive effort was pretty good. We did an okay job taking care of the ball. There were still probably a little bit too many (turnovers) there. Overall, it’s a pretty good performance. There are still some things we can improve on. Players are always going to look at whatever mistakes we did make. I know coach (Bo Ryan) probably mentioned that when he was talking, that there are still plenty of mistakes that we made and plenty of things we can improve on, but overall it was a good effort.”

Ben Brust on if the Big Ten is still unpredictable enough that they could come out on top of the Big Ten standings:
“Yeah. I think every game is going to be a challenge no matter who it is. Any team can beat any team. That’s for when we’re playing a team and that’s for when other teams are playing other teams. You’ve got to take care of business and what you can control and the rest will hopefully play out your way.”

Berggren on today being the last time he will play Ohio State in regular season since he is a senior and what the rivalry with Ohio State means to him:
“It’s been as good as any. We’ve had some pretty good battles with them. Last year they came in here and beat us and we went there and beat them. Kind of the reverse of what seems to happen a lot of times when two teams meet, but we’ve had some good battles with them and it’s been fun.”

Ryan Evans on Wisconsin’s rivalry with Ohio State:
“Ohio State has always been a great rivalry for us. We went back and forth over the years. Last year they got us here and we went and got them there. It’s always been fun going head-to-head with those guys and also Michigan State. We’ve got them one more time too.”

Evans on if he took out frustration from the loss at Minnesota with his dunk today:
“I was joking that I lost 10 pounds yesterday (from being ill), so that might have helped me get up, elevate a little bit. But I should also say that Henry Perez-Guerra was instrumental in my recovery. Being able to come back and play at a high level today, I can really thank him for that.”

Bruesewitz on if he Traevon Jackson’s play today surprised him after the way he played during the Minnesota game on Feb. 14:
“No definitely not. Me and Trae talk a lot about that stuff and he knew what he needed to do. We watched a lot of film of when we played at Ohio State, and he felt he kind of sped it up a little bit. He felt like (Aaron) Craft made him do some stuff he didn’t really want to like crossover in front of him. He made sure he took care of that and he handled it well. Guarding against Craft is not an easy task. His play today really helped us get out and push the lead out early. ”

Bruesewitz on the biggest difference between this season’s games vs. Ohio State:
“I think the biggest difference is we knocked down shots. Early on down there, we had some good looks but we didn’t quite knock them down. Here, Ben (Brust) knocked down a couple, I knocked down some, Ryan (Evans) got his feet set and got some down and we got a couple buckets in transition. That was the biggest thing. It was kind of a landslide effect, with the fact that once a couple people knocked down shots, it seems that everybody was. I don’t think it had to do with anything defensively differently. We just knocked down shots.”

Brust on if Wisconsin was looking forward to getting back on the court after the loss at Minnesota:
“Yeah, I think we did a good job approaching this one. Obviously there was some stuff in the last game that we definitely had to take time and learn from, but we did a good job of just learning from that quickly, just turning the page and getting ready for this one. Overall, it was just a good job of staying together and coming out here ready to play and taking care of business.”

Berggren on what Wisconsin did differently on offense today:
“A big part of it is just knocking down shots. We got a lot of the same looks, but everything seems better when the ball goes in. We did do a good job of making hard cuts and drawing help that way. That’s when we’re at our best. When we get people making hard cuts it draws attention towards the rim and then guys stepped out for some open 3-pointers. Some of them were tough shots we were getting too. A lot of it comes down to making shots, but just playing aggressive and making hard cuts was a big key too.”

Brust on his double-double and how he was able to get rebounds:
“I was just going to give credits to these guys because there are times when they clear out there guys and I make sure my guy is not going in for the boards first, and if they box out their guy and it kind of bounces around, I just try to get to it as soon as possible to secure it. They did a good job.”

Evans on his dunk:
“I was just surprised how the crowd reacted. I didn’t know that it was that grand of a dunk, but it feels good to bring that type of energy to people and just to see people being able to come to a game and have an experience like that.”

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