Ryan praises players for staying level
After an overtime loss to UW-Green Bay, Wisconsin rebounded with a 72-63 victory over Marquette on Saturday and has a light week this week heading into the holidays. The Badgers play Cal Poly on Saturday.
“They don’t see anything different from us, so if we’re the ones that are in a position to be their mentors, then we need to do what’s right,” Ryan said during his weekly news conference that was Web streamed from Madison. “So the players did what was right, got back on the practice court, because our players are a lot smarter than you think.”
Ryan became the third coach in Wisconsin’s history to win 200 games with the program by capturing the game for in-state bragging rights. He was impressed at how his team bounced back after the 88-84 loss in Green Bay.
“Our guys understand we go to Green Bay and they’re going to give us their best shot, and they give us their best shot here. It’s OK, they got the best of us there,” Ryan said. “We’ve got to go to our next game, which happened to be Marquette. It could have been anybody. But still, when you hit the practice floor Thursday, you’re ready to get better.”
Big man Jon Leuer delivered with 24 points and 12 rebounds in Wisconsin’s victory over Marquette.
Even with the strong performance, Wisconsin (7-2) fell out of the Top 25 rankings on Monday after being No. 20 last week based on its third-place finish at the Maui Invitational and a win over then-No. 6 Duke earlier this month.
“It’s hard to hide the truth. It is a fact that things are going to happen where you’re going to be, ’Hey, wasn’t that great?’ And there are going to be things that happen when you say, ‘Boy, that was a bummer,’ ” Ryan said. “You still have to go to whatever your next plan is, your next game, your next job, your next whatever.”
After Cal Poly, Wisconsin plays UW-Milwaukee on Dec. 23 and Illinois-Chicago on Dec. 27 before opening Big Ten Conference play at home against Ohio State on Dec. 31.