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Ryan discusses UW's trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16


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March 21, 2011

Ryan Press Conference Small Video Graphic  |  Transcript: Ryan, Leuer, Taylor

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin men's basketball head coach Bo Ryan met with the media Monday as part of UW Athletics' weekly news conference, discussing the Badgers' appearance in the 2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

Archived video of Ryan's media session is available, and a complete transcript of his remaks is available below:


QUESTION #1: Bo, Bret just said he wants to make Mike Bruesewitz into a tight end. Who would win that arm wrestling for that guy?

Bo Ryan:
"Well, Frank Martin already made an offer for him that would be tough to refuse. Of course, not for football at Kansas State, but, Mike's a great competitor. They come in all sizes and shapes, I guess. You know, Jordan's (Taylor) a pretty determined guy too. Between Jordan and Bruesewitz, we don't lack for guys who are afraid to stick their faces in. Those two will battle with anybody any time. And Jordan's steal there at the end, keeping the ball from (Curtis) Kelly, probably one of the best defensive plays of the year for us.

Josh (Gasser) isn't afraid to stick his nose. We have other guys too. Tim Jarmusz. Some guys are just a little more aggressive than others and play with a little bit of an edge. I don't want to rank them, but I think it's pretty obvious, when people watch us play, guys who are a little bit more physical than the others. Those kind of guys can usually find time on the court for me."

QUESTION #2: You were asked in Tucson about the "Wisconsin system" and people's perception of your style of play.

RYAN:
"Well, the guy didn't know what he was talking about, he didn't have an answer when I asked him, `well, what do you think it is?' So I had to give him what it was. He was asking a question about something he didn't know, using terminology that he didn't know. I knew what his question was."

QUESTION #3: But you get that question from time to time, and I don't know if I want to use the word irritated, but does it bother you . . .

RYAN:
"I've never been irritated. I laugh. Inside I just go, `we got them right where we want them.'"

QUESTION #4: Why do you react that way?

RYAN:
"I react that way because we're one of the most efficient teams in the country, year in, year out, and it's a lot of fun being that, because you give your teams a chance when they go out on the court. Now sometimes a ball doesn't go in, and you deal with that, but taking care of the ball and getting good shots and trying to be on the left-hand side is a system. I've always said that. I said, boy, I like that system.

And I laugh even harder when you talk about the swing offense. I mean, for 40, 50 years motion offense has been around. And people say, `oh, they run the motion.' And there are a lot of teams that lose a lot of games running motion. I can go through the list for you. So a terminology for an offense, a terminology for a system, at least she should know what you mean by a system. Trying to put guys into successful situations, defensively, offensively, and through repetition try to be as good at those things as you can.

So if people watch us practice, they see more passing and catching drills in our practices maybe than they do in others. I don't know. I don't go to other people's practices and take notes. It's what other people tell us. `We picked five schools out this year that we were going to watch practice before high school practice started.' A lot of high school coaches do that. And it always ends up, `coach, you do a lot of passing drills, passing and catching drills.' And it might not look like that at times.

And, of course, if you're a team that leads the nation in fewest number of turnovers, when you have more than your average, it tends to get noticed. But I'd rather be in that position so when the abnormal comes, that's okay, because we'll still come back the next one and try to do the same things. We're not changing. There hasn't been any overhaul."

QUESTION #5: You mentioned there seems to be a lot of guys who are willing to stick their nose in there to get a basket. It also seems like this team is playing with a lot of confidence right now across the board. How important is that?

RYAN:
"I think they came into the season with the idea that they didn't worry too much about the fact that people weren't talking about them very much, because I don't recruit guys that worry about what other people say. It's a lot of fun coaching those kind of guys.

They just wanted to be a good team. How corny is that? They just wanted to work hard, be a good team, and continue the tradition of getting to the tournament and competing for the Big Ten and all that kind of stuff. It might sound like one big cliché, but these guys were just bound and determined to do something, and they have. It's a good group of young men who have come together for a purpose. But not just coming together now, but they came together a while ago."

QUESTION #6: Coach, last year, Butler obviously made a pretty deep tournament run. Do you think that experience gives them a little bit of an edge in this game, or does your team have as much or enough experience to match theirs?

RYAN:
"Well, what happened last year definitely cannot hurt them. That's positive experience for them. If you're a player and you've been through that, you feel pretty good. But they're also led by a guy that understands that that was last year, this is this year, and I'm sure they aren't going to practice with the idea, `oh, well, we've been further than the teams we're playing.' No. They're not a good program because they think that way. And we're not a program that likes to compete at a high level because we think what happened last year, either good or bad, going into the next year.

When we get on that practice floor today, and Coach (Greg) Gard does that scouting report, it's all about right now. It's all about right now. And it won't ever change. So for them, there's a comfort zone maybe of their guys to some extent, but you've still got to do it right now in order to advance."

QUESTION #7: Coach, you alluded to Brad Stevens a little bit there. He's had so much success there, and he's 34 years old. Can you kind of talk about maybe your impressions of what that's like as a young coach to come in and take over and have so much success at such a young age?

RYAN:
"Well, I never had that opportunity until I got to Platteville because it seemed like that right time. Everybody is different. You know, you get opportunities, and when you get them, you take advantage of them. For him, Butler, just when I got to UW-M, Barry Collier was there, and then Thad (Matta), and then Todd Lickliter, and then Brad. You know, that's a great program that's got a lot of positives going for it in the sport of basketball. Butler is about basketball, and has been.

So what he's done has been tremendous, which is why you get to be in that position is you work hard, and he got an opportunity. Bright mind. They didn't go out and get some retread or whatever. How about a school that rewards a guy that is there, that knows the system, knows the players? That's pretty good stuff, I think. I think that's a smart administration, especially if you're winning. Now if you're not winning, to go to the outside is something, but, when you're picking a coach."

QUESTION #8: How do you think Butler has done it, I mean, what they have done, kind of gotten themselves onto the national stage to where they can get to Sweet 16s and no one thinks twice about it?

RYAN:
"Kind of like Gonzaga. An area for Butler, you look at all the players that they have access to, and I think they relish that part of being from a so-called mid-major conference, which, having coached at UW-M, we never thought of ourselves as mid anything. But it's all basketball, and that's the culture that's been developed there, long before these past couple seasons, and it's just gotten even better. Access to good players, basketball in the state of Indiana is pretty good, if you look at a fan base, so I think that contributes to it. You've got people who are committed."

QUESTION #9: Coach, you've obviously been to the Sweet 16 before, but most of the players on the roster on your team have not. Is there anything in this week's preparation that you tell them getting ready that is different about this level compared to last week or at any other time during the season?

RYAN:
"I think in New Orleans the temperature is going to be the same as it was in Tucson, so I'm not just going to warn them about staying away from the foods that are too spicy. But you know, what goes on between those lines on the court, it's not going to change. They have to stay focused on the task, and I'm sure they will. Last week was all basketball, with school not being in. But they lifted early this morning, went to class, now it's back to the routine we had before, but they can handle that. They're bright young men, so. There won't be anything different."

QUESTION #10: Will you talk to the team about moving to a bigger arena in the era of dome basketball?

RYAN:
"Just think of Hoosiers when they go in and measure. People talk about sight lines, this, that, the other. It's a game they love, bunch of guys in shorts and t-shirts running around. That's pretty good stuff. It won't change."

QUESTION #11: Bo, I know you're pretty busy coaching your own team, but what were your impressions of the first weekend of the tournament?

RYAN:
"Same thing year in, year out. There are teams that you watch play and know that they're better than the way they're playing. And you look at other teams and go, `man, they weren't like that all year.' We've got film on them or we played them, that why it's the greatest three weeks of competition in any sport, why it's still the greatest, because there's so much you can step back and reflect on, but know that whatever happens, you're never that bad or never that good as what's going to play out. And it's one and you're done.

So it's the same thing I would answer every year. It's what makes this game and this time of the year stuff that people can really get excited about. I mean, I get excited about October 15th, or even before that when we're running the hill. I get excited about the game, period, but I know fans have a lot of other options. People have an entertainment dollar that they choose to spend. Like Jordan (Taylor) said, there are a lot of channels on TV that you can turn to, a lot of different things you can read now.

It used to be you were brainwashed by newspapers because it was all the information you could get. So whatever that person was writing, you would swear that that's gospel. The great part about now is you can read 50 different things. You can go on the Internet and you can get thousands of different opinions, and then you can decide for yourself what you think is right. So that's what's really good about this time of the year is that you can listen to a lot of different people, where it used to be the one person would write about it, and you lived in a city, and that's your only option.

That's nothing against newspapers. I'm just saying that, or TV stations. Like when I was growing up, we could only get a couple, and whatever those people said, we swore it was the gospel. It was like, wait a minute, John Facenda, on channel three in Philly said that the Eagles dah, dah, dah. Well, who's going to argue with John Facenda? Anybody remember the name? Okay. That's the guy we watched in sports. And if anybody said anything against John Facenda, you were like an outcast. So how about all the stuff that goes around about every team and every this and every that? This is pretty good stuff. And I have a feeling it's going to get even, going to be even more out there.

I probably spent too much time on that one? Because, I mean, I got to give up the mic to Mark (Johnson), and all I can say is, what a great job. Can I cheerlead from a press conference? Good job. Congratulations. Team played very well, and it's happy to see."

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