Dec. 10, 2012
• Watch Ryan's News Conference
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin men's basketball head coach Bo Ryan spoke about Wisconsin's upcoming in-state match-up with Green Bay on Wednesday, 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: Bo, has Mike (Bruesewitz) been cleared to return to practice?
Ryan: I haven't received anything. I don't know whether he's going to be evaluated here before practice, but I haven't gotten any word yet, even in this day and age of emails and texts.
Question: Considering the injuries that you guys have suffered in practice, are you guys practicing too hard? Do you consider pulling it back a little bit at all? Or is it just kind of fluke situations?
Ryan: I never heard that question. I mean, I don't even know what you're referring to. You can never go too hard. We just play.
But the type of practices or anything like that, they have absolutely nothing to do with it. Did you ever play? No, I mean, it's you come off of screens, you run into screens. You do it no, I don't know how to answer that because there's no there's only one way to do things.
Question: Bo, is there anything you can say to Ryan (Evans) to get his shooting going, or is this just a situation where you have to hope he works his way through it?
Ryan: Make shots. How many years have I told you you can't yell somebody into making shots. But you don't I mean, yelling isn't the only way to get a point across. He's been shown. He's been trying. It's in his head right now. No kidding.
I didn't give you a news flash there. It isn't because he doesn't care. It isn't because he's not working. It's all part of what people go through. I've mentioned it before, the shooting slumps, the batting slumps, the putting slumps different athletes, different sports, what people go through.
I don't know. I was never an elite type athlete. So I don't know. Maybe you guys were. Maybe you know how to get somebody out of it. I was a grunt in sports. Hustle guy. I never had to talk myself into hustling.
But sometimes if somebody's not doing certain things mechanically, you beat yourself up. You've got different messages that your brain is sending out I guess. I don't know. Never had a slump like that. Never went into a batting slump playing baseball. Tennis, never had a problem getting that second serve in. I don't know. I can't say the second serve wasn't smashed right back at me, but you get it in because it means you can still play.
In sports, you've got to hit a certain percentage of your free throws to get a chance to play, to have a chance to make it be something that in the game gives your team an advantage. If you get to the line, the saying is you've got to get paid. It doesn't mean paid monetarily, but from the work that you put in to get fouled, you get the return on your effort by making them.
So he's trying.
Question: After the game Saturday, Traevon Jackson said he was the reason why you guys struggled in the first half. I know there's a lot more that went into it, but do you feel he's putting too much pressure on himself to kind of go out and do what (Josh) Gasser was going to give you or what he saw last year from (Jordan) Taylor?
Ryan: It isn't because we're trying to tell him he has to play like a person in the past or somebody else. We don't do that. But guys will put that on themselves. They're competitors.
If he is, I can't say he shouldn't. I can't say one way or the other because it's going to be in his mind. But to pass from A to B, to get the ball from A to B, that's a performance thing. That's a that's your job within the game. And if that's not happening, then the team tends to struggle. So he's trying to not let the team struggle.
So you got to like a guy that will come to practice today and get right after it again.
Question: Bo, sometimes if a jump shooter is not shooting the ball well, they may pass up an open shot. In Ryan's case, he's not shooting free throws well. Maybe there's a concern that he doesn't attack as aggressively as he needs to. Is he still attacking aggressively and trying to get to the line even though he's not getting them in?
Ryan: Oh, yeah. I've seen some guys that won't, but, no, he still makes his post moves. No, he hasn't backed away from that because he knows he can't, being a senior and being a guy that the team is counting on.
Question: You mentioned kind of comparing to putting or batting. In baseball, I guess sometimes, they use that old phrase, hitting, good or bad, is contagious. To what extent do you believe that shooting, or free throw shooting, is contagious amongst the team?
Ryan: Well, it is. It starts a trend, and people like to be trendy if you're making them. I mentioned before, the year that we led the nation and almost set the record, the all time record, was the guys getting to the line was the guys that could shoot free throws really well and were very confident Leuer, Jordan, guys like that.
So if those are the guys getting to the line, Ryan's getting to the line. And once he starts making them, it's going to help us. You get a couple hits in baseball, sure, the ball looks a little bigger. You pick up the seams a little easier. Maybe you had your prescription changed on your eyeglasses, on your glasses or something.
That's the first time I knew I was struggling, when I couldn't pick up the curveball and realized, hey, you need glasses. Oh, really? And they helped.
Question: Bo, do you have a theory on when the slump started for Ryan Evans?
Ryan: A theory? It's not like I went back because if it starts mentally, it isn't so much physically in practice. We have contests. We have these mini games. We have sometimes there's eight on one team, seven on the other, and the team with eight gets to pick the guy that shoots twice for the other team, for those that aren't sleeping at the end of practice, if you're watching.
Ryan's never the guy picked I mean, Ryan's not the guy like, okay now, if we had the game today, and maybe we will play it today, I'd be curious, if Ryan was on that team with seven, if he'd be the guy picked. I don't know. I would hope that the guys would. Throw a little heat on them in there in practice. That's the way I think.
Of course, I'm a little different anyhow. I meant that in a good way, though.