Wisconsin's strength is in its balance

Wisconsin has numerous weapons that can hurt the opposition. Read on to see what Bo Ryan and his players have to say about that, Arizona, and more.

When Wisconsin takes the court on Saturday, it will be difficult to point to one player as being the guy that Arizona needs to shut down in order to win.

"Oh, you know, that's why I think we're a pretty good team," Josh Gasser said. "You don't really know where to start. We've got bigs who can score, we've got perimeter guys that can score, and we've always been known as a pretty good defensive team, so I think that's what's made us dangerous thus far and that's what makes us still playing today, which is always good.

"We're very versatile. We move the ball. We're unselfish, so I guess that's kind of the makeup of our team."

It may be the same case for Arizona, as the Wildcats have talent at every position. For Sam Dekker, however, his challenge will be containing Aaron Gordon.

"Well, he's a very good player," Dekker said. "Obviously, you've got to respect that. One of the top players in the nation at his position and you've got to realize that and you've got to respect it and play to his strengths and his weaknesses.

"You know, he's a great athlete, so you've got to be ready for a lot of things that he's going to throw at you, and just try to stay solid and take some things away from him. As a competitor, you want to play against the best players, so I take this as a challenge, and I'm excited for it."

Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan somewhat scoffed at a question that involved freshmen playing beyond their years, such as Aaron Gordon.

"Well, when you say freshmen do not play like freshmen, you mean the ones that are playing in college as freshmen,?" he said. "There are a lot of freshmen that do not play their freshman year. Anybody that earns the right to be on the floor, especially for teams that are in the NCAA tournament, obviously have to be physically and mentally ready.

"Those young men are, so sometimes it depends on where you are physically in your maturation process. Some guys are late bloomers. Some guys develop earlier physically. But guys like Nigel and Rondae physically have the tools and mentally have obviously taken on the task of understanding a system and how to play within a system."

Ryan may try to treat each player the same but, like Sean Miller does with T.J. McConnell, Ryan admits that he treats point guard Traveon Jackson a little differently.

"I've talked about this before that that's the position that I played, so everybody realizes that whoever plays point guard for any teams that I've ever coached, I might be a little demanding at times, but for the right reasons," Ryan said. "And with things that they can use later, decision making, timing, work ethic, all those things that can be used in a profession, decision making, how to lead, how to influence other people to do the things that you know need to get done.

"That's what I've always asked of people that have played that position. He's not the only one. We've got some guys like Josh, who has played the point, Bronson Koenig has played the point. Trae has accepted the challenge and has learned to realize that he is going to be held accountable. He learned that last year, and he's done a great job with that."


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