Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan On: Keaton Nankivil’s performance behind the arc tonight: “Wells he’s an opportunistic young man, his guy maybe helped a little bit or whatever the case but he found himself open from penetration, from kick outs from Jon Leuer or somebody in the post. He’s a guy who knows how to play on his feet and stare it down. He can extend defenses and he’s always been like that.”
On: the extreme 3-point shot difference between road and home: “We have shot it well on the road, at some different places. It could be a lot of things but the less you talk about the other things they are not a factor. 15 feet from the free throw line, 10 feet off the floor, it shouldn’t matter.”
On: what happen with Jordan Taylor’s technical foul: “I believe there was an erroneous number given to the scores table for the foul and they announced it as a foul on Jordan Taylor. Jordan said that foul was not on me, from what I asked Jordan and Jordan was hit with a technical. They realized that it had been reported incorrectly, but it would not be like my players to question a call, so by questioning the call he was T’d up.”
On: Josh Gasser’s defensive play tonight: “His positioning was 90 percent of the time pretty good. Twice he ended up not getting up on Talor Battle and he hit that one from about 30 and another time he helped off a little bit on a dribbler and that’s all Talor Battle needs is somebody to come off him just a little. He should have stayed with Battle, but other than that he stuck his nose in there, he was tough on defense, handled the screens well, got up and over them. When we switched on a couple things he did a good job on bigs. He might not be that tall but he will battle any of those bigs, which is why he is playing.”
On: The two forwards (Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil) hitting shots: “When anybody is hitting shots it stresses the defense, it puts them in a bad mood and maybe gets them thinking twice. When that happens, then you find something else, offenses are constantly trying to break people down in different ways. You’re not going to get the same thing all the time. The more hits you have offensively, setting good screens, spacing the court, offensive rebounds, there are a lot of things you can do in the offensive end. Make good passes like Jordan Taylor, seven assists no turnovers, and Josh Gasser made good passes. Those are the kind of things that go a long way and I thought we did them for the most part.”
Senior F Jon Leuer On Keaton Nankivil’s shooting: “He’s a rhythm shooter, and when he gets in a rhythm he’s as good as anybody. Look what he did tonight, 5-for-5 from 3-point. When he gets hot like that, and he got aggressive tonight too, so he was just catching and placing, putting pressure on the defense. If you want to shoot the three you fly it to him, make an extra pass. He was in a rhythm tonight, and we just got him the ball.”
On how Keaton’s shooting helps stretch the defense: “It helps, definitely, you can’t double off of him, when guys are posting up it opens up lanes for Josh (Gasser) and Jordan (Taylor) to penetrate, because you have to respect his ability to shoot it. To have a five-man like that who you can’t help off; a lot of teams predicate their defense on helping with the five-man. That just opens up a lot of things for us.”
On the differences in shooting percentages home and on the road: “Obviously we get a lot of reps here, in the offseason and in the season, so we’re definitely comfortable with these rims and these balls. You can’t use that as an excuse on the road. We haven’t shot very well on the road, and the law of statistics says there is going to be one game where we get hot on the road too. We have too many good shooters, too many good players for that to continue. We’ll see in the next game how we do, but I definitely think that we’re going to find a rhythm on the road as well.”
On the technical foul called on Jordan Taylor: “I obviously knew that I was the one that ran into him. I didn’t know if maybe after I passed the ball Jordan ran into him, or somebody else knocked him down. Otherwise I would have gone over to the ref and told him I was the one that went into him. I don’t really know what Jordan said, I think he just said the foul wasn’t on (him). The ref gave him a technical, and later he said that was the wrong thing to do. Refs are going to miss calls here and there, the key is just to keep our composure.
On the team’s home success: “I think our fans have a lot to do with that, making this a tough place to play. We’re comfortable playing here, we have a good routine, and everyone’s comfortable playing here. We have some of the best fans in the country, and with them behind us we don’t feel like we can lose.”
On responding to a loss: “Losing leaves a sour taste in your mouth. You just want to get rid of that as quickly as possible. The group of guys that we have, have done a great job of refocusing after a loss, picking up things that they didn’t do well, and correcting them. When we’re faced with some adversity after a loss, we just rally together and work off of one another. That’s the biggest thing, just staying together as a team, listening to the coaches, and we right the ship.”
Freshman G Josh Gasser On finding a rhythm on the road: “Yeah, we’re going to need to. There are some tough games coming up. We’ve got Michigan next, they’re really playing well right now, probably one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten. Knocking down shots against them will be key, especially because they’ve got a lot of guards that they rotate in. We can get some openings with our bigs, but we have to keep shooting well whether we’re home or away. Just have to find a rhythm if we can.”
On guarding Talor Battle: “Covering Battle, he can flat score it. Whether it’s taking it to the rim, or shooting it from deep, even well behind the line. He hit a couple in my face that I was just late getting a hand up. That’s what he can do; he’s dangerous out there. He’s tough to stop, he took quite a bit of shots to get his points, which is what we wanted him to do. At the same time we gave him a little too much at the end there, but it’s tough to shut him down.”
On running the offense when the bigs are scoring: “It makes the guards’ job a little easy. The way they can spread the court and knock down shots, is pretty rare for most teams. They extend the bigs out there and if they can keep doing that, they’ll be tough to beat. It makes it a lot more fun for everyone else, seeing not just the guards, but everyone make shots. They got in a rhythm there, and everyone just gets more comfortable in our offense, and it’s tough to guard.”
Penn State Head Coach Ed DeChellis On Keaton Nankivil's 3-pointers: "We gave him open shots and that's not really what you want to do with him since he's a very good perimeter shooter, maybe their best 3-point perimeter shooter. He's been in a little bit of slump lately. I don't know if he's shot really well lately. We just didn't get out and get into him like we talked about. We played really tentative at the start of the game. I'm not sure why. We didn't look like we had a lot of juice or energy but credit Wisconsin, they made shots. They just made baskets tonight."
On Talor Battle and the first half: "I thought they got into him. I thought they made him work. He scored a bit. He had a good second half and made some shots, loosened things up a little bit. We had a sideways first half. (Jeff) Brooks had two fouls and we didn't have enough offense. That was the situation in the first half. We didn't get any on our front line. They didn't rebound. They didn't score. I think our front line had two rebounds between, (Andrew) Jones, (David) Jackson and Brooks. I think they also had a basket or two. For us, those are three seniors and if they don't bring it, it puts a lot of pressure on some other guys, who quite frankly have to play off those three seniors. Defensively we didn't do a very good job first half. "
On defense against Jon Leuer and Nankivil: "Jon Leuer is so good around the basket. I mean the first basket he made against Brooks, he caught it and we know he's going to turn over his left shoulder and he's going to shoot his jump right hook, but you can't stop it. He's a very good post player. Nankivil, I don't think we did a very good job. He's a good player and a good shooter but we have to get up and get into him so he can't catch and shoot because that's what he does. But when both of those guys are scoring the way they are, that's very hard, especially when you have number 11 (Jordan Taylor) doing what he does. That's very good offense for them when they have those three guys scoring, especially those two forwards. They're a tough match."
On Wisconsin at the Kohl Center opposed to the road: "You watch them against Purdue the other day and Nankivil didn't make his shots. They didn't shoot the ball well from the 3 at all. I think they were 3 for 18 or so, if my memory serves me. That's the deal, they come in here and make a bunch of shots and look really good. They go 8 out of 13 from the 3. It reminds me of a couple weeks ago. I watched the tape when they played Michigan State here. They just made shot after shot after shot. I mean, they could have beaten the Lakers that night. Offensively they were just really really good."
On road games: "For us it seems that we've got somebody who takes turns screwing up. It's one guy this possession, another guy next possession, next thing you know, we have three or four possessions where defensively we messed up or offensively we didn't execute. I think that's a big part of it. We played well on the road we had a couple losses that were very close, but we did a good job. We just haven't played well on the road here in the past couple games."