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March 18, 2011
THE MODERATOR: From the University of Wisconsin we have Jon Leuer, Tim Jarmusz and Jordan Taylor.
Q. Jon, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about playing against NBA competition this past summer and how it changed your game and helped your confidence.
JON LEUER: It helped out a lot. I actually played with Jacob Pullen out in Las Vegas. I'm sure it helped him a lot, too. It was definitely good competition, and, you know, proving to yourself that you can play against some of those guys, you know, definitely gives you some confidence.
Q. Jacob Pullen said the key for them is going to speed you up, you personally and Wisconsin, and try to force you to play at their pace. What's essential for you to protect the ball and to resist the urge if they keep putting pressure on you to speed up and play to another team's pace?
JORDAN TAYLOR: I think just we have to do exactly what they're trying to do, play at our own pace. Play at the pace that we're comfortable at, you know. And we feel like we can make plays at a lot of different speeds. Just stay within ourselves and within our scheme. And just trying to make plays out of that.
Q. Who has been the toughest on-ball defender that you have faced this year and why?
JORDAN TAYLOR: There is a lot of them out there, obviously. You know, there's Aaron Craft at Ohio State, Louis Jackson at Purdue. Last night, you know, all the guys at Belmont. But especially Kerron Johnson. I mean, I would probably say Craft just because he is like a bulldog. He never is -- he is relentless. He just keeps coming at you. Every time you turn around he is right there. Always smacking at the ball. He is a smart kid. All of them are pretty good at it, so...
Q. Jon, how different is this NCAA tournament experience this year than the one in '08 the last time you faced K-State for you personally?
JON LEUER: Yeah, it's a lot different. Obviously have a different role now. We had a lot of good players back then. Just trying to find a niche. Now I feel like I have a more prominent role. It's a lot different for everybody. Even their guys, too. Everyone has different roles and I don't think you can really base anything from that game because it's just, you know, so different.
Q. Jon, I was wondering yesterday when Kansas State and Utah State played they didn't mind trash talking with each other. They were kind of getting into that way. What's your guys' policy on that? If one team is doing that, is that something you get into or do you stay away from that?
JON LEUER: It is what it is. We don't let this affect us at all. Once we step in between the lines it's all business. And, you know, we're going do whatever we have to do to win, regardless if people are trash talking or trying to get in your head or doing whatever. It's just a matter of doing what you have to do to get the job done.
Q. Tim, when you have a night shooting as you did as a team last night it's so easy to say the shots are falling. But what has to happen for you guys to shoot like that game in and game out?
TIM JARMUSZ: I think it's important to get good shots. When we're running the good offense and moving the ball and everyone's cutting and just kind of out there more relaxed, it's easier to get your feet set. When one or two goes down, it just kind of snowballs. Just kind of helps every other aspect of the game.
Q. Jordan, when you got a match-up with a guy like Jake Pullen, is it easy, is it hard sometimes to not get pulled into the mano-a-mano thing and keep it team, team, or how does that type of thing go generally?
JORDAN TAYLOR: Any time you play a player like that he -- players like that definitely bring out the best in you. You definitely have to bring your A game. But at the end of the day it's about the team. They're not going to say Jacob Pullen moved on or Jon Leuer or Jordan Taylor moved on. So you definitely relish the challenge, but it makes it fun to play against players like that. But, at the same time, it's all about what's on the front of your jersey.
Q. Jordan, has this team become reliant on the three-point shot this year maybe more so than past years and is that a good thing?
JORDAN TAYLOR: I mean, I guess, style of play, we play a little bit, a lot is predicated on making shots, you know, three-point shots. But, you know, we still try to get to the line. It's a big part of our game. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but it's definitely something that is really preached throughout the locker room by the coaching staff.
You know, we're working on it. But, I mean, every night the shots aren't going to fall. So that is why it's important to try to do different things.
Q. This question is for Tim. Coming from the Big Ten a lot of people say you are the most physical conference out there. When you go up against non-conference opponents do you think that you are more physical than them and is there anything you have seen of that nature?
TIM JARMUSZ: Yeah, the Big Ten is one of the most physical conferences. That just kind of prepares you for the teams you will face. Just set the tone and make your presence felt when you get into these post-season play really helps us out. We have a great strength program and everything. And we really pride ourselves on being physical.
Q. Jon, can you talk about K-State's bigs, Curtis Kelly and Jamar Samuels and what kind of things they're going to pose, you know, towards your bigs as well?
JON LEUER: Yeah, I mean, from what I've seen them do they can do a lot. They're both very active and long and athletic. So, you know, they have good touch around the basket. They're physical. And, you know, we're going to have to do our best to try to limit their touches and, you know, not let them get into a rhythm.
And the more we can just, you know, keep the ball out of there and, you know, not let them get deep post position, I mean, that's what you want to do against anybody, not let them get deep post position. But those guys, especially because they're going to make it hurt if they get it down there.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, guys. Thanks a lot.
Coach, if you can give us some opening remarks.
COACH RYAN: Understand it's a tough act to follow, what just happened here. (Laughter.) I only heard bits and pieces.
It's great to get another 40 minutes in. I think our guys are looking forward to, again, prolonging the season, like everybody else, knowing how quickly it can disappear. So for our six seniors and, again, our spirit squad and the band and everybody else is very thankful they get to spend a couple more days here.
Not only that, my own family, they were pretty happy, they get to stay. The hospitality's been great. Really a neat city. And everybody's been very gracious. And people have worked extremely hard here. The University of Arizona's done a great job.
Q. Bo, as long as you have been in Wisconsin and as many Wisconsin players as you have recruited, are there any roads in this state that you don't know about, any towns you haven't been in?
COACH RYAN: No. Because if I didn't know what they were, then I wouldn't be able to tell you. (Laughter.)
I probably had a chance, you know, coaches do not do the old chicken dinner thing as much anymore. The chicken circuit as in the '70s when I got to Wisconsin. They found out they had an East Coast guy that liked to talk, so as an assistant I was sent everywhere for a lot of the high school banquets, a lot of the boys' and girls' clubs, things like that. So I had the chance to go all over the state.
Also, when we used to do our golf outings we used to hit, like, 15 cities in the state of Wisconsin. Elroy Hirsch said, Get in the van, and here we go. Elroy, I don't golf. I've never golfed. Well, you are going to learn. So we hit cities east, west, north.
No, I don't think there's any part of Wisconsin that I haven't had a chance to either recruit somebody or speak or in some way play a golf course there, maybe, something like that.
Is there a reason? Were you looking for a particular spot? (Laughter.)
Q. Well, I don't know the state at all.
COACH RYAN: Okay.
Q. Coach, can you talk about Kansas State's full-court pressure and their pressure defense especially in the half-court situation extending your guards out?
COACH RYAN: Well, what makes for good pressure is anticipation, length in the passing lanes, trying to get you to do things that you don't see everyday. So, you know, we get a short practice today to go over some things. Very hard to have a scout team simulate what another team can do. But we've played some pretty good teams that had some guys who can get after you some.
So hopefully we'll be able to get our looks. And if they extend too much, maybe we can get some easy baskets or attack a rim, maybe get somebody in foul trouble.
Q. Coach, you probably didn't think about this back in '08, but did the thought run across your mind that K-State might be a flash in the pan with Beasley or did you see maybe this kind of progression coming along?
COACH RYAN: No, I knew -- Frank's a guy that gets after it. I didn't think anything other than that they would be pretty good. That, you know, year in, year out that he could compete. As the coach, I mean, he knows the game, and then it's a matter of getting the players. They've got players. So that's how you keep it going. You got to keep getting guys who buy into your system and guys that can compete. Frank's done that.
So '08 I even forgot we played them in '08. Because Pullen is the only guy that I can remember -- is there somebody else from that team? Not that I've seen on the tapes, the DVD's I've looked at.
Q. Bo, threes were falling last night, but we all know that can be fickle for your team as well as almost any team. What do you have to do to kind of have a good string together games here or at least another game of good, really good shooting?
COACH RYAN: First of all, you got to be in position. You need to have your feet set. You got to have guys shooting them in places, the right guys shooting them. Even that doesn't guarantee a high percentage. But I don't know if anybody could ever answer that question.
Just knowing that percentages tend to be percentages. You take a look at a team's three-point shooting and you take a look at Belmont's guys, three or four guys shooting 40 percent or better from three. And usually you take a season, it comes to that average. So you are up some, you are down some. Sometimes you are right on your average. Just get good shots, if you can. If they're taking those away, you got to get something going to the rim and you got to get to the free-throw line.
Q. What makes them such a good offensive rebounding team and what do you need to do to keep them off the glass?
COACH RYAN: Well, contact's a good thing. You got to enjoy contact, physically to block people out. We're not going to out-jump them. They've -- and I don't think lengthwise we're going to be any longer than them. So you just got to do what you do every day in practice. Require guys to put a body on somebody. Don't let somebody get an angle. And be willing to dig in.
I'm sure the other teams that play against them have said that too. Then you got to go out and do it.
Q. Obviously this is a team game, but most people are going to watch this game and think about Jacob versus Jordan. Obviously, it's big match-up on paper. How are you going to approach that?
COACH RYAN: Well, when we always do our scouting reports, when we discuss individuals, it's with the idea that the team knows that the help defense is going to be the most important thing. There is more than one set of eyeballs that a player with the ball has to face.
Every position that an offensive player catches the ball, the eyes are not just two on him, the guy guarding him, but a lot of other eyes. So with Jacob you still -- you have to do that because he can beat guys off the bounce. He uses screens well. But they have other parts.
But I think when we discuss players that way, we don't get into a lot of: It's you against you, or you got to take him and you got to shut him down. We don't do that because our defense is predicated on help and on trying to -- we always want to get five guys guarding three guys. That is our goal all the time. Learned that at a night clinic in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in the early '70s, and it still works.
If you can get the ball committed to an area and have five guys guarding three, I like the five.
Q. How much has the swing offense evolved and morphed and changed over time and how has it changed for this particular group of players that you have?
COACH RYAN: Well, it's obvious that we have different go-to parts of what we call -- the swing is basically saying it's motion, but yet in your motion you have different sets, you have different reads. So, you know, the swing is positions down the floor, now here we go. What are we going to do? Back screens, up screens, fade screens. We can get staggereds out of it. We can get screen, re-screen action out of it. Flat-ball screens, rubs. All those things are part of it.
Just like the game has developed for anybody that ran motion 30 years ago or 40 when motion became the -- what do you guys run on offense? Oh, we run motion. Motion? Yeah, a bunch of guys move around. That's motion.
Well, the swing is a bunch of guys moving around but with a concept, you know, with some reads and things that we play off of. And through repetition. You can see things, nuances developing with each team. And this team has done a pretty good job to get here for a group that wasn't expected, I guess, by some to -- I kind of liked them back in October. And so I think they've done a good job of knowing what they can do and trying to stay away from what they're not very good at.
Q. Coach, some of Jon's teammates said that he had a different swagger is the word they used when he came back from playing with the U.S.A. Select team. Did you see a difference in him and his game when he came back?
COACH RYAN: I know he had a lot of gear. (Laughter.) U.S.A. Basketball, I coached it in the World University Games a couple years ago. I had to have a valet carry all the shirts and -- they really take care of the players. Is that the swagger that you are talking about?
Q. That is swag. (Laughter.)
COACH RYAN: Oh, okay. I knew it started with an "s." (Laughter.)
Jon's not one of those guys that really peacocks. He doesn't. He's -- Jon's Jon. He's fairly quiet, very serious for the most part. If the players saw that, they saw that around the locker room or whatever I -- on the court, Jon, you missed your block out there and I don't see any swagger after I ripped him for not doing something he was supposed to do. I missed it.
But why not feel pretty good. You got a chance to do some things that not everybody gets a chance to do. That was good stuff.
Q. Coach, can you just talk about Jordan's development as a player to this year and then also maybe talk about his second-half performance in the win against Ohio State earlier?
COACH RYAN: Well, I think the Ohio State game is a guy gets a feel. We've had some players do that to us. We've done it to some other teams. And his teammates helped set him up for a lot of those, too, with the ball screens and then, you know, if guys do certain things on the ball screens, then he reads and reacts. But his development is basically that he has become one of the smartest point guards out there, period.
As far as what he can see, one pass ahead, what kind of read on the defense. Are they trying to get him to refuse a screen to send him to a corner? Are they going to hard hedge and double? Whatever it is, his senses now have become finely tuned to the point where he reads and reacts as well as any guard I've seen out there.
Q. Coach, you were talking about your quiet, serious guys. I wanted to ask you what's the status of Bruesewitz and his knee?
COACH RYAN: I told you how happy we would be if he could be on the floor. And he was on the floor and we were happy, and so was he. He is a happy, go-lucky guy.
He was feeling pretty good today at practice. I had to mention to him one time, Mike, Mike, settle down, settle down. Let's save a little of that for tomorrow. Mike's ready to go right now. He's -- I don't know if he'll sleep tonight. He just has a lot of energy. And it comes naturally. Because, you know, they test for caffeine now. So those guys that used to drink ten Mountain Dews can't do that anymore.
I had a player just like him at Platteville who would have a case every couple days, a case of Mountain Dew. And because caffeine is something you test for now, he couldn't play for me now. But Mike can because he doesn't use caffeine. He is okay. He is okay.
Q. Coach, I know you talked about how you don't focus on stopping one guy or one thing, but with K-State and Rodney McGruder and his versatility does that scare you, the different things he can do, rebounding like a big, shooting like a guard and how valuable is it to have a player like that who can do everything?
COACH RYAN: Don't get me wrong, we do identify individual strengths. But we also know a team doesn't get here without having the other parts. So McGruder, yeah, he's got a quick release. I don't know if he's ever had one of those shots blocked. We're probably last in the country or, you know, we're not -- we don't block a whole lot of shots. We're more about position. You just got to try to get him to not be able to get into a comfort zone.
You know, just like we did to Diebler. For three-and-a-half years he shot, like, some ridiculously low percentage. Then when you hit, like, seven of them out of eight or whatever, you know, and we fouled him on one of them.
So for me to say McGruder is the kind of guy that can hit one of those kind of streaks. I mean, he is that good from the perimeter. And it's our job to not let him do that. As well as not let Pullen do this and Kelly do that and so on throughout the line-up.
Yeah, we know how good he is.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports