Feb. 25, 2013
• Watch Bo Ryan Press Conference
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin men's basketball head coach Bo Ryan spoke about Wisconsin's upcoming Senior Day, among other things.
Archived video of the media session is available through the link above, and a complete transcript of Ryan's remarks can be found below.
Question: The WCHA referred to Brianna Decker as Brooklyn Decker, if it's any consolation.
Ryan: There is a Brooklyn, Wisconsin, isn't there?
Question: Yes, there is, just down the road. I wanted to ask you about Ryan Evans, nice story about him. He's obviously a straight up kid and knows what he wants to do. He's trying different things from the free-throw line. Is this something you suggested to him, Bo?
Bo: We wanted to have some fun yesterday. If you could have seen all the media people on the sideline when Ryan was shooting jumpers. I glanced over and said to the assistant, watch this. We glanced over. Everybody -- guys are whoa. Come on, now, be honest. You guys jumped all over it. No, he shot it pretty well that way.
Hal Greer had to learn how to shoot that way. He did it because he felt it was his best chance of making the shot. So Ryan's tried that method and feels that right now that's the best way to make the free throw, and it's not that unusual to have a different style. A lot of guys have different styles. So whatever works. As long as he believes it.
Question: On a little different topic, do you think it's time to start putting money in the budget for a team barber?
Ryan: What are you referring to, the coach or the players?
Question: Number 31.
Ryan: I thought Gary Close's haircut looked pretty good. You mean, for the players? You know, I'm a product of the 60s, when everybody expressed themselves. There were grooming issues then. Probably a lot tougher than now. The Beatles hit the scene and some other things with Shaft. I think that was maybe a little later, late '60s, early '70s. Different hairstyles with all different players, headbands.
The only way Frankie (Kaminsky) was allowed to wear the headband was because it was medically required to keep the sweat out of his eyes. So I don't know. They can -- they can express themselves that way, that's fine, as long as they're not taking their hands to their eyes. As long as they're not doing things to their hands that takes away from their concentration on the play. That's the only rule I've ever had.
Question: Back to free-throw shooting. I think Bob McAdoo also shot jumpers or tried to from the free-throw line. But you're a Philly guy basically. Is it true that Wilt Chamberlain at one point in his career would run and jump to the line?
Ryan: In high school. He would dunk his free throws, and then you weren't allowed to do that anymore. It was in high school. I don't think in college, but I know in high school he did. He was that athletic at his size. He used to do it a lot up in the Catskills of New York where he worked summers.
The only guy I know that could do that from our neighborhood was a guy named Emerson Baynard, and he could dunk from behind the free-throw line. When they asked me on the Big Ten Network about who's the greatest dunker I've ever seen, I said, you mean like now? I said Emerson Baynard. Of course, blank looks. Emerson Baynard could jump. We always said he could put two dimes and a nickel for a quarter on the top of the backboard. He could make change. He could jump.
Never went on to college, but his first year out of high school, he was MVP and rookie of the year in the same year in what is now the developmental league, or the CBA. It was called the Eastern Basketball League.
The coach of the Knicks told me at a basketball camp he was the greatest athlete he'd ever seen. Had some other issues, though.
Question: What stands out with these seniors to you?
Ryan: Well, they've answered the challenge that the other seniors have over the years as far as setting a good example, working hard, persevering. I mean, who's persevered more than this group? If you take a look at a combination of things -- Jared with the troubles with his shoulder, finally had it taken care of, definitely helped him. Mike, what he's been through. Ryan with some struggles that he's still working on. They're all working on things.
They'll never stop because they know, when they're 40, they're going to have issues they're going to have to work through. It's a great part about college athletics, team sports like this, the things you learn, the things you go through knowing, as I always tell them, you're going to be -- next 60, 70 years, you're going to be going through some of the same things. Maybe not the exact issues, but there's always light at the end of the tunnel. You keep, working, keep doing the right things, good things will happen.
Question: You talked some about the scout team last week, but what about specifically Dan Fahey and J.D. Wise, a couple of seniors on that team? What stands out to you about those guys as they get ready for the end?
Ryan: How they come every day. There's never a whine, never a complaint, never anything other than to the assistant coaches that have the particular scout on that team, it's like, okay, what would you like us to do today?
Hopefully, they're getting as much out of the experience as we are -- as we're receiving from their efforts that they're putting in. But those two young men have been doing it for a long time, and they've never changed.
And they're better basketball players, and they're better people as a result of their experience, I think. So it's a covey win-win.
Question: Bo, have you ever seen a more unpredictable year of college basketball, where it seems like anybody can go into any building and beat anybody?
Answer: You know, if you really think back and sit down and look, I'm sure there's been years like this, but let's face it, fans are only interested in now, the precious present. I'm sure fans -- when you talk about predictability, as coaches, we're always trying to do certain things. It's not unpredictable what we're trying to do, and players are trying to do certain things. So you can't say they're unpredictable.
Results are unpredictable. So to me, it would seem like it would be something that fans would relish. I would think this would have to be a great year for college basketball fans to see what's been going on.
Question: And are you getting more or less out of your roster than you thought you would at the start of the season?
Answer: Well, I never answer those kinds of questions about what I think before or after anything else because I never want to undersell a team, never want to over -- I never -- as you guys know, I've never oversold a team. I've had players that played for me at Platteville and said, coach, when you guys would do the scouting report, we thought we were going to lose by 30 points.
Every clip we show, the other person shooting from the other team, what do you think, they make or miss? They make. Coach, do you ever put in any misses that the guys shoot? Obviously, we're showing where guys shoot from, their strengths, their percentages, things like that. So we spare them the misses. We show them the makes.
So I wouldn't want to venture to label a team at all because they're still doing what they're doing. We'll help them as much as we can. So let them make the statement with their play.
Question: Bo, we got a chance to see Devin Harris on Saturday. I'm just wondering how you guys have kind of kept in touch, how your relationship has grown, kind of what you've seen how his game has grown being so long in the league now?
Answer: The Bucks asked me to not come back again to see any former players, jokingly, of course. Two good teams. The Hawks and the Bucks, that was a heck of a game. And seeing Devin just -- he hasn't changed. Just a delight to be around, and he loves the game of basketball. He's giving back to not only the Milwaukee area but to Madison here in some different ways.
And it is fun. Who would have thought that a coach would have a weekend free? I actually got a chance to see him play. Actually, he told me he was hurt when he heard I went to Leuer's game last year on another night we didn't have anything. He said, Coach, you haven't seen me play in nine years. I thought about that, and I said, yeah, you know, you're right. But it's his birthday on Wednesday, and we got a chance to get in and see him. It was a lot of fun.
And he played pretty well.