Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Samford


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Wisconsin vs. Samford
Dec. 29, 2012
Kohl Center -- Madison, Wis.

UW Head Coach Bo Ryan 

On having Mike Bruesewitz back in the starting lineup:
“Well, it just goes to show how important he is to this team. With the energy that he brings and when he’s feeling better -- I don’t know if he’s 100 percent yet -- but, at least in practice the past two days I saw some real good signs. [Sam Dekker] understands that Mike has paid his dues. Sam is still going to do a great job coming in off the bench and knows that the team loves the fact that Mike is out there. (Mike) brings so much energy and his teammates are comfortable with him from a standpoint that they know he’s going to play hard all the time and we didn’t have that in some games. I think when Mike gets in there and mixes things up I think he affects things and his teammates. It’s good to have him back.” 

On strong bench play, especially from Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker:
“I don’t know how many of those wide open looks [Frank] is going to get against some other teams, but if he just gets one or two of them and he can knock them down -- if he can knock down one out of two that’s three points on two possessions -- that’s ok. He’s got to keep moving his feet defensively and keep trying to deny the ball in the post. I think he’s hard on himself at times and you have to get past that. You’ve got to live in the present, this is what I’m going to do today, especially now over break. Some of these guys have been coming in other than when we’re just practicing and working on parts of their game. It’s very hard to do during the school year. Wisconsin is a very good challenge -- which is the way it should be -- academically. Our guys aren’t hiding in any classes or anything. They’re working extremely hard, so they don’t get a lot of time to work on their game other than at practice. Now is a time where some of the guys are starting to take advantage of an extra half hour here or an hour there. We’ll see once we start Big Ten (play) next week.” 

On feelings about team going into the Big Ten season:
“There were some things I saw today about the extra passes and making pretty good decisions, especially in that first half. When the score gets big, there’s a tendency sometimes to get a little sloppy, so we had six turnovers in the second half. But, we moved the ball well by making the extra pass. Any time you’re doing that and you can get that kind of ratio on assists-to-turnovers, that’s pretty good. I thought on the glass -- it was an opponent that’s smaller than us -- at least positioning was pretty good. Defensively, (we had) a couple breakdowns, but not very many in the first half. It’s something to build on. But, as we know with Penn State, it’s not a new coach this year, so they’re doing a lot of the same things. It’s pretty much that way through the league, that you’re going to be playing people who are pretty much doing the same things that they’ve been doing.

Frank Kaminsky

On his performance in today’s game:
“I think it is all about consistency. At times I get a little inconsistence and get down on myself. The last couple of games I have been trying to go out and just play, not worry about anything. That’s what I did today.”

On his good shooting performance today:
“It felt great shooting the ball. I had a couple good shooting days in practice, it really rolled into today too. I just work on my shot all the time, all basketball players do. It’s great when it goes in. It gives you the confidence to keep shooting it, so I kept shooting it and they kept falling.”

Ryan Evans

On team’s improvement throughout the season:
“I think we got a lot better defensively through this nonconference play. We’re playing as team a lot more, looking at 21 assists today. We’re really coming together as a team and this is the right time to do so, going into the Big Ten season.”

On the team’s biggest improvements since the start of the season:
The way we’re moving the ball, the way we’re playing with each other, and defensively. We’re really beginning to come on the same page defensively, with screen work, how to move off the ball. That’s so huge in this conference, because I’ve said it before, this is chess not checkers. In the Big Ten Conference there’s no room for errors, and you have to be on the same page as a team to be successful.”

On the performance of Mike Bruesewitz:
“He had an emphatic start today. To see him get that confidence going was great, it really made me feel good, the rest of the team, because he is someone we’re going to definitely need in the Big Ten Conference. He’s proven himself in the conference play so for him to get that spark going and for a guy like Frank (Kaminsky) to come along and have a 16-point performance, that’s great. That’s confidence that were going to all need rolling into this conference.”

On shooting 4-6 from the free throw line and if he is getting his shooting stroke back:
I can’t tell the future, but I definitely feel a lot more comfortable out there, confident. As I said, I relieved a lot of stress getting done with finals week, class and grad school, something that I really took in. I enjoy grad school but it was stressful, and I think that is going to help me clear my mind and move forward. I definitely felt more confident out there today.”

On if playing tough nonconference opponents helped prepare for conference play:
“Without a doubt. We didn’t have too much experience coming in to the season at the guard spots, and the teams that we’ve played, teams like Arkansas and Marquette, that pressure, that’s huge moving forward into the Big Ten season. Our guards are adapting and they have adapted to a certain extent, but they’ve still got a ways to go. Just with the improvement that they’ve shown so far, that’s great. The nonconference play has really helped prepare us for the Big Ten season.” 

Samford Head Coach Bennie Seltzer

Opening statement:
“I’m happy that our conference season starts now. Coming into tonight, I thought that Wisconsin was a very tough, well-coached basketball team. As a coach now, this is my seventh-straight year playing against a Coach Ryan team, and you know exactly what you’re going to get from those players. You know exactly what you’re going to get from his offense. There’s nothing fancy. Those kids just come out and do their job with what works and attitude, and I admire that about his teams. They play hard and they play smart. They’re tough and they do things the right way, so we’re going to see if we can take some of that from his teams and add that to our teams.

On Samford's Conner Miller and what he thought of his performance tonight:
“I thought Conner (Miller) played well. He shot the ball well. Conner’s been in the gym, he struggled a little bit probably a few games ago, but he’s been in the gym lately getting up shots, and this is a direct reflection of the work that he has put in. He has worked really hard. We depend on Conner a lot, he plays a lot of minutes and we ask him to do a lot of things for our basketball team, and without complaints, he tries to do everything we ask him to do. I’m happy that he played well tonight, shot the ball well, in front of his family tonight. It was a big deal for him. I’m glad he played well.”

On Mike Bruesewitz’s performance tonight:
“He’s a big part of their team. I watched a few games, when he had the concussion that wasn’t in, and they’re a different team without him. He brings some grit and some toughness to that front line. He’s the kid that plays the right way with his toughness, how hard he plays and his intensity. He brings a lot to that team, and it’s very evident when he is not there, exactly how much he brings to that team, because they miss him. They miss his toughness and how hard he plays. It was good to see him back for them. I’m sure they’re really excited that he’s back, and he made an immediate impact as soon as he stepped on the floor.”

On defending Wisconsin's offense:
“They shot the ball extremely well. When you look at Kaminsky, I think coming into it, he was 3-for-13 from 3-point range on the year, and he was 4-for-4 tonight. (Sam) Dekker went 3-for-4, so they really shot the ball well. When you bring it in, you have a 6-foot-10, 6-foot-11 (player) on the floor, and you replace them with another 6-foot-10, 6-foot-11 kid, it’s tough. They’re a big basketball team with (Mike) Bruesewitz and also with (Ryan) Evans. Those are big guys. We’re not a very big basketball team, so it’s very difficult, not just inside and out, but they have guys that really shoot the ball well. The guys that shot it well are 6-foot-7 and above, so it’s not like their little guys are stroking threes, I mean Kaminsky is almost a 7-footer, and he shot the ball better than anybody tonight. Their size is a factor. Their size is definitely a factor.”

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