Positives aplenty in defeat

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoThough Wisconsin dropped its rivalry game against MarquetteSaturday, head coach Bo Ryan believes that with the aggressive all-aroundscoring, stamina and key leadership within the team, the Badgers played with adetermined mindset.”You’re always trying to put your players in the bestposition to be successful,” Ryan said during his Monday press conference. “Younever want to overburden anybody, and nobody has ever done that with anybodyelse.”Despite a valiant effort against the Golden Eagles, theBadgers lost, 81-76, snapping a 28-game home winning streak. However, Ryan ispleased with the way the team played.”We did a pretty good job … we got the clock stopped,” Ryansaid. “Actually, it couldn’t have played out any better for having a chance tocome from behind.”Scoringcontinues to stay balancedOne of the key trends for UW this season has been thebalanced scoring pattern throughout the team. In each of the last seven games,eight different players have scored in double figures. Saturday, Brian Butchled the team with 17 points, shooting 50 percent from the field. Trevon Hughesadded 16 points and four assists, while Michael Flowers chipped in anadditional 14 points in his first start of the season.When asked if this teamwork was an accurate display of thetype of squad he is coaching this season, Ryan was quick to defend his AlandoTucker-less team.”A guy doesn’t have to go on the floor and feel that he hasto get 20 points,” Ryan said. “We can get five or six guys scoring betweeneight and 14 and still end up with very good production. We still want guys tobe aggressive with scoring, looking for their shots, improving with theirindividual moves, being able to deliver … of course we want all that.”Additionally, Ryan emphasized distributing the basketball.”You have to think about yourself as a player so that youcan deliver when it is a good shot and it is a good opportunity. But also, howto get somebody else an opportunity: draw in help, finding the open person,kicking it out,” he said.Reboundingdeters BadgersDespite another aggressive scoring effort for the majorityof the game, the Badgers struggled against Marquette in other areas. For thefirst time this season, the team was out-rebounded 41-34. The Badgers onlyconverted on 60 percent of their free throws, while the Golden Eagles hit sevenof their last nine free throws of the game to hold on to the lead.”You have to believe in your players — that they want to dothe right things the next opportunity they have,” Ryan said of the struggles.”Sometimes you’ve got to get knocked upside the head … figuratively, where youstumble and you’ve got to get up.”Ryan looks toseniorsWith a tougher schedule in the near future, Ryan is lookingto the older players on the team to set the tempo. Senior Brian Butch ranksthird in the Big Ten in rebounding, averaging 8.6 boards a game, while seniorMichael Flowers is averaging 9.4 points and shooting .444 (28-of-63) from thefield. Junior Joe Krabbenhoft is second on the team in minutes, and tied forsecond in rebounding and assists. To Ryan, the offensive contributions thatthese players bring to the team come secondary to the overall impact theyhave.”If you have success doing certain things early, when youunderstand the process, it is really about not trying to do things that youcan’t do,” Ryan said. “From my 30 years of experience, that’s what we try todo. We try to get people to set examples. And sooner or later, the younger guysget it.”Leuer’s playreflection of teamForward Jon Leuer hit two big 3-pointers against the Eagles,but Ryan made it clear that these offensive opportunities can be directlyattributed to an overall team contribution, not just the growing play of thefreshman.”It could have been him (Leuer) in that position, it couldhave been J-Bo (Bohannon), it could have been Michael Flowers,” Ryan said.”Balance … we’re going to need that. You can’t always refer to what has been,but how many explosive players do you find like Alando Tucker that can createsomething on his own? They’re rare. A lot of times then, you might have a teamthat might have to make one more pass.”last_img read more