March 15, 2013
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and have an opening statement from coach.
BO RYAN: I'll just keep it short and sweet. We got to get these guys down and get them some rest for tomorrow. But just a great team effort. Guys picked each other up. They didn't get frustrated when the shots weren't going down in the first half and they took care of that in the second half. They continued their hustle on defense. So they're the ones you need to talk to.
THE MODERATOR: Take questions for the student athletes.
Q. For Traevon and Ryan, how do you guys do this? You're playing teams that have five star guys, NBA guys and yet you continue to win these games. How does this team do it without the quote unquote talent that some of the other teams have around this league?
TRAEVON JACKSON: I think that it's collective. When we play together as a team, we can beat anybody. And you say the five stars, yeah these guys are NBA guys, but we believe in ourselves as well. We got a really talented group of guys and when we come together, we can beat anybody.
RYAN EVANS: The old cliche, defense wins championships. We understand that here and anything we can do to slow those guys down and get our shots is what's going to move us forward.
Q. Ryan, in the second half you kept getting it dumped into the post and then you would back in a little bit then dump out to someone on the wing. That's been working so well. Was that part of the plan of attack coming out of the locker room after the first half?
RYAN EVANS: Yeah, Tre [Jackson] called a couple plays in the post for me and Jared [Berggren] and we wanted to go inside out and that's how we started off the half. I started off with the bucket and they had to collapse and we were hitting our 3 point shooters, Mike [Bruesewitz] and Ben.
Q. For Ben and Traevon. You guys have gone through stretches where you haven't shot the ball that well this year as a team, but how do you explain going from 17 in the first half to 60 percent in the second half?
BEN BRUST: When we got together at halftime Tre did a good job of figuring out what we needed to do in the second half. He called some good plays to get established down low. We got some early buckets down low and it opened up some stuff from the outside. We knew the ball was going to go down. We talked about it. We made shots before, so just hit them when the time came.
TRAEVON JACKSON: I think in the first half we had a little too many threes, like off the dribble, like contested threes. I told the guys like, hey, the threes will be there. They'll always be there. Let's get the ball in the post first and see what happens from there. We got to get our big men going. Because our offense runs through them. Defensively it runs through them too as well. So better looks through kickouts and collapsing and luckily it went in.
Q. For Traevon, Trey Burke had 19 points. It took him 22 shots to get it. What did you do to make life difficult for him today?
TRAEVON JACKSON: Some of his shots looked good, his floaters and runners. They just didn't go in. But just tried to just contest everything. Because he's that good of a player to where you really can't stop him, because he can make tough shots. You just got to hope that he misses and make him take tough shots every single time. But he still carried their team. He hit big shots. But it was collectively a team effort. Big men helped me out a lot on the screens.
Q. Being the Big Ten Tournament, for all three you guys, what's it been like playing in this conference, how good it is, how great is this conference?
RYAN EVANS: Best conference in America. I think it's been the best conference for the last three years. But this year it's even better. So it's been just amazing. Every night's been a memory in this conference. How many buzzer beaters have you guys seen? You got to come ready to play every day. You got to come focused, whether it's practice or the game. And that's going to get you the win at the end of the day and that's why we have been able to be consistent until this point.
BEN BRUST: If you just look even from the games here it's just a replication of what you have seen all year in the regular season. It's fun. Obviously, now it's you win or lose or you stay or you go home, so it's a little bit more added pressure, but that's why I think a lot of us chose to play here because you knew you were going to get a challenge every night. And that's fun for us.
TRAEVON JACKSON: It's just a lot of fun playing against the top guys around the country. You look forward to that. It's really a blessing to be able to play on these big stages and it are just feels good to win the right way and to win as a team. That's the best part about it. I think that throughout the conference you got talented players, but we got really, really good teams as well.
Q. For Traevon or any of you, how much do you guys believe in building momentum here and what does the buzzer beater last week do to not only secure the bye, but to build something forward into this tournament?
TRAEVON JACKSON: I don't think it really did anything for us, really, because I think that we got to bounce back regardless of what happens. This is the second season, we were looking forward to going right into the second season for us. It didn't hurt us. It definitely didn't hurt us. We take advantage of it and take that bye day off and get ready for the next couple games. But we just got to keep moving forward, taking one game at a time from here on out and good things will happen.
Q. For Ben and Ryan, Bo mentioned picking people up. I think Jared [Berggren] picked up his third foul, but when he went out you actually extended the lead. Is that an example of one of your better players goes out and it doesn't affect you guys, at least today?
BEN BRUST: Yeah, Frank [Kaminsky] did a great job coming in and producing, got a couple big shots. Couple at the end of the shot clock. And he was big for us. He knows that if his name's called he's got to contribute. He's done that at times for us. And when he contributes, when Jared [Berggren] is on the bench, it helps this team.
RYAN EVANS: We know Frank's a talented kid and he comes in tune every practice, so he understands what we're trying to accomplish defensively and also offensively. He has a great offensive game. So this was a great game for Frank and he really lifted us up. So it was a good feeling for all of us.
THE MODERATOR: Fellows, thank you very much. You may return to the locker room. Take questions for coach.
Q. On paper you're matched up against these teams that have four and five star kids that your roster lacks, but you've been able to sustain success over the years. How have you been able to do that in this league and nationally?
BO RYAN: When the guys come in, I take those little stars you lick, and I take and I put four or five stars on each locker. "Hey, you're a five star guy. You're a four star guy."
You know, it's what that star shines like when you're finished with your career. So I'm always looking for guys who are willing to come in, work hard, have talent, and it's about us, not individuals. But individuals can thrive. If you're good, you can get to do a lot of things.
So I don't want to sell my players short, I've got good players who are much better as a result of playing together.
Q. Simple question: What happened, what was the difference on offense in the second half compared to the first half?
BO RYAN: We had post feeds and I know that these guys aren't always used to breaking games down, but we had post feeds in the first half. We came away with almost nothing. 13 shots in the paint or whatever it was and we weren't finishing. Okay. Guys had a little better feel.
Michigan had 40 minutes under their belt on this court, in this setting, in this environment. Okay.
Let's just try again going through the post. It isn't like, all of a sudden, it was a revelation at halftime, "Oh, let's go inside." When the players see it work it's a revelation. Then, "Oh, yeah, look, this works." So maybe we can do some more of that tomorrow and the next game and whenever, wherever and whenever we play.
So, but when the ball went down a few times and we either drew a foul or got an easy bucket, it's like anything else. I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but my grandfather, when I fished with him, always took me to the hole where we caught fish before. So I don't think it changes. And I'm a city kid. I don't know much about fishing, but I do know and he knew that I'm a very impatient guy, and if in five minutes I hadn't caught a fish, I was leaving. And we would get one. Within five minutes.
Q. You mentioned about going into the post, but it seemed as though the team really got he energized when Mike hit those two threes back to back.
JOHN BEILEIN: You do get energized on defense. It's not like we played lights out defensively. Michigan really attacked harder and made some shots too. But, yeah, when you score, it does change your frame of mind. We're human. Anybody that's ever played the game or any kind of game where success doesn't get you going a little bit more, get your thought process a little more acute and intense and much deeper focus.
But when you are scoring, you can't forget about the other end, because you know the other team's going to be shooting it a little quicker, making a few more, running a few more specials, trying to take advantage of a guy being out of position. So I felt both teams offensively did some really good things in the second half. We just happened to do a few more.
Q. Jared [Berggren] was in foul trouble at the end, you stuck with Frank [Kaminsky]. Was that just a matter of sticking with what was working?
BO RYAN: Frank was loose. Frank was into it. He had that look in his eye. So keep going. I never want a guy with four, Jarrod's not used to playing with four, so Frank was doing just fine. We believe in our guys. Our guys believe in us. They believe in each other, which is even more important.
Q. Talk about the last minute of the first half. Really turned the tide of the game. You guys were down eight. Able to get it down to three at halftime and that kept you in that game. Kept you close.
BO RYAN: I was waiting for somebody to recognize that. How about seven of our points, right? Wasn't it, we had a three with yeah. You're probably thinking, why didn't I call that stuff in the other 19 minutes or 18 minutes.
They didn't get down on themselves. Did you see a look on our guys eyes like we can't score or we're frustrated or we're this or that? Our three seniors, it was mentioned at halftime, just mentioned, that they were 2 13. I'm not saying by who or whom, but we needed a little help from the seniors. And I think they did that.
We needed help from everybody, but sometimes when it is your last go around, Big Ten Tournament, NCAA Tournament, in the conference, whatever, are you squeezing yourself a little too tight? Are you just you know, just play. So I thought our guys did a much better job of that and it happened to be the younger guys who got that spark going.
Q. What's it like being a coach in this conference and especially this season the way the conference has played?
BO RYAN: Ryan [Evans] made a great point, there's great players on great teams and their systems, every school has a system that they rely on pretty much. Now, sometimes that system I know people will say, how many points did we score in the second half? Hey, coach, you don't score 51 in a half normally. Well, with the clock stopped, how many points did we score with the clock stopped?
So people can say whatever they say, but if you're playing with a little bit of a lead and you're getting fouled and there's more possessions, it's still points per possession that really end up telling the story.
Q. Looking ahead until tomorrow, how have you been able to dominate Indiana over the years since you've been at Wisconsin?
BO RYAN: I never, I don't know about anything that you're talking about. We just what would I know about that? I don't listen to anything, I don't go to anything, on my cell phone, you know, you're looking at a guy that just is looking at film with the sound down, I never listen. And I'm not saying that the announcers should be cut in pay because I don't listen, I just don't listen. When they do tapes for me, DVD's, there's no sound.
So when you say anything about records or anything like that, [Assistant Director of Athletic Communications] Patrick's [Herb] the guy that has numbers. I don't. I don't even think about those kind of things. Never have. And people that know me will tell you that. You know me.
THE MODERATOR: Coach. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach.
JOHN BEILEIN: I want to congratulate Wisconsin and Bo [Ryan] and his team. They really played a particularly great second half. They made -- their run of threes there in the second half was a huge part of this game.
Part of it is our defense, part of it is their great offense. But it was -- I was proud of our guys. We fought back and we had some chances to take the game back over and get back in front, we just couldn't do it.
So a lot of that has to do with as we develop as a team and a lot has to do with how talented Wisconsin, talented a team Wisconsin really is.
THE MODERATOR: Take questions for the student athletes.
Q. Tim, what did you do to your leg in the first half and how do you feel now? How did it maybe bother you did your during the game?
TIM HARDAWAY JR.: When I was in the back getting looked at in the locker room, they showed the replay. I went to go shoot the shot on [Mike] Bruesewitz and I think he fell. And then his foot got under me when I was landing and then twisted my left ankle. And I went back and got looked at.
I'm fine now. It was hurting for a little bit. When I came back out it was hurting. But it loosened up while I was playing on it and it got better while the game was going on.
Q. For Trey, how difficult is a game like that to play against Wisconsin where every possession, every basket seems hard to come by and then they started hitting them in the second half?
TREY BURKE: It's difficult. Especially when we shot the way we shot as a team in the first half. We had some really good looks, just didn't fall. Wisconsin did a really good job executing down low and kicking the ball out and they hit some big shots when they needed them.
Q. Tim, early in the second half Ryan Evans kept backing down you and Glenn [Robinson III] in the post. How effective was that move and was that maybe something you hadn't seen from Ryan Evans on film?
TIM HARDAWAY JR.: We seen it in film. He was just doing a great job of just taking what the defense was giving him. And he does a great job of, they all do a great job of just landing on two, pivoting through pressure, and finding ways to get to the basket. And that's what he did today. He did a great job of executing it and when we helped, he found his big men and they scored.
Q. For both players, with the week before the NCAA tournament now ending on this somewhat sour note, what is the main thing you guys think you have to work on and deal with this coming week?
TREY BURKE: Just continuing to grow and continuing to grow as a team on defense. I think that today we didn't have the best offensive game, I think we got to really, got really a lot of good looks. So it wasn't really our offense, it was really just playing team defense and sticking together when we needed each other. We fought back to the end.
And they had some rolls, some bounces on the rim that dropped for them. I think we just got to continue to get better. We got to refocus, regroup. We can't continue to make the same mistakes, because sooner or later we'll be done. So hopefully we'll learn from this loss and get better.
TIM HARDAWAY JR.: The shots weren't falling for us in the first half. We were taking wide open shots and they just did a great job of just staying in the game and just trying to stay in the game throughout the whole entire game. So Trey said it all.
Q. Trey, in the latter part of the first half, beginning of the second half, you had a hard time getting things to go. Was it anything Traevon Jackson was doing or Wisconsin defensively was doing to stop that?
TREY BURKE: No, not really. I got really good looks, good five foot to seven foot jump shots, and I was open on a lot of them and they just weren't falling today. That's just something that I have to play through. I have to continue to play through and try to get my teammates going.
And I think we did a good job of fighting back towards the end, but we didn't have the best shooting game today as a team and maybe next game those shots will fall.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much. You may return to the locker room. We'll take questions for coach.
Q. Sort of the same question that I just asked them for you. Heading into the tournament now, there are some things we have seen that have recurred, some of the defensive lapses. What is the main thing that you want to impress upon your team going forward?
JOHN BEILEIN: Just we really got to grow defensively. You look at the game, we couldn't make shots in the first half and we only scored 20 points. Then we put, get 40 in the first half or almost 40 in the second half. So that's not the issue.
It's just we have so many there's so many things you have to continue to get better at and all it takes, a team like this, it isolates you so much, it takes one breakdown here or there and they're scoring points. The second half they scored at will. So that will be the big thing.
We'll fix it the best we can. We have been trying all year long. There's a process that we all have to go through to get better at it and hopefully we can shore up enough to continue playing for a long time.
Q. Frank Kaminsky hit a shot as the shot clock expired with about two and a half minutes to go. Made it a two possession game. How much do you think that changes the tone of the next two possessions both on offense and defense?
JOHN BEILEIN: There was some really big moments in that game. That was one of them. Kaminsky, they were really out of luck and he got an angle to drive to the basket that I'll have to look at the video, but all of a sudden he was driving by us. And so that was a big play. But there were other big points.
I thought when we went zone [Traevon] Jackson hitting the long three, I think it was Jackson, [Mike] Bruesewitz stepping out and hitting threes. We had a couple 20 percent guys that were really shooting the ball well. There were many moments. But that one's going to be striking for a little bit.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, coach.