2005 Big Ten Men's Tournament Game 10 Quotes
March 13, 2005
2005 BIG TEN
WISCONSIN COACH/PLAYER QUOTES
Head Coach Bo Ryan:
On the Illini defense:
"I've coached teams that shot 20-some percent and still won games because we were drawing fouls. One of the ways you can shot 20-some percent is if guys are blocking shots and fouling out of the game. If you can get it down to the last few possessions, a lot of times against bigger teams, that's how you can beat them. Inside, we had a chance to finish on some shots and we didn't finish. We didn't see anything different in terms of how they played and what they were doing. I really liked some of the shots that we had, and, when you play from behind, it gets a little bit tougher. Mike Wilkinson gets four assists, and I don't think he had any turnovers. If they are going to run doubles at bigs, then bigs need to find open players, and Mike would have seven or eight assists if the guys would have hit the shots."
On the keys to advancing in the NCAA tournament:
"We have to do the same as what everyone else has to do: play solid defense, knock down some shots, take care of the ball. I thought we did an excellent job in this tournament, if you consider playing three days in a row against defensive teams that are not too bad. We end up averaging about seven turnovers a game. There isn't any difference in tournament play. If somebody gets hot, you see teams advancing because there are some players who get hot, or certain match-ups are better than others, and all the other stuff the heads talk about. We're just going to get ready to play the game they way it is supposed to be played."
On the play of
"You can't just take one game and say, `okay, this is what happened.' He's played well, he's been active. It's great to be a big man when you have those guards. When you're paying so much attention to the perimeter; there are a lot of bigs that would love to play with the guys on that perimeter, let me tell you. Because I know James's uncle, I'll say all good things about him. He's a good player, he's worked hard and he deserves everything he's getting. Tonight, he played extremely well and was very aggressive. He made a statement in the paint. He intimidated our guys a little bit."
On the play of
"They did a good job of making us work down there. Every time we caught it, we were away from the block. Once you caught it, they did a good job of running another big at you and making you kick it out. I had some shots, and I just did not knock them down. That is something I need to do, and I have been doing it most of the year."
On whether the grueling tournament schedule caused the poor shooting:
"You can not really use that for an excuse. We had a bunch of good looks and did not knock them down. If your legs are a little bit tired, you can still get the ball inside closer to the basket and finish those in there. We did not do that."
On the match-up against James Augustine:
"Early, I got some looks at the basket. Like Mike (Wilkinson) said, some of the things that we have been doing we did not do early. We did not finish opportunities early. That set the tone. We did not attack, and found ourselves settling for outside shots instead of aggressively attacking the basket and drawing fouls on guys."
On the team's play and inexperience up to this point:
"At this point of the season, the new guys have played so many games that you can not rely on excuses like that. Once we are out here, we are out here. We got to this game, and you have to play. You have to play how you played to get here. We have a lot of new guys, but they have a lot of experience now because we have played so many games."
On the team's mental state after the game:
"You know, we keep taking steps. We are going on for a chance to play further. We always can learn. That is why you cannot get down on yourself after a loss. You have to take the good with the bad. We will take a look at this and see what we can improve on. This will help us further down the road."
ILLINOIS COACH/PLAYER QUOTES
Head Coach Bruce Weber:
"We are real proud of our accomplishments. The Tournament was not one of our goals that we talked about before. Once we got here and had a chance to play in the
On his players' focus during the game:
"I don't think we lost our focus today by any means. We were playing pretty good basketball. It's hard to play three games in a row. It definitely makes a difference in your shooting. I thought we had a good start today - defended well, rebounded well. I think our movement was even better on the offensive end. It seemed like the whole tournament we could not get any runs. We maybe got two possession runs, four possession runs. Now, we had the chance if some one missed the lay-up or if we got a pass deflected, where we had a guy wide open or somebody miss a wide open three. We just couldn't get on a run like we have done during the season when we were able to put teams away. I was pleased today. They gave a very good effort overall. The big guys have been amazing."
On Dee Brown's performance:
"I do not think that he's had a big slump like this in a long time. Maybe if he gets back into the gym a little bit, it may cure a lot and give him some confidence. He had some problem with his teeth. He had a toothache before the
On coach Bo Ryan saying he is intimidating inside defensively:
"I think, first of all, Roger Powell did a great job on Mike Wilkinson starting off. I was just help side. Roger Powell did a great job being the primary defender on Mike Wilkinson. I think a lot of it goes to Roger playing great defense. That just makes my job look so much easier when they're throwing-up off balanced shots. I was able to swat them away. I think our whole team played great defense throughout the entire tournament, even today."
On his view of being No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament:
"I think it's great. We put ourselves into position. All we have to do is take advantage of it. You can't take anything for granted."
On if he was surprised about getting MOP:
"I was talking to Nick about what there was going to be to eat after the game. I heard my name over the loud speaker, and I went to get it. I was getting a hard time about having to give a speech in front of everybody. I was surprised with it."
On James Augustine getting the MOP:
"Our big men are one of our strengths. During the whole year, they showed it. They are definitely not our weakness. It felt good to see James get his confidence back and to see Roger get his confidence back as well."
On being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament:
"We have to be focused right now. We have Farleigh Dickinson coming up, and we have to concentrate on them. We have to take it one game at a time."
Roger Powell Jr.:
On playing close to home in the NCAA Tournament:
"It gives us a great advantage. Today was awesome seeing all the orange in the crowd. Our fan support is so strong. Even if we played far away, I'm sure they would all come. It will be easy on our fans' gas money."