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March 16, 2008
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan and student athletes Marcus Landry and Brian Butch.
Go ahead and take an opening statement from Coach Ryan and then we will do questions for Marcus and Brian and then we'll finish with questions for Coach Ryan.
COACH RYAN: We're very proud to be representing the Big Ten as the Big Ten tournament champions and regular season champions. Our players have really done the university proud. And I can't thank them enough for their accomplishments and hopefully now we can go get some more.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Marcus or Brian.
Q. Marcus and Brian, can you each also address the fact that you maybe eliminated any possible confusion as far as winning the regular season title as well as coming here and capturing that tournament crown?
BRIAN BUTCH: Yeah, I mean, at the beginning of the season you have two goals. You've got a couple other goals, but as far as Big Ten goes, those are your first goals: To win the regular season championship and then win the tournament.
We did that, and it's a pretty proud thing. We're all very proud of it.
MARCUS LANDRY: Well, I'm just proud of my teammates and everybody. Like he was saying, we come into the year with goals and this year we have met most of our goals, the ones that we have set for this time so far.
So it's just a great accomplishment.
Q. Marcus, I wanted to ask you about the block that you had of Randle. Can you take us through that play, the one where it looked like he was trying to dunk it?
MARCUS LANDRY: Actually, he ended up getting the ball from me on the pass. And it was just -- I kind of watched the ball go instead of getting back and sticking to our rules like we normally do.
But when I seen that the ball wasn't going back, I tried my hardest to get back. I'm glad that he kind of hesitated before he went up for a layup, because he kind of had a wide open layup if he hadn't hesitated.
So just playing really hard and sticking to some of the things that we have in front of us. You just get good plays and you make up for your mistakes.
Q. Marcus, was it nice as a team to get back to shooting the ball well? There was a couple of rough games shooting down here. You guys shot the ball pretty well today. Is that nice, especially heading into the NCAA tournament?
MARCUS LANDRY: It's always nice to have a high shooting percentage. And we go over a lot of things in practice and things, what percentage are high-percentage shots and things like that.
You're going to have droughts sometime where you're not shooting well, but it's all about what do you do to get back into the rhythm of shooting well. Pounding the ball in the post and then maybe getting the post, kicking out, getting better shots and higher percentage shots.
So it worked out in our favor to get some high-percentage shots after we started moving the ball some more.
THE MODERATOR: You're free to head back to the locker room. Thank you.
We'll finish up with questions for Coach Ryan.
Q. Bo, when did you know that Trevon was going to play today and can you just talk a little bit about his play?
COACH RYAN: Before the game, because he had to pass the tests, and just something that's been nicked for a little while, and just good treatment and him following orders on keeping it up and keeping the stem and the ice and whatever is done. Henry put him through the tests, and he cleared him to play.
I never have any say in it.
Q. Can you talk about the defense throughout the tournament. I think you held everybody under 42 percent or something like that. Can you just talk about that and how important it was for you guys to get this championship?
COACH RYAN: I'm still mad about the 3 they hit at the end of the game. I got on the guys in the locker room, who left him open?
Because these guys do take pride in what they do. And it starts not just in the post, not just on the perimeter, not just -- it's not any one thing, it's just -- the rules that we have, this team has adhered to this point to the rules better in the past two and a half months, I think, of probably any team that I've coached.
And if we keep doing those things, then we can keep playing. I hope we don't change.
Q. Historically, when a team wins an outright Big Ten title and the conference tournament title, they're a No. 1 seed. You're not a No. 1 seed. Do you feel snubbed in any way? Is that a reflection of the conference, do you think?
COACH RYAN: I don't know, I think it starts early and then perception becomes reality. And I know there was a lot of people that wouldn't want to play a lot of teams in our league later in the year, but, you know, still I think it's more about the matchups. I've always felt that. And I know other people feel that's been the way people have felt about a lot of teams, when they're moved to this line or that line.
If you look at the 97,000 different things that the committee's supposed to keep in mind -- I just found out recently that they don't reach into a hat and pull the names out when I just did an interview before this. And I don't mean -- they've got a tough job. How do you put people on different lines, different places, keeping in mind who you've played in nonconference, who is in your league, who have you played before, and you look at all those things. I don't know how they do it. But alls I know is I'm glad we're playing.
And I think any one of the top two, anywhere between 1 and 4, if you take a look at those seeds -- I don't even know who the rest of them are -- those are all pretty good teams. As well as the other group. So it's kind of hard to differentiate.
I don't know the rest of the bracketing. How did the other teams -- I saw Indiana was an 8. What about Michigan State or Purdue?
COACH RYAN: Michigan State is 5. Purdue?
Q. 6. Ohio State did not make it.
COACH RYAN: Ohio State did not make it? Who were the so-called last ones in? Villanova?
COACH RYAN: Kentucky.
Q. I don't know if they were last but -- K State?
COACH RYAN: K State, Baylor. Arizona State?
Q. Arizona got in.
COACH RYAN: Arizona got in?
Q. Do you think this is just a cyclical thing with the Big Ten? I mean, everybody -- we just went through the list and everybody seemed to have a lower seed than maybe you would expect, given maybe their RPIs and things like that.
COACH RYAN: Well, we won the conference in '02, and what were we? I felt we were a 6. We were tied. Actually, we moved up, I think, in respect, getting the 2 last year and a 3 this year, because we did have an injury and a lot of people thought we weren't going to be at 2 last year.
So, again, they have to look at the 1s, then the 2s and where and the other factors. I think now, trying to say that there are snubs or anything else is not valid, simply because there's 20 more rules in how they're placing teams with the pods.
It is totally different than before. I look at Tony's team and they're fighting for a championship until a couple weeks to go in the league and they ended up with a 4 from a league that has a very high RPI. What did Stanford end up? A 3? A 2?
Q. A 3.
COACH RYAN: A 3. So Stanford ends up the same as us. And UCLA. So I just think that when they made the change to the pods that the seeding became a whole different ball game.
Q. Coach, two-part question. First, how big is this for game momentum, winning the tournament, and what do you know on CS Fullerton going in?
COACH RYAN: I'll see film by the time I go to sleep tonight, because we'll have it waiting for me when I get back. My son's the video coordinator. He told me he already has four games of Cal Fullerton, because you project out and you get as many games on TV and you spend 15-, 16-hour days in the Kohl Center. That's what our video coordinators have done over the years. So we'll have film.
But as far as momentum and anything else, what we wanted, a Friday, Sunday, it's fun to want. But we do not have school this week, so our legs sometimes walking on our campus to a class is hiking to some people.
At least they'll be off their feet and they'll be on their feet when they're with us and doing the practices. And so I think that washes out the fact that we're playing Thursday, Saturday. So let's play. Just hope we keep bringing the same energy and the same focus for the next one.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about the game? What do you think turned this game? Maybe the surge at the end of the half, your consistent shooting, what?
COACH RYAN: If you're Illinois, you're going to give your best. As I said before, when we played Illinois at Illinois, Bruce hasn't forgotten anything about the game and his players, with Randle being healthy and McCamey scoring and Meacham and Frazier, how tough he is, that's a tough team.
And obviously by beating Purdue and Minnesota and who else did they beat? Can't even remember. And Penn State.
So they were playing well. And when you know what happens when teams like when Iowa made that run, when teams are doing things the right way and positive things are happening, they have players like Pruitt, who has been through it. I didn't mean to rhyme there. But Pruitt did a pretty good job. He was a handful for us.
And you talk about an improved guy in the league. I really like what he's done. I told him if he ever wants to use me for a reference for any job or anything down the road, just let me know.
And Randle, he's had some nicks, but Illinois came to play, and they were making passes difficult. They were taking away some lanes. I mean, Tom, you've seen them play before. That was as aggressive as I've seen Illinois all year. Until the tournament, and they did the same thing to Purdue. So I think we beat a team that was firing on all cylinders. So I thought for our guys that's a heck of a W.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Marcus Landry, Outstanding Player of the tournament, just how he played in the tournament, how he's grown over the course of the season?
COACH RYAN: Yeah, I don't know how you pick the Most Outstanding Player, but he certainly was one of the candidates and was able to get the award. But he'd be the first one to tell you that what a balanced effort from this team. And he's hungry. He wants more. And he understands there's some things that we can get better on both ends of the floor, that we can improve at both ends. And that's the way he does things.
So it was really nice to see when guys like Landry and Stiemsma, who struggled a little bit a couple of years ago, come back and do what they did and be a part of something really special. Brian Butch goes down last year, gets a chance to finish the end of the regular season, Big Ten tournament, which he didn't get a chance to play in last year.
So as a senior he finishes the regular season. Greg finishes. Big Ten tournament. The seniors Michael Flowers, Tanner Bronson and just now they get to play some more. So whatever they add to what they've accomplished, they've earned it.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.
End of FastScripts