UW-MU Post-Game Quotes

Transcribed by Michael LoCicero

Head coach Buzz Williams:
Defensively
 
I think that’s the key to the level of success that we can achieve as a team this year and I think that in prior years, we have proven that the level of success will be dependent on our defensive efficiency. And you think about the success that Wisconsin has had specifically to us in our three years playing in late clock situations, they have been as good as any team in the country and I think they’re even better this year than they have been because all five guys can score from anywhere on the floor. So I thought that the 10 consecutive stops that we got after they brought it to within one was absolutely critical. The guys we had on the floor amidst that run was a collection of guys that have never even dreamed of playing in a situation that they were playing in. To win in this type of environment against a hall of fame coach, with the winning percentage that they have had here at the Kohl Center, it’s not just one guy or two guys or just the head coaches, the totality of everyone in the program, whether their names are in the programs or not, it takes all of us. So we’ve all been locked in on that. Our staff did a perfect job in preparation. Our guys did a great job in absorbing it all and we were able to execute, from the most part, from start to finish.
Coming off loss, double turnovers to assists, under 19 percent from 3
 
I think that’s the thing. None of that trends towards even close to success for us. It takes all of us. Junior’s not playing, DJ gets two fouls in the first half, Jae gets two fouls in the first half, Jae gets his third foul, I put Jamil in, Jamil gets hurt. A few things. We’re third in the country in assists. A lot of that, though is not because we’re really good, a lot of that is because play an 86-possession game. So when you cut that down, and turn it into a 66-possession game, number one you aren’t going to have a lot of assists and number two, a lot of our assists come in transition or come off penetration. And how Wisconsin plays defensively, their rotation is not their typical defensive rotation. So the number of assists where you create for others is going to be down. And a lot of it, you have to be able to finish on your own. And for the most part, when its all penetration, you have to be able to finish against number 40 and number 44 between the ball and the basket. And that’s extremely hard to do. And I think that having 17 offensive rebounds is critical because it’s so hard to score on them on your first shot opportunity because they’re so big and they’re so fundamentally sound within how they play defensively that you have to have some guys running at it to negate all that on second and third chance opportunities and we missed those that could have came back and bit us.
Outrebounded UW, dictating tempo
 
I do think that it was a battle of wills in regards to tempo. I wouldn’t say that we controlled the tempo. We’d like to play faster than we were able to play today. At times, the game kind of bended towards Wisconsin’s type of pace, bended back towards our pace. What happens is, I was saying this earlier to somebody, it kind of becomes a football game in relation of time of possession. So, like last year, when we played Wisconsin,  they were on offense 24 minutes and 49 seconds. Well, you’re defensive numbers are going to be really good because you’re playing defense for just 15 and a half minutes. You’re opponents offensive numbers are going to be really poor too because it becomes a time of possession game. And when you guard them into late clock and they shoot it with 5 seconds on the clock, well they got 30 seconds time of possession. And if you go take a surprise shot on the other end, quickly, in five seconds, they’re going to come back and play 30 more seconds. So it’s when ‘O-D-O’ and they’ve played a minute time of possession, and you’ve played five seconds time of possession. You can’t mathematically win that. I wouldn’t say it was our tempo, but I would say we managed the possessions of shots without a paint touch. We only had four shots, total, or six shots total in the game without a paint touch. In order to get a shot with a paint touch against Wisconsin, it’s much more difficult than against your typical opponent because of how they play defensively. So to get a paint touch, it’s going to eat up more clock and once you get a paint touch, it probably means it forced their kind of help, which will help.
Beat UW at own game?
 
It was more from a minute perspective; it was probably more of their style in number of minutes played. But I thought there were only two or three possessions at the beginning of the game where we were indecisive relative to how we were going to play in that sort of an environment. Having 17 offensive rebounds for us, being able to do what we were able to do from a defensive standpoint, all of those things helped. But again, you have to guard them for 30 seconds nearly every single time they have the ball. As I said, I think I was telling Tom this earlier: You have to be really solid in your first 25 seconds against Wisconsin, but you have to be even better in your last 10 seconds. Because they’re preying on the fact, that’s with an ‘E,’ if you’re typing, not an ‘A.’ They’re preying on the fact that you’re not going to be disciplined enough to be as solid in the last 10 as you were in the first 25.

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