On how his team closed out the game: "Well, it's how they played the other 30-some minutes, too. It's always a 40-minute game. We got ourselves into position to get to the line, hit some free throws — you'd like to have hit all of them — because that's how you really discourage teams when they're trying to make a comeback. But I thought we made some good passes, got a couple layups against their defense when they stretched it out and sometimes when you put pressure on, that happens. It's very similar to Minnesota where Marcus had the ball around the basket, comes away with nothing, J-Bo comes away with nothing, now we do. So we finished on some plays and either put the lead back where it was in case they scored at the other end or added to the lead. So production usually speaks for itself."
On his team's defense: "We could play them again and Penn State's not going to go 0-for-14 from 3. … But they did, tonight, and we really weren't trying to do anything different. We tried to make sure we kept them in front of us, tried to make their looks tough, all the things that you say in your scouting report and everything else, but it was very effective. And Cornley's been playing so well, he's such an improved player over the years. … If I could step out and look in as a fan of the game, I'd love to watch Cornley play. I don't like to coach against him, he's pretty tough. But I thought we did, on Pringle, Battle and Cornley, we did a pretty good job. And they showed some improvement."
On Trevon Hughes' play: "He rested on offense. He didn't want to strain too much on those nine misses. How about that? A guy can play that well, now I didn't know he was 1-for-10, I knew he had made one basket. Look out when he does find it. But he still did the other things. Look at his line, again, and his defense. You can still help a team be successful by doing the other things in a game of basketball. That's the nice part about basketball. You're not just a pitcher, you're not just a catcher, you're not just a batter, you're not just a kicker. You've got to do a lot of different things in this sport. And Trevon did a lot of those things well."
On whether this was a gritty performance: "I let people that observe and make their comments call it whatever they want. This is how we try to play. When you get a result in your favor, do you say something differently than if it was the other way? We've had some gritty defeats if you want to look at it that way. Gritty? I think our guys play hard, get on the floor. We sure as heck keep Kirk Mueller's business pretty lucrative. … Our guys will get on the floor, our guys play hard. So do these other guys. The other teams, the Big Ten, you better be playing hard."
On his team's offensive play against Penn State's zone: "Whenever we prepare for somebody, even if a team's a hundred percent man-to-man, you still go through some zone possessions just so your guys don't forget the alignments and looks and things that we're doing. Penn State's a predominant man-to-man team, they went to the zone and we were patient with it. We had a lead. Sometimes guys see zones and (think), ‘Oh man, I got a wide open 3 here,' and they fire it. I thought we were pretty patient, changed sides of the floor, ball fakes, body fakes, touched the post, things that you talk about every day."
On controlling the pace: "We were just trying to get good shots."
"It was just a performance today defensively that, if you could get that, there isn't a coach in the country that wouldn't walk away going, ‘Hey, my guys gave a great effort on defense, got enough good things done on offense — because we didn't exactly blister it, we didn't shoot the line that well, we didn't shoot 3s that well, and we come away with a ‘W' is because defensively and offensively we didn't turn it over and give them easy ones."
On only turning the ball over six times: "We didn't give them layups at the other end off of bad decisions with the ball, and I've seen teams do that against them. You know how fast Pringle and Battle are as you're sitting there doing your notes? Do you have any idea how quick those guys are? You've got to give a lot of credit to Hughes and Taylor and Bohannon for matching some of that, today. Next time we play it will be another story."
On playing in his home state: "The players don't go, ‘Oh, well we're back within a thousand miles of Coach Ryan's house, we've got to play a little harder.' "
Wisconsin senior Joe Krabbenhoft
On UW's defense: "Just doing things by the book. … It was just sticking to what Coach Ryan and the other assistants have been telling us for the last couple days, scouting Penn State, what we need to do to stop them. The guards did a great job, the forwards did a great job and our bigs did a great job — up and down the board it was a tremendous defensive effort. We stuck to the rules."
"The next one's Iowa and we're just taking it one game at a time, because every year, towards the end of the year, the games get bigger and bigger and bigger and you've just got to keep a level head and just go at it like it's the next game like we always do."
On the late 7-0 run: "Just guys stepping up and making plays. We knew we were going to have to do that. Every game there comes a point where you've just got to make a play, and that drive where Trevon kicked it out to J-Bo in the corner, that 3, that really, that was a big possession. That was a great decision on Trevon's part and J-Bo just stepping up and knocking it down like he's been doing the last few games. Guys just stepped up and did a great job."
On dealing a knockout blow: "I think defensively, playing the full 40 minutes, not taking any possessions off, guys sticking to the rules. Like I said, up and down the board, you can go through each guy, each position, guys are doing their jobs and really staying focused. It's not that we weren't focused when we were losing, we were just, guys including myself would just forget things and we weren't as focused. But now guys are really realizing how important it is every possession to give it your all and be ready to go."
"The only team that can help Wisconsin out is Wisconsin itself. And we're going to continue to go to work and take one game at a time."
"Before we headed out, I just told the guys, I said, ‘Take it personal when you're guarding that guy because when your guarding those guards, guards take it personal. Don't let them score.' Trevon did just that. He wanted that challenge. He wanted to say, ‘I'm a shutdown, lockdown defender.' And he did that, he did a great job and Talor Battle may be the best scoring guard in the Big Ten right now and Trevon did a great job of forcing tough shots."
On Battle: "We were just trying to force him to take tough shots. Now he's hit those shots, that's how great of a player he is. Michigan State did a good job of making him shoot tough ones; they went in. Today they didn't. They'll move on, they're a great team, they're going to knock off good teams as they have in the past and we're just happy to get out of here with a win and move on to Iowa."
On Hughes: "That's what so important, just being able to impact the game if you're not in the scoring part of it. He's our point guard, he's our leader. He knows there's a complete game out there and right now he's doing a great job defensively. He's our defensive MVP these last few games and it's just fun to watch because he's so dynamic in what he can do. He beats people to the spot and when they know where they're going, he doesn't know exactly where they're going, but he'll beat them to that spot because he's that quick."