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Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Green Bay


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Dec. 12, 2012

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Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Green Bay
Dec. 12, 2012
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan

On free throw shooting and the boost from Zak Showalter and Sam Dekker:
“It’s better than not making any free throws to number one. And to the one that had two names in it, it brought energy. They got loose balls, played hard, did a lot of the little things well. To me it’s no surprise with Zak Showalter. I know how he plays, that’s why we decided to bring him here, or ask him to come here. I’m glad he didn’t say no. He’s really given us a shot in the arm.”

On what Green Bay did well at the start of the game to hold a lead:
“So many of these games sometimes you’re taking a look at what the other team is going to give you, how are they going to handle this, how are they going to handle that. It was more we weren’t putting up numbers. If the numbers aren’t going up on one side of the scoreboard, and somebody gets to nine and you only have two, it’s like ‘whoa, that’s really a big lead.’ But you have to be smart enough as players, when you’re on the court it is still one possession at a time. They did some good things. They hit some shots, they got the ball where they wanted and we had to take that away from them. There’s a lot of learning that takes place in 40 minutes. There are a lot of teams that get better during the course of the game, or at least you hope you’re getting better, and I thought that is what our guys did. You can do so much with the scout team, and our scout team does a great job, but until you get the size and the speed and what the other team is trying to do, you’re still not 100 percent ready. I thought through the course of the game we got ready, and read what they were doing a little bit better.

“They’re going to be a factor in that league. They played well. They’ve had a tough road trip, but you know they get back home, they get the energy back, you know how these games are.”

On the 10-day break the Badgers have between games:
“It’s what they end up doing with it, and they have to take care of exams first. We’ll do some legs and lungs, just make sure we don’t lose our conditioning. Some guys will have the chance to get in here when they don’t have tests, or their tests are over on their own and work on some things. I talked about being a craftsman, you know people that take pride in their work. If you put up a wall and the studs don’t look right, well you have to take those studs out and redo the wall, I worked construction one summer. If you take pride in your work, and if you know you have shortcomings, there are chances for guys to work on them, so we’ll see. I’ve never made any promises.”

On if he has found a combination of players that works best for the team:
“It depends on the game. It depends on what the other team has out on the floor. That group that was in there at the end, they were staying. I did have something worked out with the official on a timeout, thinking that they were going to foul Ryan (Evans) right away, and he misunderstood what I said, he said we had a failure to communicate. When it was a minute-something I was going to bring Ryan out, just to settle him down and give him a little rest defense, but I had to have him on the floor because he tracked down two or three of those rebounds in traffic and was huge. He was really putting his nose on the ball. So he gave us more good, even though he didn’t make a couple of those free throws, he did us more good overall. That combination at the end of tonight, for that time period, they were doing the best job so they stayed.

On what in particular allowed the Badgers to open up the offense by penetrating into the lane:
“We ran a couple specials that we had to remind some guys about. If you’re over-playing there is some back door stuff you can get, and sure enough, we got two of them. What does that do to the defense? I don’t know, because I only coach one team, but if you can get something like that, does that make the defense then say, ‘okay we can’t overplay this or that?’ I don’t know. It seemed like we were able to move the ball better after that, after loosening them up a bit.”

On if he liked what he saw during Wisconsin’s runs:
“Yeah, but they go in spurts. Same thing with other teams. We’ve talked about this over the years now that everybody wants to throw that stat out there, this run of 10, this run of six, this team has scored the last eight, 8-of-the-last-10, because I know it gives the media, people announcing the game, people reporting the game something to talk about. It’s just like nobody talked about points per possession when I got here, and now a lot of people talk about points per possession. You can take that 31-8, and I can say if we had 31 we played really well, but can you do that all the time? No, a lot of times you are playing teams where it’s toe-to-toe and there’s never more than a four-point differential before the other team scores, maybe five, the grinders.”

On Mike Bruesewitz and the status of his concussion:
“I knew as soon as I said grinder somebody’s going to ask about the grinder of all-time. He’s getting ready for finals. I told him to stay away, not for any particular, not like he’s being punished, but he’s getting ready for his exams. He’s missed some things this semester. This is Wisconsin. This isn’t a place where he can take a break academically, so hopefully he got a lot a good studying. I’m sure he wasn’t paying any attention to the game, fat chance.”

Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle

Opening Comments:

“Well, it’s been the story of our non-conference road swing that we’ve had. We’ve put together about 25 or 30 good minutes, and we just have that 10-minute lull. That second half, we came out, didn’t get on a couple loose balls and they ended up making a three. We didn’t talk on defense and they set some back screens and we didn’t communicate, we didn’t bump, we didn’t switch, and ended up giving up a couple lob dunks.

On offense they did a good job guarding us, and we couldn’t knock down shots. They went on a run. Overall, just one of those games where I thought we were competing well in the first half, I thought the game could go either way. I was very proud of our guys, how we played. We were hoping to go into halftime with the lead, but going in down four, we felt we were in good shape. We just had to come out fast in the second half. We talked about it at halftime, about making some plays. We just weren’t able to do it.

Once you dig yourself a hole against this Wisconsin team—a team coached by Bo Ryan—when you’re down 10 or 12 points, it’s hard. You have to chip away slowly, and those 10 points sometimes feel like they’re 20. When you play other teams you feel like you can get right back in it, but when you play them, they work the clock, they’re patient, they take their time. We just had way too many defensive breakdowns in the second half to make any kind of run. With that being said, going on the road to high-major school, 54 points just aren’t going to get it done either. That second half, we just have to find ways to lock up a little bit better defensively, and then find ways offensively to knock down some shots, and we just weren’t able to do that.”

On letting Wisconsin take the lead late in the first half:
“They definitely won that last segment (of the first half). We won the first three segments, the first three TV timeouts. That last segment they won, I think we had some breakdowns defensively. We got driven. That’s one thing that we’ve been working hard on, just closeouts and staying down, just keeping that ball in front better. We were leaving our feet. We got a little bit too anxious, and they made that good run to end the half. I know they got to the foul line and we didn’t throughout the game. That’s always key, is you’ve got to get to that foul line, and you’ve got to win that free throw battle. We weren’t able to do that. So definitely, they ended the half with a little bit of momentum, but still, overall, for 15 minutes of that first half, we played pretty well. We just needed to come out and do that again in the second half and it was going to be a good game, but they jumped on us and we started slow.”

On whether he takes more away from his team’s strong first half or rocky second half performance:
“With being on the road so much and having some tough losses, and just not putting it all together, I’ll take more from the first half. We need some positivity with that group right now. We had expectations, coming in, to win more games. We’ve had ups and downs, we’ve had flashes of what we can do, and they all know what we can do and I believe in what we can do. I’ll probably take more out of those first 20 minutes and just build on that with these home games coming up for us finally. We’re looking forward to getting back to Green Bay, playing in the Resch Center, and hopefully putting some good basketball together.”

On Alec Brown staying out of foul trouble:
“He was out of foul trouble until the last four minutes, so that was pretty good. (He) gets a moving screen every first half, it’s pretty amazing. But he stayed out of foul trouble, he was aggressive with his play. I thought he took some pretty good shots. He was aggressive in the post, trying to get to the foul line. I though Alec and (Keifer) Sykes both got to the rim and were aggressive, so that was good. We’ve got to keep building on that and keep doing that because we’ve got to get to that free throw line and make some free throws.”

Wisconsin Player Quotes

Ryan Evans

On consistency in shots and free-throws in the first half and it’s effect on the momentum of the game
I think that was pretty big, I think George (Marshall) came in and I think he hit a three two or three plays before that and that kind of sparked me. I think the crowd really got us going after I hit my free throws. They were really supportive.”

On Ryan’s confidence at the free-throw line and whether it’s been more extreme lately
“You could say that. I’m just taking it one step at a time. I think I increased my average to a 50% performance tonight. Really just the crowd and my teammates, they’ve really been helping pull me out of this slump that I’m in. Like I said, I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

On whether the break comes at a good time to focus on finals and have a break from games
“I think it really gives us a chance to regroup, and (regain) that focus that we had and get ready to push forward onto the Big Ten season and really just come together as a team. Like I said really refocus, because it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. We all know where we want to be, we all have a vision. This is a good break for us to (regain) our focus from the beginning of the year and to really get it done in the classroom.”

On whether he saw anything particular in the defense that sparked drives early in the second half
“Like I said, George really sparked me and Coach Ryan might have lit a little something under me, but really the crowd and my teammates are what got me going. If they can feed off of me and I can feed off of them and vice versa, that’s the way it needs to be.”

On Zak Showalter’s effect on the game tonight
“Zak was huge. How many assists did he have? (three) I think that’s wrong, they need to check the stats. Seriously, because I think he had five at least. He really came in and sparked us with his energy and grit and that’s really something that we’ve needed. Zak’s done that for us and this isn’t the first time that he’s done that. I really appreciate that he’s been doing that and we’re looking for him to keep on contributing down the line.”

Jared Berggren

On whether the team is where he wants it to be right now
“I mean, obviously there’s room for improvement. There’s always room for improvement. I don’t think we really expected to be 7-4 or wherever we are record-wise but, as far as our playing, I think like I said, there’s room for improvement but we’re doing some good things, but I don’t think we’re doing them at a consistent enough level. We started a little bit flat tonight for whatever reason. I don’t think it was our energy, I think we just weren’t executing. We got things going a little bit later in the first half and more in the second half but there are some things we need to fix. We’ve got two non-conference games left here and we’ll try and finish on a strong note there and then get things rolling going into Big Ten play.”

On whether the break comes at a good time to focus on finals and have a break from games
“Yeah, I think so. Like you said, we have finals coming up. Coach stressed that in the locker room after the game that we need to finish off on a strong note academically. For a lot of guys there are bumps and bruises and things like that that are going to get healed up, and get our bodies feeling right. We’ve just got to get refocused and try to learn from what we’ve been doing wrong and just try to continue to improve.”

On how long it took to get the first lead
“Yeah, I think we’re still making some of the same mistakes over and over which is a little bit concerning. I think we need to start making some more forward progress. It was concerning that we didn’t get the lead until late, but I knew we were going to turn things around it was just a matter of time before we got a little bit of a groove offensively. I think we did a good job defensively. Holding them to 54 points was pretty decent. Some of the same things that hurt us were turnovers or not cleaning up the glass on the defensive end, things that have hurt us all year and things that we need to improve on in order to get better. “

Sam Dekker

On the key on starting the half differently than they started the first half
We stressed on those four minutes in between media time outs and we always want to go out and have as good as a four minutes as we possibly can. That’s what (Jared) Berggren said before the half, that we needed to win these four minutes and just hit them right away. I think that’s what we did, we got some stuff going into the hoop, we got some good swings for some open shots. When you play with that energy and passion, good things are going to happen for you.”

On how long it took to get the first lead
“Yeah, going off of that we’ve just got to come out with more energy and today I felt like we had energy, but they were just hitting shots. We’ve got to go out there with the mindset that we want to hit shots right away. Today I don’t know if we didn’t get as many good looks in the first few minutes but we’ve got to go out their own our stuff and execute and get good shots up but we have to actually get shots up first. I think we were a little too stagnant to start. We’ve just got to get someone to light that spark under us and propel us through the game.”




 

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