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March 17, 2011

Mike Bruesewitz

Jon Leuer

Bo Ryan

Jordan Taylor


Wisconsin – 72
Belmont - 58

THE MODERATOR: Coach, ask you to give us some opening remarks, then we'll go to the student-athletes.
COACH RYAN: The only thing I'd like to open it with is that we beat a pretty good team. Rick does an unbelievable job with his program. I have a lot of respect and our players have a lot of respect after watching the tapes and the clips of this team.
We knew we were playing a very good team. We knew we were going to have to hit some shots. And when we're hitting shot, believe it or not, we tend to play better. That's all I got.

Q. Jordan, given the way you finished the season and the fact that, you know, nationally people had pegged you guys as a possibly first-round upset pick. How motivating of a factor was that to come in and play well?
JORDAN TAYLOR: We really forgot about the last two games. As soon as they were over we forgot about them. As far as we're concerned, we can only control what we're doing. We don't pay attention to that stuff. Just fun to have a win against such a good team.

Q. Can you guys just describe the lift that Mike provided you, not only in the first half but throughout the game coming in today.
JON LEUER: It was huge for us. He came in right off the bench, got an offensive rebound, put it back in, like, behind his head. And I saw the guys on the bench get pretty excited about that. Especially, you know, after what he's been through and he's battled back. And, you know, he hit some big shots for us, too. And, you know, he was -- looked really fresh and looked really good and that really energized our team.

Q. Jordan, I was wondering, their team seemed to play a similar sort of brand of basketball as you. Does that give you some confidence when they do? Do you feel like you can play that brand better than they can because of sort of the familiarity or sort of the commitment you have to that?
JORDAN TAYLOR: Are you saying Belmont did? Like I said, we can only control what we're doing. Coach has preached that throughout the season. So we come in and look at what they can do and how we can stop them and what we can do to neutralize that. We don't really go into a game thinking they play exactly like us. It's just: How are we going neutralize this team?

Q. Jordan, can you just follow up with Jon's comments on Mike's contributions. And also a second part, there was a play where I think Jarmusz tipped it out to you after a missed three pointer and you found Mike in the corner. Talk about the importance of that play.
JORDAN TAYLOR: Mike was huge. He has been huge all year off the bench and when he was in the starting line-up. Jared, Ryan, all those guys off the bench were huge today. Not just scoring, but they did a great job of making it difficult for their bigs, especially in the second half.
That play was so huge. Tim just -- you know, the same thing coach always talks about staying on the glass, staying aggressive, staying in the play and that has to be one of the biggest plays of the game. It's a four-point game and Tim keeps it alive and Mike makes a great shot. Just a lot of aggressive play on our guys' part and it's huge.

Q. Mike, I think you were medically cleared, I don't know how late today. But how good did you feel and did you have any hesitation to go out and play as hard as you normally do?
MIKE BRUESEWITZ: I went and practiced last night. And that was kind of when I got cleared.
It felt good, you know, coming out in warm-ups and stuff like that. You know, I had guys around me, Jon and Jordan and everybody else, you know, pretty jazzed up and encouraging me and asking how it's feeling. And, you know, got to give credit to Henry, our trainer. He did a great job with me in getting me ready for this.
And, you know, give a lot of credit to other people other than myself to get me ready and the teammates, you know, they helped me along. So it was a lot of fun to play today. I was excited.

Q. Jon, why do you think you guys were able to get back to playing the way you played most the season?
JON LEUER: You know, we were just -- first of all, we were playing a tough, physical team that really made us battle for everything we had and we stepped up to that challenge. And, you know, I don't know if you could say we did anything different other than the fact that just continued to make hard cuts, get good shots and guys were knocking them down today.
And, you know, like Jordan said, we forgot with those last two games and moved on. Corrected the things we didn't do very well, and, you know, it was a good team effort.

Q. Mike, I don't know if you surprised them given how well you played today, but do you think Berggren surprised them coming off the bench and hitting those two threes at a critical time?
MIKE BRUESEWITZ: Definitely when Berg came in and gave us a huge spark knocking down the threes. And he was a presence in the middle and he gave us a huge spark off the bench. I was excited when he knocked those down. He was having a bit of an up and down year. When he knocked those down, I couldn't be more happy for the kid.

Q. Jordan, you have lost two games in a row before, but I don't know how many times you scored 33 in a game. Did that weigh especially heavily on your minds coming in? You just wanted to play better after Saturday?
JORDAN TAYLOR: Any time you lose you want to play better. You kind of want to get back on the court. Scoring 33 points is, I mean, it happens, I guess. Not too often. But, obviously, it happens. We were just excited to get back on the floor. As you can see, guys were ready to relish this challenge of knocking down shots and we had a number of guys do that today.

Q. Describe the importance of free throws, how that helped you today and how that might take you further in this tournament.
JORDAN TAYLOR: It's a big thing. We spent a lot of times working on free throws in the offseason, during the season. It's just something we pride ourselves on. I don't think we shot it exceptionally well today. We shot it okay. Always room for improvement.
But in close games, you're going to need to knock those down. It's huge for any team.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, gentlemen, thank you very much. Appreciate it. See you guys tomorrow.
Okay, questions for Coach Ryan.

Q. Same question, did it matter more that you lost two in a row or just the way it ended against Penn State? Did you mention that in particular?
COACH RYAN: Never. Was never in a conversation that I have about numbers, about anything like that.
Going on 40 years here coaching this game, and I just don't do that. Never have. I'm always about what we're going to do next. I think that's why guys respond to us.

Q. Having said that, is there anything reaffirming about this victory in your belief in your team?
COACH RYAN: Oh, I never stopped believing in the team. There was never any doubts there.
It's just -- it's what they believe and what they can accomplish is the job of a teacher, a coach, a parent. You put young people in the positions, you try to give them what you can, sometimes you make mistakes, sometimes they do, but when there is a consensus on how you want to get things done and everybody's going in the same direction, you always know that if there's a hiccup, you just get ready for the next one.
But this is -- we won't be getting too revved up about this. What we got to do is get ready to see who wins this second game and prepare for Saturday.

Q. Bo, this is ten years now for you, ten years in this tournament. You've had nine first-round wins.
COACH RYAN: Lost the other one in Philly and you were probably there. (Laughter.) For those that don't know "The Delaware County Daily Times," Chester, Pennsylvania. Go ahead.

Q. Clearly you found a lot of success in that first round and having the team prepared for that. Have you learned anything over the ten years about what it takes to further your trip here for this tournament?
COACH RYAN: Well, we were well prepared. Greg Gard has the first game. He takes the first opponent, and we knew we had Northwestern with better post players. I'm not saying Northwestern doesn't have good post players. The stuff they run for the threes and the back doors and all that, we eliminated 90-something percent of that. Because of the job that Coach Gard was able do, once again.
Now we got a quick turnaround. We can't really change the way we play. Coaches would always like a little more time to prepare for a team. So we got to see in the second round here if we can get the guys to understand in a short period of time what it is that our next opponent likes to do.
So I think that's really helped us. I've always thought Coach Gard in particular, who has the first game, has had the guys very well prepared with the scout team. I tell you, our scout team is running -- I got even more respect for Rick's program and what he does now, watching our scout guys run their stuff. Belmont's got some good stuff. They're not going to get a lot of people scheduling them. I don't think they have. But they're not going to get anymore.

Q. Given the way things fell together today, can you specifically see why the offense was so successful across the board? You had a bunch of guys make big shots for you.
COACH RYAN: Well, I can show you the shot clips from our last game. And I can show you some guys really wide open, or wide open enough like they were tonight. Penn State and us, we know each other so well we just beat on each other. Penn State worked the shot clock more than we did. It was trying to win that game, believe it or not. That's what really ticks you off when the other team's trying to win.
But Penn State, you know, they got us into what they wanted. We thought we had them in what we wanted. But when you are scratching from 18-2 down, that probably's not a good position to be in. But our guys fought it out, got back.
So when the ball goes down, does it encourage other guys, does it give the other guys a lift shooting-wise? Of course it does. You start to make a few putts -- the reason I say that is from my window I can see people out there playing golf. You know, you make a putt, if you ever play golf you know if you start to make a 10-footer, 12, 15-footer, then you believe all of them can go in. So hopefully we've got some more for Saturday.

Q. Can you address the lift to Bruesewitz gave you off the bench in this game.
COACH RYAN: There's no numbers, there is no measuring stick for that. But Mike has become that guy. He has put himself into a position to be the mixer, to be the guy on this team that can make things happen. And he does it in practice. In practice he is even better. And sometimes in games maybe it gets away from him a little bit. But we definitely needed him. If he doesn't -- if he's not cleared to play, if he is not healthy enough, I think this game's probably going down to the last minute.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much. See you tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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