Those in attendance at the Kohl Center were left speechless Thursday after watching Wisconsin yield a game-ending 12-1 run and lose to Iowa 59-57. But coach Greg Gard had to say something.
Gard talked about what went wrong in his postgame radio show with Badgers announcer Matt Lepay, and it started with inbounding the ball.
“Everybody looks at the guy taking the ball out of bounds, some of those decisions weren’t what they needed to be, but it’s also the guys trying to get open and doing what they were supposed to,” Gard said. “Not coming to the ball hard enough, not chinning the ball when we did get the ball in once then lost it off our own knee. Those things are magnified, I outlined a lot of other things throughout the game, specifically a lot in the first half, where I felt we got off-kilter.”
Gard didn’t have much to say about Wisconsin’s 5-of-14 shooting from the free throw line, simply saying “We’ve been down that road before.”
Here’s what else Gard had to say:
On the defense against Iowa, which entered Thursday averaging 80.6 points per game
I thought defensively, we were much better than we’ve been in a long time and to be able to hold this team to 59 points, the way they’ve been scoring, it’s a good sign from that standpoint.
On Wisconsin’s effort level
They played extremely hard, I’m disappointed they didn’t get rewarded from a standpoint of how hard they played. But we didn’t play as intelligent as we needed to play, especially in the last couple of minutes.
On using a three-guard lineup for most of the second half
That’s what I planned to do. I wanted to do that for most of the game. I did it quite a bit in the first half, too, just trying to use Vitto (Brown) and Ethan (Happ) and Nigel (Hayes) at the 4 and the 5. Just because, against their zone and pressure, I wanted more ball-handlers on the floor.
On reserve Jordan Hill, with whom the Badgers were +2 on the floor in 11 minutes
I thought Jordan Hill gave us a heck of a spark. He really got us going there. It’s unfortunate we had that turnover (with the Badgers up 57-52 with 2 minutes to play), because that really diminished what he had done from a positive standpoint. He really gave us a boost when we needed it.
On Wisconsin’s timeout usage down the stretch
I like to save timeouts, so players can use timeouts when we get in trouble. The decision-making, obviously that’ll be something we look at extensively, but we had a pretty experienced group on the floor and weren’t able to close it out.