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March 22, 2009

Trevon Hughes

Joe Krabbenhoft

Marcus Landry

Bo Ryan


Xavier – 60
Wisconsin - 49

THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and have an opening statement from Coach Ryan and then take questions for the student-athletes.
COACH RYAN: I'd just like to say how proud I am of our guys, the effort, the grittiness, especially on defense, not just tonight but all year. What they have accomplished after we hit a rough stretch early in the Big-10 to be in the big dance and to last a couple days, that's pretty exciting.
But it's also, it makes a huge statement for the type of guys we have. We might have been a little short in some areas and not necessarily height, but just some areas of the game of basketball that we didn't particularly function well in during the year, that came back to bite us a little bit here.
But the fact that they were gritty enough and tough enough to be able to get to play a couple more games and represent the University of Wisconsin, I'm extremely proud of them, especially the seniors.
THE MODERATOR: Take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. If you guys can just talk about Xavier half court defense and how tough it was to score against them .
TREVON HUGHES: They long and athletic. They challenge every shot we had. We had to alter our shots. It made it a little difficult trying to get our shot off. They're very quick, so they collapse in the lane when we get in our driving position.

Q. Trevon Hughes, I guess along those lines, sure, Xavier is a good defensive team, but until the first couple minutes of the second half you guys were doing a pretty good job of penetrating and stuff. What changed after you guys got that seven-point lead? What was different in terms of either how you guys were attacking or how they were defending you?
TREVON HUGHES: I want to say they went on a 5-0 run, gave them momentum and they took the momentum from us and they never looked back from there. At the same time we have to take care of the ball a little bit better. Even though we had seven turnovers, but that's second chances that we don't get at the basket.

Q. Marcus, talk about Xavier's size and just how they limited your chances to get offensive rebounds.
MARCUS LANDRY: They're big. They do a good job of really grabbing the rebounds and it helps that they're very athletic also. They just -- they did a good job really being on the boards. I think they out-rebounded us by seven. And it was kind of difficult to get on an offensive glass, but as a player, you just have to have a desire to go after every ball regardless of size of the team.

Q. Xavier kind of thought maybe they wore you guys down a little bit. I guess I'm wondering just your thoughts on that . Do you think that defensively they were able to wear you guys down a little bit?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: Yeah, well, we just got away from ourselves. We -- shots didn't go down and it ended up being an 11-point game because of free throws at the end. Really, they out-rebounded us by seven. But that was -- we missed a lot of shots and they do a great job of checking out.
They are coached very well. The players are very disciplined on their box outs and that also made it tough for the offensive rebounds. And I don't know if they really -- both teams were in the same position, second game and two, three days, so whatever it was. So I don't think it was anything that had to do with our legs, really. I think both teams were tired and playing their hearts out.

Q. Could you guys just kind of reflect on the season and how you view what this team was able to accomplish.
MARCUS LANDRY: After losing six in a row and finishing the way we did, just to get into the NCAA tournament was great. I never heard of any other team that has done that. And we went on a stretch where we lost six in a row and we still made the NCAA tournament. So we got a chance to live to fight another day after those six losses. And to get in the tournament, it was a great accomplishment for our team. We can always wish that we would have -- well, we wish that we were still playing, but that's not the case right now. But we can always look back and say we could have done this better or we could have done that better, but we're pretty happy just to get in and it was -- we had it in our hearts to just go out there and fight.
JOE KRABBENHOFT: Just so proud to be part of this team and battle through a lot of tough times throughout the year and just kept on fighting back. We bounced back from a six-game losing streak, and made a run and got our name called on selection Sunday, and we were proud of the fact that we did that. And then to come out and make a little noise here in Boise was a lot of fun and something I'll never forget. And I'll never forget the coaches for all they have done for me and all my teammates. I just got so many people to thank and just so proud to wear this jersey.

Q. Marcus, toward the end of the first half I think maybe the final three and a half minutes of the first half, in the first three minutes of the second half, you guys were running some pretty good offense and having some success scoring. Can you talk about that stretch of the game and maybe what was the key at that point?
MARCUS LANDRY: We were really executing. Trevon was finding his way into the lane, kicking it out. Guys were making plays. And we were listening to the coaches doing what they wanted us to do and it worked. That was the outcome between those few minutes.
It worked for us at the time.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, guys. We'll take questions for Coach Ryan.

Q. Sean Miller talked about one of the changes he made in the second half was to crowd Hughes and Landry a little bit more. Can you just talk about how after your initial success in the first half that kind of worked on those two players in your offense?
COACH RYAN: Trevon still got shots. Marcus still got shots. I think if you take a look at it, Jason Bohannon, if they didn't squeeze him a little bit, he didn't shoot it particularly well. And really, no matter what the case, we needed to be getting to the free throw line early in that second half more than what we did. And by not making good pump fakes or kicking the ball out if we didn't have a shot.
You can make all the changes you want as a coach, the things that I saw were simply execution on a finish, using the ball fakes, if somebody's closing out on you, you got to pump fake, those are the things where we actually could have taken a much bigger advantage of and we didn't.

Q. You just look, outside of Marcus, your shooting, the rest of the team was 8-42. Pretty uncharacteristic. What were you trying to do to get someone going? Did you do any kind of strategy change to try to get someone who could put the ball in the basket for you?
COACH RYAN: Well, other than burning incense and doing a couple dances over there on the sideline, you know, this has happened to us a few times. The two starting guards, when they can get decent looks -- now the percentages go down as we're taking quick shots at the end playing from behind. Two or three of those shots are shots maybe that you're not normally going to take. But you put yourself in that position and you live with it.
Streaky, they have been like that all year, when shots are going down we could beat anybody. Defensively, if you really think about where they are physically and where we were physically, to do what we did defensively, I thought our guys did a great job.
We put ourselves in position on the defensive end to be able to be on the left-hand side. Offensively, it wasn't because of turnovers, it wasn't because -- it was basically because of being a little too quick with the trigger and times not using good pump fakes. With some of the guys it's experience, but with the two guards, they have been through a lot, they have been -- you know somebody asked me on the way in, hey, why did they make you guys play the early game? Why did you -- you guys played the late game on Friday and you do this, you do that.
Hey, again, guys got to be ready to play. It doesn't matter. We had a bunch of guys with double digit minutes and so did they. So it's a whole different story if guys knock down just a few shots. If we just shoot 35 percent we hold them under 40, and in those kind of games you're supposed to be able to get it done, but watching games this year, other teams play, other conferences, I've seen games like this where defensively a team plays really well, they don't have anybody that's knocking down shots, and you come up on the short end. I'm sure it will, it's happened in the past and it will happen in the future.

Q. Despite your offensive struggles it was still a three point game with about four, four and a half minutes left. I'm curious your thoughts on your offense from that point in the game and whether you liked the kind of shots you were getting at that stage?
COACH RYAN: Well, J-Bo had some good looks. Marcus a couple around the basket. He finished on some. But in order to beat a team like that you're going to have to be much more efficient. Then when you're playing from behind, it gets, you know, unless you've ever been in the arena, and know what it's like, you do, it's everything speeds up a little bit and some guys handle that a little better than others. And we have had some times where guys stepped up in there and made some big shots and meaning shots playing from behind putting in position, just like we did against Florida State. This afternoon it didn't happen.

Q. When you look back on the season I know Marcus kind of touched on it a little bit about losing six in a row and still hearing your name called on Selection Sunday, is there anything in particular that you're going to remember about this year that stands out in your mind?
COACH RYAN: I've been through so many, it never gets old, but a lot of grit with this group. Knowing that we were going to be a little rough around some edges, based on what we had back, we needed some help. And the fact that Keaton Nankivil has taken two charges in the last two games, next year people better look out. Because he has become a defensive player. And when Jon Leuer gets stronger, by next year -- you see a coach is already thinking -- I don't think Trevon and J-Bo next year are going to have shooting nights like this. Just things that you got to learn.
Some things that -- so when I look back I just keep, a coach, he looks back and says, man, the seniors, they were great, a hundred wins. How would you like to be a graduating college student and have 25 wins a year under your belt and had a chance to play in some pretty good venues. That's not all bad.
So everybody wants to be the last team standing. But the fact that we got a chance to -- and rightfully so we were in the NCAA tournament. You can't take the RPI, the strength of schedule, the way we finished, I didn't hear a whole lot of question about that from people who were intelligent about basketball. We were never really in that conversation.
Some of the games that you let get away, if you can learn how to manage that a little bit better on the court, and I always say watch us grow next year. We can get something out of this trip here. That's for sure.

Q. Subpar offensive stretches have happened so much. In the middle portion of the second half, did you sense some frustration from an maybe some quick shots or people trying to do too much?
COACH RYAN: When I lack at other teams and you look at box scores, yesterday, in every game at some point or another the announcers going, they have gone seven minutes without a bucket. And I'm thinking to myself, man, I know it -- either it's happening more and more to a lot of teams, or they're just talking about it more because you get the running scores and they have quicker information that announcers use and everything. But you have to avoid those if you want to be consistent. But if a player gets frustrated, I can't get inside their head and push a button and say, okay, you don't get frustrated.
You just have to play through that and because the other teams have those spells too. Xavier's had them, every team that's playing, every team that has played. But overall percentage wise, that is, that's a struggle, some of it as I said came from, you drop from 30 some percent to 20 some percent when you're forcing shots at the end. But, well, then don't get behind. And you'll shoot a better percentage.

Q. Just talk about the role both benches played. They had three guys come in and get 20 points and some big rebounds and make some big impact plays and you never got that contribution. How difficult was that?
COACH RYAN: Well we're always looking for something from the bench. But defense first and then rebounding and then play making and sometimes your bench brings in scoring because of your rotation, sometimes your bench brings in defense, sometimes your bench brings in power for rebounding. In different years there's different ways you go about it.
Last year Bohannon was coming in off the bench and he would add some offensive spark. Tim Jarmusz, you know, he's not a bad shooter at all. He can knock it down. He's, he can add some offense. Keaton, he didn't shoot it obviously as well as he did against Florida State, but it was like his freshman year, basically, and he and Leuer and Jarmusz and Jordan Taylor and Rob who just played a little bit, but those guys, they seemed in the locker room, like they can't wait to get back, go to work, and get ready for next year.

Q. You mentioned on two occasions that you came up short in a few areas this year. Could you elaborate a little bit on what you mean by that?
COACH RYAN: Well, I thought defensively even though our numbers show we were a really good defensive team. Again, that's based on guys buying in and working at things. But I thought we could have been even better. On rotation, on taking charges, on -- it's not like the way you guys started the press conference about Xavier on the offensive rebounds, you must have had a different stat sheet than I have. I think we had seven, they had seven. With that team, to keep them to seven when they got three on one possession and I pulled both our bigs on that, just figuring they might have been a little tired, so other than that one possession, they had four offensive rebounds. And that's a team that's really good on the glass.
But that's an area -- but towards the end of the year we were getting better in that area. And then shooting percentage wise with just being so inconsistent percentage wise. And tonight was -- we have had two or three of those where between the two guards they didn't shoot a very high percentage. But we played 30 some games. Coaches are always looking at how the ones that got away. Like the fishermen. They don't care about all the nice fish that they catch, they always think about the big ones that got off the hook because they want to go you know defeated. Well we all want to go you know defeated and catch them all. But we don't get to do that.

Q. Can you just talk about Xavier's ability to get to the line down that stretch that and ability to get those what would be three point plays?
COACH RYAN: Well again when you're playing from behind a lot of those free throws came when we were trying to get a strip, get a turnover, trying to go after the ball in a way to create an opportunity for us. A couple of those reaches. But that's, you know, what happens. Again, you play from behind, the other team's going to get more free throws if that's what you have to go to.
And we're not -- we're not a long, athletic type team to press and jump and run and do those types of things. We have guys that work hard on defense, but some teams are better at pressuring than others.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, coach.

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