Q&A with Joe Krabbenhoft

Limiting Michael Beasley to just six points in the second half, Wisconsin junior Joe Krabbenhoft was understandably pleased with himself, his teammates and that the Badgers are on their way to the Sweet 16 in Detroit next weekend.

What changed defensively in the second half on Beasley?

With Marcus, myself, Brian and I think one other person with two fouls, we did not get any silly ones. We wanted to use them. We wanted to send a message that you weren't going to get anything easy. That's what was discussed at halftime to keep playing solid defense and make him shoot tough shots. He made some very tough shots in the first half and in the second half, they were still tough and he made a couple, but not as many. So, the percentages worked in our favor.

How did you change defensively when you were moved from Walker to Beasley?

Basically you move from the 10th pick in the draft to the first pick in the draft. So there wasn't much of a difference. Walker got in some foul and Marcus got in some foul trouble so that's why that happened. We were rotating some guys in there with some different types of players on him. Greg with all his muscle and meat on him and Marcus being able to move his feet. We were just throwing different guys at him and I think that got to him.

They are very similar and they are both very talented in their own right.

Do you feel your energy got the team going?

Nah, that was started with Trevon getting us fired up. Our guards did a great job from the jump. Little things send a message to the team. Mike was talking in the huddle, getting the team ready and I think that's the most focused we've been all year and this group has been real focused before. Obviously it has been, we've got 31 wins and with everything going on to get to the Sweet 16, our leaders have done a great job.

How difficult are you guys going to beat if you play like this with this same energy?

I would like to think we'd be pretty tough. We play determined and we'll see how we play on Friday and Sunday. We're playing Sunday, too. Coach Ryan is a hell of a coach and he's the top coach in the country in mind. His rules and teaching abilities are paying off in my mind. That was Wisconsin basketball out there today and our style of basketball, as long as we stick to it, we can beat anybody and shut down anybody.

How did you make Beasley disappear in the second half?

He did not disappear. He was out there. Trust me, I was guarding him for a little bit and he's strong, he's fast and he's a complete player. He did not disappear. We stuck to our rules and Coach Ryan's system of defense. We stuck with it, we didn't get away from it, we didn't try to beat any other team. We did what Wisconsin does and we didn't try to change that.

Does it game show how much Trevon Hughes has matured this year?

For sure. Last year, with Kam and those guys playing the point, the opportunity wasn't there. He learned, sat patiently, didn't mouth off that he should have been playing (because he was pretty good last year, too) and he proved tonight that he belongs.

Was Beasley and Walker the two most talented players you've guarded?

No doubt. Without any question those are the two best players I've guarded. A.J. Abrams from Texas was tough. Speaking on Michael Beasley, I would like to think I have guarded a lot of top players, but nothing compares to him. He's going to be the number one draft pick and if he's not, I don't know what the world is coming to.

Badger Nation Top Stories