Nov. 12, 2012
• Watch Ryan's News Conference
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin men's basketball head coach Bo Ryan spoke Wisconsin's upcoming trip to Gainesville, Fla., on Wednesday, to take on the No. 10-ranked Gators.
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: Bo, what kind of conversations did you have with Zak Showalter about possibly redshirting? And now that he's going to play, what can he bring to the team this year?
Ryan: The conversation was simply Zak came in, stopped by the office. Came in it, we sat down and started talking I was watching a game, looking at some clips, and he said, hey, Coach, I'm just here to tell you whatever you want me to do, I'll do it.
I said, okay. I want you to grow eight inches. I want things that you can possibly do. I said, all right. We'll see how it goes.
He says, hey, if you want to use me, I'm here. So looking at where we are defensively and some of the hustle plays that he's capable of making and he already did yesterday, he's more or less the fourth guard, and he's contributing. Contributed yesterday, and he'll contribute some more.
Question: Bo, you've talked about the difficulty sometimes of putting a schedule together and the work Greg Gard does. For this game at Florida, what makes it an attractive game for the fans, and also what do you hope to learn from it playing a team like this on the road, learn about your team?
Ryan: Well, we've been talking to Billy (Donovan) several times. A few years ago we thought we had him scheduled, and then his assistant said that Billy made the comment that like do I really want to go to Wisconsin? We were joking about it, and it was like, well, something else came up, and he had a chance to do this, and we had a chance to do that. So we've been talking through the assistants and finally got it set up for a home and home.
But we do that with a lot of other people, and it's just a matter of trying to get it to where -- if everybody in Division I did home and homes, as we all know, that doesn't work out. Number one, for an institution like ours, when you have X number of home games required for budget reasons, also you have fans who are a little bit, hey, we'd like to see you guys more at home. We like coming to the Kohl Center.
But the thing is still you have to find people who are willing to do it, and we've already been over a thousand times the difficulties which you mentioned, so we won't go into those. We put together what you can to play the best schedule that meets all the conditions that are required to be met.
Florida's our next one, and they're pretty good. We only have a half a film, though. That's all they played. Well, I haven't seen yesterday's yet because we have to get it off of Synergy.
Question: Bo, Sam Dekker obviously played with Team USA and Billy Donovan was his coach. How did that benefit him, and did you get any feedback from Sam how Billy coached him and what he learned from him?
Ryan: You know, I never really asked him. Sam was hurt most of the time. So he missed out on a lot of the practices, some of the games. So I really didn't get a chance to discuss that with him.
But these guys get a chance to see a lot of different coaches. When they go to some of these camps, they get different guys that give lectures. They have different stations.
And Sam, being a coach's son, he's a listener. He takes it all in. And I'm sure he learned something from Billy as well as anybody else. But I probably should ask him.
Question: Bo, what kind of challenges does Florida's press create? I think people tend to say --
Ryan: I think their media people are just like you guys -- inquisitive, smart.
Reporter: Okay. I walked into that one. I'll take it.
Ryan: Not the right answer?
Reporter: Not really what I was looking for.
Question: Are all four of those guys, can they all play point in your mind? Are they interchangeable, and will roles be more defined as the season goes on? Where are you at with that?
Ryan: When the shot clock gets down and we face more defensive pressure, then you start to see who can make plays and where the better decision-making opportunities arise and who makes them. So it's just like anything else. It's what we do. We teach. We coach. We work with guys. We see what they can and what they can't handle. If they're weak in an area, you try to improve them. We'll find out some things on Wednesday.
For me to say this guy's better at this, this guy's better with that group, they really haven't played that much. So it's hard to get a true read.