Following a 87-47 win against Southeastern Louisiana and starting its season with a 1-0 record, Bo Ryan and his basketball squad are looking forward to playing No. 10 Florida Wednesday.
Ryan was asked in his press conference Monday afternoon how Florida being ranked will impact how his team plays and how they will prepare for their first road game. Ryan noted Florida went into Ohio State and won last season at the end of the year and also that he didn’t know where they ranked. He also explained that he hasn’t seen the list and he didn’t look either.
“I just know that they’re pretty good. And they know how to win, they know how to play,” Ryan said. “So, whether they’re a top team or not, we are going down there with the same approach. We’re not changing our philosophy simply because of a ranked team.”
Wisconsin has had just one opportunity to play this season, but Bo Ryan was still questioned about how he attempts to put a schedule together for each season. He simply said they try to play the best schedule that works for all the conditions that are required to be met. Ryan also noted that the fans make it clear that they want more home games.
Along with schedule building, the coaching staff also started the search for a new point guard. Junior guard Josh Gasser is now out for the season with an ACL injury, which happened at practice on a Saturday morning. Ryan has not chosen a new point guard at the moment, and is waiting for each player to prove themselves.
“When the shot clock gets down and we face more defensive pressure, then you start to see who can make plays,” Ryan said. “We work with guys and see what they can handle. If they’re weak in an area you try to improve them. For me to say ‘This guy’s better at this, this guy’s better at this’ with this group, well they really haven’t played that much so it’s hard to get a true read.”
Along with Gasser on the injured list, senior forward Mike Bruesewitz will probably miss some court time with a laceration on his right leg. Ryan said that they are simply going down to Florida to play and that all the questions about who is going to fill a position or who is going to come ready to play will be answered during the game.
“Until you’re in [the game] you’re not quite sure. All the parts have to work together.” Ryan said.
Along with the Florida game being the main focus of the press conference, Ryan was also asked about his conversation with freshman guard Zak Showalter. Ryan simply stated that Showalter stopped by the office and sat there talking with him.
“‘Hey coach, I’m just here to tell you whatever you want me to do, I’ll do.’” Ryan quoted Showalter.
Ryan expressed that Showalter is capable of making and already has made hustle plays. He also said that Showalter is more or less the fourth guard and that he will continue to contribute to the team. Another major contributor to the team is freshman forward, Sam Dekker. Not only did he play on with Team USA over summer, but he was also coached by Billy Donovan, Florida’s head coach. Ryan complimented Dekker by saying he is a listener and that he takes in all the information thrown at him.
With regards to what Florida is going to throw at the Badgers this Wednesday, Ryan stated that Florida can bring some heat, especially at home. He also noted that the Gators force opponents into plenty of turnovers and that he is sure they are planning on doing the same with the Badgers throughout the game. The main threat Florida plans to throw on Wisconsin will be their full court press. Ryan knows that his guys can break it, but being relaxed and confident will be the key to a win.
“If you think about it too much you start to sweat. You get nervous,” Ryan said. “But it’s all read and react and if you can hurt it every once in a while by getting a score at the other end, that helps.”