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Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Marquette


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Dec. 7, 2013

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Wisconsin vs. Marquette
Dec. 7, 2013
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan

On if Josh Gasser’s leadership rubs off on the rest of the team:
“Absolutely. The guys saw what he went through last year and you can’t tell me that there is a guy in that locker room that didn’t take notice of the hours and the discipline and all the work that Josh put in. He never missed anything, he was always around, always encouraging the guys last year through the spring, through the summer. He was able to get some minutes up in Canada. I thought they managed his minutes. So we have some other guys out there that have a lot of grit, but you have to start somewhere, and that is where it starts.”

On the importance of getting loose balls:
“They are huge. Several of those we turned into points. And you know what that does to you as a player. What it does to the crowd, it is nice being at home. We haven’t been here in a while. So I give them a lot of credit for making some plays that weren’t there, and they made them.”

On if the rivalry game sparked Sam Dekker’s performance today:
“I hope not. I hope I have guys who get up and get ready to play for everybody that we play. The next 40 minutes. Now our next 40 minutes is Wednesday night, so if you have players that rely on that, then you are not doing a very good job of teaching and coaching. Your staff isn’t, you aren’t.”

On Evan Anderson and Zach Bohannon’s contributions in the first half:
“I thought Evan and Zach did a great job of not letting it (the lead) slip away. We were not in a hole those last three or four minutes. We were hanging tough. Bronson (Koenig) finally hit a shot. Yesterday I think he was 10-for-10 from the floor in practice. We knew he could shoot it and I think his confidence, Nigel (Hayes) is getting there. He did a pretty good job of attacking, defensively he is trying to do the right thing.”

On Traevon Jackson’s stat-stuffing performance today:
“He did a pretty good job of making sure we got into position to get good looks. We didn’t always knock them down. I thought his court awareness against pressure, I thought he did a pretty good with that, a better job than maybe he did in a couple other games.”

On what word he would use to describe Sam Dekker:
“Brats. Have you ever had Sheboygan brats? They are really good. Well Sam brings a bigger-than-average guy that can stretch defenses and he can attack the rim. Normally he is a very good passer. But yeah, he is a big who can do multiple tasks and defensively he is trying to get better.”

On what allowed Sam Dekker to get in a groove today offensively:
“Well sometimes it is what an opponent is doing, sometimes it is opportunities. You can’t over-analyze a game. That is why averages are averages, they are taken over a long period of time. So what Sam is trying to do is, he is trying to be a guy who gets the scouting report, mentally, physically, this is what I got to do, this is what I can do, these are the opportunities my teammates created for me. So it is the same for every game, at least we are hoping it is.”

On the importance of a 10-0 start to the season:
“Well, I really have never talked about streaks of any kind. Even when we were getting our butts handed to use a few years ago with X number of conference games where we came up short. I am going to approach practice on Monday, it is never mentioned, I never mention a number to the team. I am very thankful that I had a chance to coach a couple undefeated teams, only because it gave me experience working with the players. So it is early yet. Streaks, it taught me how to deal with streaks.”


Marquette Head Coach Buzz Williams

Opening Statement:
“Congratulations to Coach Ryan for winning his 300th game at Virginia and his 301st game today. I have great respect and admiration for who he is as a person and what he’s meant to our state and specifically this institution.

On Todd Mayo’s suspension and how it affected the game: 
“Yeah, he’s practiced all week. Violation of team rules and it was my decision to suspend him internally for the game. It had no affect on the game. We got beat.”

On Wisconsin’s toughness:
“I’ve always thought that Coach Ryan’s teams were tough. They were definitely the toughest team today. I think anytime there are certain years that you can probably throw it out. But you can look at any rivalry and it’s always going to be a possession game. Is it maybe, stylistically how we play or how they play? That stuff kind of balances itself out. And I think it always comes down to loose balls and first to the floor and 50-50 balls and offensive rebounds, offensive put-backs, and-ones. They get an offensive rebound, they score and you foul them. And those are the things that I would say that any coach would say. Not the coach at Marquette. Those are the things I’ve been saying all week because I think it always will shake out to, ‘How tough are you?’”

On how his phrase, “You have to have the rights to take shots,” applies to today’s game:
“Thanks for doing research before you ask a question. I respect that. What I’ve tried to say, and maybe I haven’t said it in the right way, is, ‘You have to earn the right to make shots.’ I think we shot 49 percent in the second half and I wouldn’t necessarily say that if you look at Wisconsin’s roster and you look at our roster and say we’re going to play ‘H-O-R-S-E,’ I don’t think anybody in Vegas is betting on us. But I thought that we did do some good things in regards to put ourselves in a position to make shots. I don’t think that in a 64-possession game—which is probably what in the six games we’ve played since I’ve been here, that’s what it is—it’s not going to be a high possession game, it’s not as slow as everybody wants to make out that it is. The reason that it’s so in-between is because every possession is so monumental. So I don’t think that it came down to, ‘Did we make enough baskets?’ If you shoot 49 percent on the road at a place where they’ve lost seven games in 13 years, that ought to be good enough. So that wasn’t why we got beat.”

On what he liked from Jamil Wilson and Sam Dekker leading each team:
“I thought Jamil played good down the stretch. It was a three-point game at half. And at the 17:59 mark I called timeout and Chris Otule had missed a seven-inch left-hand hook, got his rebound and traveled. Jamil missed a layup that was converted into a 3. And Derrick Wilson missed a floater. So in that sequence right there, if you remove those two minutes, the rest of the way I think that we outscored them by one. So I don’t know that you can say that it was scoring, as I mentioned before. From a talent perspective, I think Sam Dekker is really, really good—play him a lot of different ways, can guard multiple guys, plays extremely hard, understands how to play fundamentally. I think he’s great.”

On what he thought about Marquette’s ball movement leading to scoring opportunities:
“I thought it was great. The lowest turnover rate we’ve had thus far this year except at Arizona State. We only had four turnovers at Arizona State. But obviously it was a much faster game. You can probably do some math in your story. If you study Wisconsin’s opponents—their assists versus Wisconsin versus their average versus everyone else—it’s going to be much lower against Wisconsin because of how they play defensively. I’m not being critical of that at all, but it’s hard to break their shell. You can mash it down a little bit, flatten it out a little bit, but they’re going to let you turn the ball around the 3-point line as much as you want. When it starts coming downhill, you’re flattening the shell out, but that’s why it ends up being a lot of floaters, a lot of pull-up jumpers, because they’re saying, ‘You’re going to shoot a contested, would-be 2.’ And you can shoot all the 3s you want. But you’re not going to come in here and force help and then drop it off for an assist. And the only way you can do that with a team that plays like that. How many assists did Virginia have? I know they didn’t score a lot, but how many did they have? We had seven on our 25 (baskets), so whatever that number is. What I’m saying is, the only way you can break the shell is if there’s baseline rotation. But they’re playing three and a half feet off of you when you’re on the wing, saying, ‘You’re not going that way.’ So you do have to have quick ball reversal to have a chance to bust the shell.”

On how encouraging Jamil Wilson’s performance down the stretch was:
“I like that. I just think that great players bust the door. Right? Aaron Rodgers—he’s busting the door. Brett Favre—he’s busting the door. He’s not waiting on someone to open it. It’s your door. Or make it your door. Put your name on it. That’s what great players do. I am encouraged, but collectively we need to have more of an emotion towards, that’s our door. And we have to open it. And that’s why they’re 94-7 in November and December. They’re not beating themselves. You have to beat them. The last two years, what was the difference? You could say it was our will. You could say it was their will. It wasn’t tactical.”

On if is concerns him that Jake Thomas and Derrick Wilson only had three points collectively after performing well out west:
“It’s not good, is it? Jake shot one ball. I would say that they said he could shoot. Derrick, they said couldn’t shoot by how they guarded him and he made one basket. That’s not good. So we were 1-of-6 between our starting one and two.”

On what’s happened to Steve Taylor, Jr.’s minutes:
“He had surgery and he’s just struggling. They did a test on him earlier this week. I don’t know what you call it. But basically they test the strength of your quad, which is the muscle above where he had the surgery. He’s just wobbly. I think it’s affected his esteem because he knows he’s not 100 percent. He hasn’t practiced this week—just spent time in the training room and in the weight room. And this week being finals, hopefully he can double up on that around his tests and try to get him back where he’s healthy. We need him healthy and he hasn’t been healthy."

Traevon Jackson

On getting to loose balls being a critical factor:
“Yeah absolutely, when Ben (Brust) missed his dunk, it could’ve turned out bad. I think those are the types of plays, we were just talking about that on the side, about how that was a key type of play. The loose balls are huge. We really stressed that this week, and it was good to get the rebounds and loose balls.”

On having Josh Gasser back:
“He’s such a consistent guy. He’s one of the most consistent guys I’ve ever played with. He just brings the same effort and same consistency to every game. Today he had one of those huge rebounds, he was up against like three or four big guys and he grabbed it and he didn’t get a foul or anything, but I remember I was in the game thinking, ‘man he’s tough.’ It was good to have that, and we’re blessed to have him on our team.”

Josh Gasser

On the team’s toughness, physicality and success during this week’s wins:
“Yeah it’s very satisfying. It’s exactly what we needed to do. It’s something that kind of lagged during the first couple of games, but that’s understandable in some respects. Last year I just think we got beaten on the boards too much to see it even here was nice. We gave up a couple too many offensive rebounds at the end there that we’d love to clean up, but overall this week was great for us. We won some grind out games which is what we really need to do come Big Ten season.”

On improving at the line this year:
“Especially at the end of the games, you get into a one-and-one situation, that first shot’s big, it doesn’t even matter who’s up there. Tonight it was a plethora of guys and we were all confident in each other that we would be able to make it. It’s obviously a lot better than last year, the three-point percentage was not, but it feels good to get the free throws at least.”

Sam Dekker

On the team’s toughness, physicality and success during this week’s wins:
“Yeah, just branching off of what he said, you know we gave up 11 offensive rebounds again today. That’s not exactly where we want to be at, but I think we were much tougher today in comparison to last year against Marquette. I think we kind of dictated a lot of things. They played a good game, that’s a good team they’ve got there. You’ve got to credit them for making us work and giving us a good ball game.”

On having a 20-point game in such a huge rivalry:
“It’s gratifying, you know you grew up, especially me being from Sheboygan, the city is pretty split Marquette/Wisconsin wise and I was always cheering for Wisconsin in this game and now to get a chance to put on the jersey and play in it is a great blessing and something I’ll obviously never forget. To be able to have the chance to get a win tonight and also play well while doing that is very gratifying. We’ve got a lot of work to do, like I said, it was a great game out there and I’m happy we got the win. Being a Wisconsin kid this game means a lot to me.”

On whether this was the best game he has played at Wisconsin:
“I don’t really know if you can put a rank on that. I was pretty aggressive and pretty efficient tonight for my standards, but I can get better. I have a lot of opportunities that I gave up or passed up and Trae (Traevon Jackson), with eleven minutes left in the first half, came up to me and said, ‘how many shots have you taken today?’ and I said, ‘one’ and he said, ‘you’re too good for that, you’ve got to be more aggressive and go out and assert yourself.’ After he told me that, I kind of went on and did that, but I think there’s a lot I can work on. I don’t really think I had a complete game today, so there are a lot of places that I think I can improve.”

On having Josh Gasser back:
“It’s huge. I was talking to a guy the other night after the Virginia game, and there are just so many little things that people don’t see in the box score. I mentioned one play in particular where he fought over a few screens, the ball got batted around, he went and grabbed it and got fouled and turned to the bench, hit his chest and got us into it again. He can turn games around with so many little things like that and he’s a great leader for us. He just brings a toughness and grit to the whole bunch that rubs off on all of us and when he brings that day in and day out, everyday in practice, every game, he makes our team 10 times better just because he’s that leader that we can look for to get a big stop or a big play, just get the crowd into it or get our team into it physically and mentally.”

On whether this win was the most gratifying:
“I mean every win is very satisfying don’t get me wrong, but this one felt pretty good because of what they did to us last year and handled us pretty good and you know they had bragging rights for this whole year.”

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