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March 19, 2009

Joe Krabbenhoft

Marcus Landry

Bo Ryan


THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and take some questions for the student-athletes of Wisconsin.

Q. Could you talk about the problems their length inside could give you in the middle?
MARCUS LANDRY: As we all know, they're a pretty big team. They have a 7-1 guy, 6-9. They're a long team. But the good thing is that we just came off a game where we saw some guys that are similar to those guys length-wise at least. Maybe not as big, but it's a good thing that we have seen guys like this during the year and it will help us out.

Q. For both of you guys, as one of the last teams in the field do you feel some added pressure to prove that you guys belong after hearing for a week that maybe you should have got in, maybe you shouldn't have?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: Even though I'm a senior, this is probably the least amount of pressure I've felt to go out and just because maybe it's because of our seed, I don't know. But the last two years we were a second and third seed and you feel like you're expected to win. You guys all pick us to win. I don't know how people picked to us win this game. And it really doesn't matter, we don't really pay a lot of attention to it. We get a chance to play a really good team in Florida State and make some noise and have some fun.
So we're going to go out with some expectations on ourselves to win and play well, but we just haven't been really listening to what everyone else says about us, so it's kind of fun.
MARCUS LANDRY: He said it right, some guys feel a lot of pressure of being a low seed maybe and feeling like they have something to prove, but we're seniors and we have to go out there and give it our all. We're happy to be here, we get another chance at trying to accomplish something that we have as a goal as Division I athletes. So it's a great feeling just to be in the running again and have another chance.

Q. On Sunday night did you think you would be sitting somewhere on either Thursday or Friday?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: Yeah, we did. We thought we were in. As the first two regions went by without our name being called my heart was beating a little bit faster, but that was only half the teams. We still felt pretty good about our chances. We have had some pretty good wins this year. We're confident in our resume. Our coaching staff did a great job of building our strength of schedule up and we went out and performed as well as we could. We took some bumps, but we responded well and played well toward the end, which I think ultimately got us in this tournament.

Q. For both, it kind of goes to playing well at the end. You had that long losing streak in January and I know all the games were close. But at that point I would imagine you're not thinking about the tournament, what were you thinking about?
MARCUS LANDRY: Well, it did come down to the last few possessions. And we hopefully, when we go into these games, we learn from that, those things that we were going through during the year. And this is the best time to prove that we learned from those things. We're going to go into the game tomorrow ready and prepared.
The coaches, they do a great job at giving us certain things and showing us what we need to do so that we won't have those scoring droughts or different things like that. So hey, this is the best time to show what you learned and put it to use.
JOE KRABBENHOFT: I think that, of course, we would like to go back and replay those six games, I think we would -- if we knew what we do now, I think we would, those results would be a little bit different. But we went through that stretch and we learned a lot and I think that we have accomplished a lot of our goals because of that stretch. We learned that we had to trust each other, that trust kept growing and growing and we learned how to finish games, although we haven't done that in one or two since then as well as we would like, would have liked to, we learned a lot about how to win ball games through those, even though we lost, which is kind of weird.

Q. Talk, obviously your stay at Wisconsin has been a little bit different on the court, off the court. Can you talk about your experience there and sort of what it feels like to come out with the accomplishments you have at the end.
MARCUS LANDRY: It's been a great experience. Everybody, teachers, coaches, they have all been behind me 100 percent. My experience at Wisconsin has been great. I've grown as a person, as a man, and I can only say good things about Wisconsin. And that made me a better player, a better person, a better student-athlete. Everything. I couldn't have picked a better school.

Q. You look at Toney Douglas, I don't know that anybody has really stopped him this year, but you guys probably won't guard him per se, maybe someone else will, maybe Trevon, but how do you maybe slow a guy like Toney Douglas down or kind of contain him so he doesn't go off for 25, 30 or whatever?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: "Contain" is a better word than "stop." I think we all have watched Toney, especially this last weekend at in the ACC tournament, he just put on a show and it was fun to watch. He's great player, we respect him as much as anybody.
I think that comparison-wise a lot of people ask that in the Big-10 who do we compare him to? I don't know. Manny Harris, Kalin Lucas, I mean, you can throw those names out there, but Toney Douglas is himself. I think he's made a name for himself.
So comparing people is just not fair for him because he made a great name for himself and we got to go out there and stick to our rules. We're not going to change a whole lot. Obviously we got to be really focused this time of year because any mistake, if you go up on a pump fake and you foul him, the mistake is magnified at this time of year. And he can really do that, he can hurt you in so many ways.
MARCUS LANDRY: That's definitely true. We're going to go out there and give it our all. He's great player and only thing we can try and do is really contain him. The best thing that we can do as a team is make him take tough shots. That's something that we have done a great job at over the years and since I've been here we do a great job at making guys take tough shots. If we can make him take some shots maybe that he doesn't want to, that will work in our favor.
So we're going to go out there, we're going to give it our all and try to make him take some shots that maybe he's not used to taking. But he can make some tough shots too, but that's what we're going to try to do and we're not going to let him get anything easy.

Q. One of the few teams that has really handled Florida State was Northwestern. I understand that was a long time ago, and the ACC Big-10 challenge, but is there something that you guys take from that? I'm not asking you game plan, but something that you're familiar with obviously with Northwestern?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: Sure. I think all teams would say this, that you grow so much from, I believe that game was probably played in November, maybe early December. Teams have gotten so much better since then. I don't know what the score would be now between those two teams, but you look at a team like Northwestern, what they try to do is just move the ball, move bodies, and that was successful. Any time you can do that against any team you're going to be successful and they made their shots.
But we're just going to try to -- I don't think we're going to be running the Princeton offense. We're going to stick to our stuff and do what we do best, but moving the ball and bodies is very important to winning ball games, it has been for us all year and it if we're to win this game.

Q. Do you guys think it's fair, so much criticism that's been leveled at the Big-10 and are you rooting for those guys, your conference mates to make a run and sort of help out the name of the Big-10, I guess?
MARCUS LANDRY: I can't say it's fair or not. I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But those guys have done a good job at building their resume and they're in the tournament and of course we're rooting for those guys. It just shows how good of a conference the Big-10 is to have seven guys in.
So all the things that people may say about the conference, I don't really believe it. I can't really agree with any of those things. It's a tough conference. That just proves that it's a tough conference right there. Northwestern giving Florida State -- I mean they're a good team -- giving them a run for their money, you can't take teams in the Big-10 lightly, you got to look at every team the way you do any team, whether it's a North Carolina, UCONN, you go out there unprepared, then you'll take a bump. So I think the Big-10 has shown that they can play with any conference.
JOE KRABBENHOFT: I'm proud to be a part of the Big-10. Seven teams in the Big-10 tournament or in the NCAA tournament is a great accomplishment and to be one of those seven teams is awesome. I thought we could have got one more, but the number just didn't work out with the numbers, but that's the analysts job to say those type of things and we all just sit back and listen and enjoy it.

Q. You guys obviously come from the Big-10, do you feel that there's some disrespect you getting the 12th seed and you guys having a chip on your shoulder at all because of that?
MARCUS LANDRY: I don't look at it as disrespect, to be honest with you. Like I was saying before, once you become a Division I athlete you have certain goals. One of our goals is to try to win a National Championship. I would be very sad if I was sitting at home and I wasn't in the NCAA tournament. But hey, I get another chance, Joe gets another chance, the team gets another chance at trying to accomplish the goals that we have as Division I athletes.
So whether we're 12 seed, 16 seed, it doesn't matter, it's just, hey, it's fun being in. So we're going to go out there and give it our all.
JOE KRABBENHOFT: He's right. We got to keep that chip on our shoulder, no matter what seed they gave us on Selection Sunday we're going to come into this tournament with a chip on our shoulder wanting to win as many games as possible. Any team that doesn't have a chip on their shoulder is going to get beat, because you got to have that.
THE MODERATOR: All right, thanks guys. We'll take questions for Coach Ryan.

Q. Could you talk about the impact Toney Douglas has had on Florida State and have you faced a guard that's so good on both ends of the floor like he is?
COACH RYAN: Well, you know, there's -- he's a senior, so he's maturity-wise, he hurt us enough a couple years ago when he was a sophomore, but he's even better now on both ends. Any time you have a guard that can catch and shoot, put it on the floor, pull up and shoot, and get to the rim and shoot, and make them, then offensively, you know, you got -- and be able to pass the ball -- you obviously got a pretty good player. Defensively he's as good as there is out there. We have to face the Manny Harris's during our conference play, E'Twaun Moore, a guy like him, long and rangy, Evan Turner, a little taller, a little different type player. But the guards from Penn State are pretty quick and pretty good shooters. And we played Connecticut, we played Virginia Tech, some teams that people that Florida State would be familiar with.
But it's always different. It's the next 40 minutes, it's a different team, different venue, different time. So you just prepare with what you do and knowing that he's a good player and try to make sure that he doesn't get too many.

Q. Talk about Sunday night, what the wait was like and then if you feel like the team's maybe gotten a second chance. The players sort of talked about this as a new experience, a fresh chance to start over. Do you feel like you've kind of been given a second life?
COACH RYAN: No, because once you have your body of work in, you really can't change anything. So for me, a poker face guy, I just know that our guys scratched and clawed their way into playing 30 games of pretty solid basketball. Played a tough schedule. We knew that going in. And that's one of the biggest things that helped us was our strength of schedule.
And the fact that we got hot. I don't know of any other team that's ever lost six games in the conference season, in a row, and still made the NCAA tournament at large. There might have been -- our SID has not been able to find -- you said four or five in a row and then still made it? So that says a lot for the guys that are going to be on that floor tomorrow night. But it is what it is when you're sitting there. I'm not one of those guys that's going to bite his fingernails or do anything like that, there's a lot of intelligent people that sit in that room and take information and I just figured let's go play. And we weren't disappointed. We get a chance to play.

Q. You mentioned the Florida State game from a couple of years ago. Toney Douglas was on that team. Can you take anything from that game or was that in the past or can you take any elements from that or maybe as far as what Florida State does?
COACH RYAN: I looked at 15 or 20 game films and all of them were from this year, but at a half of that one. I looked at a half of the game a couple years ago. It's two different teams. It's more about the precious present, what's going on and the fact that they're playing so well.
I looked at games in the beginning of the year, the Pitt game, the couple games they had then and then mostly the last 12 to 15 games. All I know is that they're pretty good and they deserve to be in it, I don't know, maybe even a higher seed. But we're in it, so they have to win six, we have to win six if we ever want to say that we're the best team, so it's mostly about now.

Q. You were talking about the six-game losing streak and the question is, I know the games were close, but given that that usually ends most of your dreams, how did you keep your players' heads in the game and sort of get that thing?
COACH RYAN: Growing up in Chester, Pennsylvania. That's the truth. Just the streets of Chester and growing up on the playgrounds and through Chester High School and things my parents taught me. I'm a hard guy to get to, to the point where you feel like you have no hope, you feel like we're not getting the best end of this deal, because there was a couple games in there where there was some things that were very interesting that happened that obviously we can't talk about. But just it is my background and then I just tried to instill that in the players and I got some pretty tough players.

Q. You can talk about it?
COACH RYAN: Joe Krabbenhoft off the streets of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, he's a wily veteran now of growing up tough. But, no, the Marcus Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft's and Trevon Hughes, Bohannon, all those guys, you know, they didn't get down because they know how we always try to prepare for next. And we were in a position where we lose any one of those games, we're not here. So we were playing in the NCAA tournament a long time probably before anybody else was.

Q. Is there any advantage being a 12 seed for you guys?
COACH RYAN: You know, I don't know anything about seeds. I don't know sometimes on the lines where people are put. I don't know anything about that. But I don't see any advantages of being high, in between or low. Other than what you're doing with your players and in your practices and what you're working on and how you're trying to prepare. I can guarantee you this, there aren't too much coaches talking about seeds when they're getting ready to play. It's all about the preparation, the drills, the scouting report, and the main thing is take care of business with what you do.

Q. I know you guys took the bump against Ohio State there in the Big-10 tournament, but can you talk about how you guys are playing right now, how do you feel heading into this game against FSU?
COACH RYAN: I think we're like a lot of teams where if you could just hit a couple shots in certain situations it changes the whole complexion of a game. Everybody says it at the end of the year, oh, if we would have made these two free throws, if we would have made that shot, or, boy, that was wide open and it didn't go in. But I've coached long enough to know that we have been on the other side of that probably more than we have been on the short side of it, so you have to take the bad with the good.
And I just, I know one thing, when we were going home, we just kept thinking, you know, we have got some good basketball in us, we just hope we can get a chance to show that. So I don't think we were discouraged at all.
I think our guys realized that that's a pretty good team, Ohio State was very young and by the end of the year here now they're playing a lot better. And they don't use the excuse of anybody being hurt or even though Lighty hasn't been able to play, Thad and I are pretty good friends, he never whines about injuries, he plays with what he has. And I thought Ohio State's been playing pretty well. So I thought we were beaten by a good team, so I didn't let that cloud hangover.

Q. Can you talk about the -- has the Big-10 gotten a bad rap nationally and is it important that the conference does well for recruiting and exposure purposes in the NCAA tournament?
COACH RYAN: I don't know. If you expect coaches to answer a question that way -- there's an old line that people used to use, but you can't use it any more, about, does a husband do something and the answer is you can't give an answer. Because if you say yes or no or whatever, then no matter what it is, it's wrong.
The Big-10 did what it did, our RPI is what it is, we don't defend anything. I was going to be a lawyer and in my ninth grade year book I put down, ambition, I had lawyer down. Philadelphia area, that's what everybody says anyhow. But I'm not one, so I'm not making any cases. We're just playing. And I think that's what the other Big-10 teams are doing. They're just playing. And proud to be playing.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you, coach.
COACH RYAN: All right. Thanks.

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