UW Health Sports Medicine 

Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Eastern Kentucky


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Dec. 14, 2013

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Wisconsin vs. Eastern Kentucky
Dec. 14, 2013
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan

On when he knew this team was capable of a special season:
“Well, you know, when you say special group, they have done things well enough to be on the left hand side and there is still a lot of basketball to be played, but I’ve always thought every team we’ve ever had was special. Special being, okay, keep finding what they can do, what their weaknesses are, getting them to be better, getting them to believe in one another. So to me, special might take on a different meaning than it does to you. But what these guys have found is that they’ve found a way, I’m telling you, we’ve got this team on tape, on DVD, and they are a much better shooting team than this, so you have to give our guys credit for what they did defensively. Doesn’t keep me happy to sit there and look at 11 turnovers, but the way they force people into turnovers, where we really got some help was with what Bronson Koenig did with the ball. He got us out of a lot of jams, he found open people. I still don’t like the rule in the NCAA that if you hit a guy with the pass and he is fouled and goes to the free throw line, you should get an assist. Of those 17 points that Nigel (Hayes) got at the free throw line, how many of those were the result of a pass from Bronson? I didn’t mean to rant about the rules, but there aren’t too many people that can break down what they do defensively the way he (Bronson) did today.”

On what he liked about Nigel Hayes’ performance today:
“Yeah, you know it came together a little bit. He is a hard guy to miss if you penetrate. That’s a big frame. I would have liked to have had a target like that, playing point guard. Yeah, Nigel was active. Early, he made the one pass that drives coaches crazy, the shuffle pass that was intercepted and they got an easy basket. I thought after that he did a pretty good job of taking care of the ball, getting to the rim, getting fouled and getting to the line, yeah.“

On if he likes the two-week layoff between games going forward:
“It is what it is in life and there is the schedule. We’ve got finals, we are going to lift and shoot a little bit. There won’t be any contact, there won’t be any possessions until late in the week. Get some guys a chance to heal up. I always look at it, the way it is set up is perfect, because we can’t change it. So it’s perfect.”

On if his team gives him the urge to play up-tempo:
“We are going to take whatever the defense gives us. We broke their defense down several times for wide-open looks. You shoot that kind of percentage from three, you get to the free throw line that many times, you are going to score more points simply because the clock stops on the fouls and you get the extra point for the three, so it means you are going to have a higher point total. But the way we play hasn’t changed. They are still opportunistic. We just try to get the best look we can. I’m going to record me saying that and the next time I’m asked that question I’m going to push the button and it will say that we take what the defense gives us.”

On if his team took advantage of Eastern Kentucky’s aggressiveness on defense:
“Well, you have to, you have to. If you don’t counter that, watching them against N.C. State and VCU and other teams where we saw them create a lot of problems. If you don’t, than they just eat you up.”

Senior Ben Brust

On working against EKU’s strength in forcing turnovers…
“It was definitely something different than I’ve ever seen before. At times, they had guys facing me who you would think would be on offense but they were actually playing defense at times so it was interesting to try and get open at times. Our guards did a good job of finding gaps when they’re there because if you dribble into a tight space that ball will get ripped away from you.”

On discovering how well this team could play…
“I just think overall we have a lot of different parts that come together and fit nicely. We’ve got two young freshmen sitting up here who bring something different to the team. Like I said before we have freshmen, we have sophomores, we have juniors, we have seniors, so just a lot of different pieces that all kind of just come together. But we still have a lot of work to do.” 

On satisfaction of winning now that the team has a few weeks off…
“I think it’s good to get time off, to stay healthy and get your body right. If you have injuries, take care of them. But also you have to stay sharp. We have finals so we’ll take care of our school but we’ll be in the gym and keep the ball in our hands, stay fresh. And then when the time comes to prepare for the next team, we’ll get right after it like we have for these past 12 games.” 

Freshman Bronson Koenig

On working against EKU’s strength in forcing turnovers…
“I thought we did a pretty good job of taking care of the ball and since they were pressuring so much just getting by them and spreading the ball around to open players because they were helping off in the lane so much so we just kicked it to one guy on the opposite side.”

On being accepted by the upper classmen…
“It has helped a lot. A lot of them have taken me under their wing and given me a lot of tips on how to play under Coach Ryan and not to be afraid and be aggressive in the game and everything. So yeah it has helped a lot.”

Freshman Nigel Hayes

On getting open underneath…
“As far as me getting open, I give credit to coach Paris and his duck-in, repetitiveness. He always preaches to us to duck in, duck in and then with Bronson and Ben and everyone else driving around trying to beat the pressure I was able to slip in underneath the defense and if I caught it I got fouled or I would lay it up.” 

On satisfaction of winning now that the team has a few weeks off…
“It’s good to get time off, some of the guys are starting to get beat up a little bit. We need our rest, and time to study for finals since we have those coming up next week. Also I would say with the way we’ve been playing, being at 12-0 it was nice for Coach Ryan to give us a nice break to go home, a holiday break so that was good. “

On being accepted by the upper classmen on the team…
“The upperclassmen, especially Traevon, Ben and Sam, they’ve been talking to me a lot about things I could do about being more aggressive, also about how to play under Coach Ryan. As far as them accepting me, it’s a dream come true. I’ve always just wanted to play like Ben, ever since I saw him.”

Eastern Kentucky Head Coach Jeff Neubauer

Opening statement:

“First of all, I think Wisconsin showed why it’s the fourth-ranked team in the country here today. They’re incredibly efficient at the offensive end and their defense is as disciplined a defense as I’ve ever seen. We’ve taken our group into very hostile settings over the last several years. Last year we went to West Virginia and Illinois—really competed with both of those teams. This year we’ve been to VCU where we went to overtime and we went to NC State where it was a three-point game with about five minutes to go. Our team has really competed in this type of venue, but we’ve never run across a team like that. Coach Ryan is obviously incredibly well respected for a great reason. His ball-screen defense is so unique and it caused us to try some different things. And they weren’t very effective. At the offensive end, it felt like they made every shot.”

On what Wisconsin did to draw so many fouls:
“I think a big part of that is that Wisconsin understands how to play against pressure. So that’s part of who we are in the half court. We don’t press full court. But we were fourth in the country coming into this game in steals because we do apply great pressure. Wisconsin knows exactly how to attack that, as well as every other defense. They really understand the difference between, ‘Hey a guy is two feet off of you,’ or ‘A guy is up in your face.’ So really they drive the ball well.”

On this being the worst case scenario for EKU:
“Wisconsin is always one of the leaders in the country in valuing the ball. It’s also why no one wants to play Wisconsin, but I did schedule them. Last year and this year we’ve been very, very effective creating bad decisions for other teams. Today we weren’t able to do it.”

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