But all of the preparation for the quickly upcoming season for Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan took a backseat Monday, as he became a grandfather for the third time, compliments of his oldest daughter, Megan, giving birth to a healthy baby girl.
"Will, my oldest son, believes they are going to call her Imogene," a smiling Ryan said. "The only Imogene I remember is Imogene Coca."
Ryan was so pleased that he pulled out his Blackberry and showed a picture of the newborn, allowing the news cameras plenty of time to zoom in for a glamour shot, even joking that the baby was born as he was walking down to the Camp Randall media room.
The other light-hearted conversation Ryan had with the media was about his wife, Kelly, who apparently doesn't sugarcoat things when discussing her husband's basketball team.
"She's quite the critic at times," Ryan said. "It goes back a long ways, it goes back to one year when I came home from scrimmaging from Loras (College). She knew I wasn't very happy and she didn't think much of the team we had, kind of, ‘Well, you said this guy wasn't this or that guy wasn't that.' You know, typical coach talk. I know people think you go home and you tell your wife how great your team is."
It turns out that Kelly Ryan wasn't much of a prognosticator, as that UW-Platteville team went 31-0 to win the second of Ryan's four NCAA Division III National Championships.
"She said from here on out, she is just always going to say we aren't very good," Ryan said. "She has seen us play and, ‘Boy, you're a little rough around the edges.' But she only says stuff at home … Her opinion is always … welcomed."
Ryan plans to get a good grasp on what his wife really thinks of his team on the Badgers nine-plus hour plane flight to Maui in a little over a week.
"We'll have some hours to kill," Ryan said.
No Chip Here
Wisconsin shot .524 from the field and had four players score in double figures in its 90-54 exhibition victory over Division II Bemidji State last Wednesday, something the Badgers hope will be a constant through a lengthy five-month season.
Although the team seemed determine to finish around the basket and in transition, something Ryan's team struggled with at times last year, UW's head coach doesn't see his team playing with a chip on the shoulder.
"I have no idea if that's the case because they didn't do anything different than what they have been doing at practice," Ryan said. "Critic means criticism and I just think everybody has an opinion about teams. With us, people have to wait to see who is going to pick up the toughness that's gone. People said some of the same things after Tucker and Taylor.
"I know this, we've sold out all our games, so fans, I think, are pretty interested in seeing what our guys our like. That's a good thing … I think they are trying to continue the tradition of Wisconsin being a pretty good team."
Ryan wasn't able to watch former Badger Marcus Landry make his NBA debut on Saturday in a 102-87 loss in his hometown of Milwaukee.
Landry, who paid his own way to New York in order to get a tryout before making the Knicks roster, scored six points and grabbing two rebounds in 12 minutes, even taking a charge, something his former coach was instrumental in teaching him.
"It's Marcus Landry," Ryan said. "To me, it's not a surprise. Who isn't proud of him of what he has done? Under the circumstances that he's matriculated here at the university, how many guys went through what he went through in four years and be where he is right now? That's why you coach, and I know people use that a lot. That's one of the reasons why you coach. Not because he's in the NBA … totally. That's part of the picture."