March 11, 2011
COACH DECHELLIS: Really, really proud of our guys. As we all know here, it wasn't a pretty basketball game, but you have to win them somehow, and we were able to win the thing tonight. I think we got off to such a great start offensively and then we just went south in a hurry and never could get anything back. Couldn't get any rhythm. Then Bubby (Talor Battle) made a big shot to kind of give us a little breathing room, and we held on, and really, really proud of our guys, proud of our seniors for the effort that they've given me for four years, and now we've got a chance.
Q. Talor, if you had to describe this game in a phrase or a word, what would you call it?
TALOR BATTLE: Before I even call it anything, I just want to tell everyone this: I told Jeff yesterday, we're getting massages after we played yesterday, and he goes, 'T, I'm going to have 40 tomorrow -- he says, you're going to have 30 tomorrow, you're going to have 45.' I said 'We're only going to score 35,' and we scored 36.
As the game went on, I was like, wow, I really called this, but it was an ugly, physical, Big Ten game. I guess if we keep it in the 30s, I remember we won the game a couple of years back 38 33. We're pretty good in the 30s, 2 and 0 now.
It was just a war, no one could hit a shot, no one. I'm looking at the stat sheet. First I thought it was just me, and I see no one else could really hit any. It was just an ugly game, but we fought and found a way to win, and that's what good teams do.
Q. Jeff, you guys jump out to an 18 2 lead, I believe. What happened after that that you guys only scored 18 points off that? Was it Wisconsin's defense or you guys not hitting shots?
JEFF BROOKS: I think it was both. Wisconsin has always been a great defensive team. They buckled down a little bit on the defensive end and also I think we tried to slow the game down. We started playing Wisconsin's pace and we didn't play our pace which is up tempo making them run and anything like that, and the other thing we weren't making shots.
Luckily we came out, we played defense, got rebounds, got the stops we needed, and we came out with a win.
Q. Talor, I know this probably hasn't had time to sink in, but do you think that's probably the biggest shot you've hit in your career?
TALOR BATTLE: You know, coach kept calling plays for me, so I had to eventually hit one, and to see one swish through was just the best feeling. Like I said, I haven't hit a shot the past two days, but we're winning so I couldn't care less. The funny thing is the two previous threes I shot, even though I was a little off balance, they felt so good coming off my hand, I actually thought they were in and then they were just short off the front rim.
I told Tim Frazier just find me, I'll knock one in. Tim did a great job of finding me and I just shot the ball with confidence not even thinking about how I was shooting the ball so poor. It all comes down to guys screening, coach having confidence, and me believing in myself to hit that shot.
Q. Jumping off that question I asked Jeff a minute ago, when you look at Jordan Taylor, kind of switching it a little bit, but your defensive style, what did you guys do to shut them down, especially Jordan Taylor? Seemed like you frustrated him quite a bit?
COACH DECHELLIS: Well, I think it was both ways. I think he did a good job on Talor, as well. I think those were two great guards in our league really battling each other, and Jordan Taylor is an outstanding first team all conference player and so is Bubby, and I think those two guys just went at each other all night. You know, if you would have told me we were only going to have 36 points after our start, I'd have probably said no way. But I think we didn't try to slow it down, we just tried to get Jeff the ball and Bubby the ball and really got out of rhythm and really had no flow.
But you know, it's just one of those things. Hopefully we'll score a couple more points tomorrow night. But I thought Jordan Taylor played -- he's tough, he's strong, he scored for them, and I thought Bubby is the same for us.
Q. In your mind are you an NCAA Tournament team yet?
COACH DECHELLIS: Yes. I mean, we've got -- I don't know what all the numbers are, but I think our strength of schedule is under 10 today, our RPI was 50. With this win it should really drop. We've got enough Top 50 wins, I think we deserve to be in the tournament.
COACH RYAN: The story of the guy, the coach who asked one of his players how his grades went, and the kid said, three Fs and a D, do you know the answer the coach came back with? He says, "I've got the answer for you. You spent way too much time on one class."
Defensively we couldn't have done things any worse than we did in our last game. So before you ask did we spend all our time on defense, no, but it might have looked like that. I can tell you one thing. When we're down 18 2 and for these guys to have a chance in the last minute, that's the only positive that I can get from this because I can't explain -- Purdue had how many shots in their game? 51 probably. Usually it's around 50.
Michigan State, for example, the game before us, we get 51 shots, so we're not holding the ball, we're not scoring. But our number of shot attempts, normally you would think you could put some numbers up. That didn't happen. Can't change it now. Have to get ready for -- and fortunately we have a next. A lot of times you don't.
But anyhow, that's my opening statement.
Q. What do you feel like you have to do between now and the start of the NCAA tournament to get back to playing the kind of basketball that you played when you were at your best?
JORDAN TAYLOR: You just get back in the gym and start working hard again. There's not much else to do. It's frustrating obviously, but you've just got to go back to work.
JON LEUER: Yeah, I mean, he said it. We're obviously disappointed with this performance, but we're not going to let it -- we're going to do everything we can to not let it happen again.
Q. Jordan, you guys were down by two, you got that look at the top of the key and then front rimmed it. Did you think that was going in when you shot it? And can you explain the missed shots for you and everybody?
JORDAN TAYLOR: Yeah, that one felt good, so it seemed like a good look. Didn't go down. Like I said, it's frustrating, and as far as the other ones, we forced a lot of shots today. Down two and took a shot on the wing and threw an air ball. Just didn't make very good decisions throughout the game on more than one occasion, so it kind of put us in the hole. I mean, not much else to say.
Q. Jordan, can you kind of walk us through that final play? It looked like maybe you were trying to draw contact. Was that what was going on the final three at the end of the game?
JORDAN TAYLOR: I mean, yeah, I guess I expected a little something different from them, but either way, same thing, just bad decisions, and unfortunately it's not going to win games for you. You just have to, like I said, go back in and get better at it for Thursday or Friday or whenever we play.
Q. Jon, what's your best explanation for what happened in the first 10 minutes of that game, 18 2?
JON LEUER: Well, you know, we just didn't have that energy we needed to start the game, and we just came out and were stagnant offensively, weren't moving and cutting hard. And defensively just gave them too many good looks and gave up some offensive rebounds, just all the things you don't want to do. But like I said, we just have to move on and not let it happen again.
Q. Jon, Jordan talked about some decisions that you guys would like to have back. I'm just curious, there was that one sequence where you missed a three from the left, Keaton got the ball to you and you hesitated. Was that an example of pressing when you launched that second three knowing you guys haven't been able to hit for most of the night?
JON LEUER: I don't think so. I saw Jordan's guy coming at me and I just ball faked and he went to Jordan, so I had confidence in myself to shoot it and I just missed it.
Q. Like most teams you're obviously more comfortable at home. What are some things you have to do to adjust when you're away from home, especially going into the NCAA tournament?
JORDAN TAYLOR: I mean, just, I guess, get tougher, get better, one or the other. There's not many options. We know we're not playing at the Kohl Center, so there's not many options. The rim is the same, the ball is the same wherever you go, and we're going to have fans everywhere we go just like at the Kohl Center from now on. Just got to improve from now on.
Q. Jordan and Jon, senior leaders, back to back tough losses. The Badgers usually don't lose back to back games. What do you have to do to help the team move on?
JON LEUER: Well, yeah, I mean, we're battling some adversity right now, but we have a group of guys that I think can band together, and we're going to continue to support one another and believe in our coaches and just have to band together, like I said. We have the guys that can get through this type of situation, but it's going to be just a matter of toughness and how hard we're willing to work.
JORDAN TAYLOR: Yeah, I mean, Jon pretty much put it as simply as you can. Coach always talks about when you dig yourself a hole, you've got to stop digging and find your way out of the hole. Fortunately, we get to play again, and we're having a 0 0 record, and hopefully we can have six more games to play. But first thing is we've just got to get better and stop digging.
Q. Jordan, I know the focus has been on offense obviously, but early in the game were there a couple possessions defensively where you guys got confused, had two guys going to one guy and left a couple open shooters?
JORDAN TAYLOR: Yeah, I mean, like I said, offense and defense all comes down to decisions. I know in the first half (Tim) Frazier penetrated and I got switched on (David) Jackson and helped probably when I shouldn't have, stayed too long. It's just little things like that throughout the game that are going to get you beat. It's disappointing, but we have nobody else to blame but ourselves.
Q. Can you give us an update on Mike Bruesewitz? Is he going to be OK? Do you know anything at this point?
COACH RYAN: I did not find anything out before we left, before we left the locker room. I don't know.
Q. Do you sense any -- you've had guys logging major, major minutes over a long season. Do you sense any tiredness or dead leggedness amongst some of your players?
COACH RYAN: No, we got 40 minutes out of our bench. How many minutes did they get out of their bench? Maybe 10? And they played last night, which might have been something early. It doesn't surprise me when a team has played the night before, the day before. They're used to the environment, they got into it. So I can see a couple possession lead. But minutes wise you just look right down the list. That's the TV timeouts, the stoppages of play. We had several stoppages of play.
You know, offensively we were 1-14, whatever, at Ohio State. Defensively they hit more threes and killed us with those. But it had nothing to do with fatigue. There were some things that we needed to do better.
But no, I thought we got some good breaks at good times. You sit down there, those are long timeouts. I think back to the players that used to play those minutes without the timeouts, and that's kind of amazing if you ask me.
But no, that's why a lot of other teams play guys the minutes that they do.
Q. Not necessarily related to the game, but you just had two Minnesota kids up there. Can you talk about what it means to the program to be able to thrive with kids from a bordering rival?
COACH RYAN: Say again?
Q. Just tell me what it means for your program to have kids from a border battle state help your team
COACH RYAN: Penn State is not on our border.
Q. No, I said Minnesota.
COACH RYAN: I didn't hear that.
Q. You've got Jordan, Jon, and Mike from Minnesota. What does it mean from your program to be able to build around kids that you take from a rival state? They're your leaders, you know.
COACH RYAN: I don't -- they're guys that wanted to be at Wisconsin, and they're playing at Wisconsin. I don't know what -- I don't read anything into anybody playing anywhere else or anybody playing for us. We just play. I don't understand the question.
Q. Can you talk about your strategy for -- you kind of moved all your starters out pretty early. Was that trying to get a different look out there to get things started?
COACH RYAN: Well, sometimes you do that so you don't do something else, and the something else isn't good. So sometimes you've got to give guys a chance to look from a different angle and go from there.