Monday press conference: Bo Ryan

Wisconsin men's basketball coach discussed upcoming game with Indiana

Audio file 1 (5:40)

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Coach, are you satisfied with the starting lineup? Are you going to keep it throughout or do you feel the need to maybe switch something up?

"No, I think if you change lineups a lot of times, that's something temporary. The other thing, message it sends is, is to one or two individuals, that you're responsible for us not maybe doing some things right now. So I've never done that. If there are other reasons, because of injuries or what have you, that you change the starting lineup, it's who plays. It's never who starts.

"So then if you start changing that, then after 34, 35 years of coaching, then what you were saying was a lie then for all those years. So I'm not going to go away from that. You play off a group and then minutes are determined by how the game is going, how guys are adjusting, how may fouls, you know, an injury during a game. So it's just something else where people are always looking for excuses."

Can you talk about what Alando has been for this team for the last several weeks, just handling the pressure that he's been having to deal with on the court and his leadership abilities off of it?

"And what pressure would that be?"

Just with the added attention that he's been getting on the floor.

"Okay. He's been getting a lot of attention before too. There aren't too many opportunities for a person to get to the rim. And most teams with their help and recover are going to do the same thing. He's pretty effective in the post for a guy his size and always has been, so he's still getting scoring opportunities in there. He gets attention from people the same way if they make a post feed to one of our other guys. Most teams have rotations that they use.

"It's just that Tucker seems like he gets more because he's in the paint more and he can, because of his post-up ability and his ability to cut when he's going strong, he can get the ball there because he's a tough match-up. So what he needs to do is keep working on his defense, on his rebounding, and, you know, just keep working on being a complete player. That's all we ever ask of guys during the game and throughout a season, just keep getting better at passing, finding open people.

"There have been people that have opened that he's working on trying to hit next time and reading defenses. He still has a lot of work to do in those areas and on the defensive end. He still has a lot of work to do, so I don't know what you mean by pressure or other responsibilities or whatever. He just needs to be a good player all the time, both ends of the floor, and play his role. And that won't change."

Bo, is there a difference between strength and power or girth, and do you have enough at this point to compete with the teams you compete with in the Big Ten? I mean, you look at Purdue and the team that's coming here on Wednesday.

"Both those teams have guys that are thick. And, you know, we've always talked about our guys being able to get strength and bulk without losing agility. Some guys are more devoted to the weight room than others. Some athletes are just that way. And you just, and their bodies, it's what you're working with that also is a factor.

"So it's also the heart, the desire. Some of the best heart and desire comes in a smaller package. Sometimes it's the other way around. If you've got both, if you've got size, girth, as you were calling it the other day, I think that's the term you used, thickness, if you have that and heart and desire, well, you could really be tough. So if you don't have the height, if you don't have the girth, if you don't have, then you need to have good feet, then you need to have, you know, length.

"Some people in the post, because their arms are long, can play better post defense because they can deflect passes in without necessarily getting into a dead front and probably being too short to play behind. So there's all those combinations. I've had all kinds of good post defensive players that came in different packages. You know, the best would be somebody who's long with good feet and thickness. Everybody's looking for them."

Audio file 2 (4:27)

From what you've seen of Indiana so far this year, what impresses you about this Hoosiers team this year?

"Same things. Just great shooters, guys obviously with great credentials that on different nights you see somebody score a lot of points, somebody get a lot of rebounds. You know, they're a very good team and that's why they've been labeled as such.

"Killingsworth is an All-American. He's as good a player that you'll see in the post. Not everybody is going to get 20, 25 every night, but he's somebody that can bring it and can do that, and sometimes he gets more attention defensively in the post. Other guys have to pick up, so therefore their 3-point shooting has been pretty good. So they're a high 3-point-percentage-shooting team and they're very good in the post, and not just with Killingsworth. You know, the big kid is getting better every day, takes up a lot of space and pretty agile. Kline has contributed.

"So they've got inside/outside, which gets tiresome saying it every week when you talk about a team, but that's what makes teams good when they are good, if you have that ability to play inside and outside. And if one guy can do both, that's even better. But they have guys who can play inside and they have guys that strictly play outside and they do their job pretty well."

Bo, I know after the game on Saturday you kind of talked about some of the open looks that, you know, guys like Brian, for instance, weren't able to knock down in the game. But I'm wondering in general, in terms of, you know, the shots that the offense produces, are guys taking those shots? I know obviously you can't make them all, but do you find guys are maybe passing up shots now that maybe they should take that could maybe open up things a little more?

"Not really, because it depends on when you catch it, where the defense is, how they're closing out. There's never any secrets from that end. You take what's comfortable. You can't have guys looking over all the time. That's why, for the most part, I've never had problems with players understanding shots, what's a good shot, what's a bad shot, because in practice those are the ones that you chart and those are the ones that we have percentages kept on. You've got to do them in both. You've got to do it in practice, do it in the games. But there hasn't been any difference."

Well, Alando played at the four a little bit against Purdue. Is that something you envision him doing a little bit more of the rest of the way?

"Well, you get some fouls, you get some injuries, you get certain match-ups, that's not a problem. He's played the two, three or four, both wings, and he's played that small forward spot, and even sometimes when we've gone completely small, he's played in what would be considered the five spot, where he wasn't bringing it in, because our four usually brings it in.

"You know, the game doesn't change. You've got to play defense in the post. You've got to play defense on the perimeter. Offensively the movement, there's not a big change. So it shouldn't be something where you have to the night before go over ten pages of notes and say, oh, I'm at the four now, because in practice we'll switch guys around too.

"And I like to do that in practice so that in games when we have to go because of things that happen in a game, bloody nose, ankle, things that just happened in the Purdue game, and you have to get subs in and put guys at spots. It's not the ideal situation, but when you're forced to do it, you don't want it to be a surprise to players, so that's why we do it in practice too."

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