Ryan not concerned about possible letdown
Coming off a major win against a ranked foe in Ohio State, University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan said he isn’t worried about a possible letdown against their next opponent, the one-Big Ten-win Indiana Hoosiers.
“I know when we are at practice today, what happened Saturday is not a factor,” Ryan said in reference to the national media recognition provided by ESPN’s College Gameday. ” … It seems that all the games we play are pretty exciting. We usually have a lot of media for our (games).”
Ryan pointed to his time in Milwaukee as a reference point to the atmosphere experienced in Madison over the weekend.
“At Milwaukee, if we’re playing a game and we happened to be an ESPN2 game, and Milwaukee hadn’t been on ESPN ever, I know that was exciting for the students,” Ryan said. “But I couldn’t tell you what we did the next game. At Wisconsin, we’re around this all the time, so I think our players should be used to [the media attention].”
Practice like you play
One of the more notable performances of the year was senior Joe Krabbenhoft’s play against the Buckeyes on Saturday. Krabbenhoft was a stat sheet-stuffer once again, scoring nine points, grabbing eight rebounds, dishing out four assists, and generating a career-high six steals. What this line doesn’t show is the work he puts in behind the scenes.
Ryan points to the effort Krabbenhoft puts in during practice and how that attitude translates to the game.
“I would never do that,” Ryan said when asked if he’s ever considered holding Krabbenhoft back. “I wouldn’t know how to react if my coach said, ‘Hey, slow down a little bit here.'”
Along those lines, Ryan believes that it is Krabbenhoft’s desire that allows him to excel game in and game out.
“There’s still something in life for the people who want things, and will persevere, and aren’t easily deterred,” Ryan said.
“There is that element of perseverance that separates a lot of people.”
Perhaps the most important aspect in the Badgers’ performance this weekend was the play of seniors Marcus Landry and Krabbenhoft. In Ryan’s mind, their success extends beyond basketball, and into all aspects of their lives.
“They have a vision of a better life, of how they see things playing out,” Ryan said.
The bond they have formed can be contributed to this type of outlook on life:
“(Landry and Krabbenhoft) want to play in a successful environment and get the most out of their experiences,” Ryan said.
Since the start of Big Ten play, Ryan has seen the younger players mature as their experience grew.
“We had some givens in that there were four guys who had played substantial minutes,” Ryan said. “And as we said several months ago, the whole key was going to be how other people raised their level through learning, through experience, through hard knocks, through positive things happening to them. The other group would have to come along and play older … and that is basically the three sophomores and two freshmen.”
In fact, Ryan said he thinks the whole team is taking on the characteristics of the two seniors.
“I think a lot of their teammates are the same way,” Ryan said. “And if the teammates aren’t, they’re growing to that way.”