Wisconsin beating Indiana at the Kohl Center isn’t anything new — the Badgers haven’t lost to the Hoosiers at home since 1998 — but Sunday’s 65-60 win had plenty of new developments to discuss.
Traps in the post on defense, significant minutes for Brevin Pritzl, sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. Wisconsin coach Greg Gard talked about those things and more in his postgame show with Wisconsin radio announcer Matt Lepay.
“We’ve worked on trapping the post and that’s something we’ll continue to grow with a little bit,” Gard said about defending Thomas Bryant, who finished with 11 points and four turnovers. “We won’t do it all the time, but we’ve practiced it. I thought we were comfortable enough to do it, did it the other night against Illinois.”
Here’s what else Gard had to say:
On redshirt freshman Brevin Pritzl, who tied a career high with six points in 12 minutes
“He’s gotten his swagger back. By that, I mean he’s always been known as a shooter. But when he got back, I felt he came back with the same level of toughness and appreciation for the some of other things he was so good at. It’s taken him a while to get back in the rhythm and figure out those are more important than how pretty the ball looks going in. It’s great that he can shoot it, but we need him to do some other things, and those other things are the intangible pieces of the game that he needed to get his confidence back in. Diving on the floor, guarding very well, rebounding, taking care of the ball, those things are what we really value. And the bonus is,” hey, he can shoot the ball and score.”
On the Badgers’ late game mistakes
“I think we both gave each other problems. I don’t think we played the smartest game on either end. Specifically at the end, on the last three, four minutes, made it closer and kept everybody holding their breath longer than maybe should have happened. Credit to them, they have to make shots and we have to make mistakes. We gave them opportunities and they took advantage of it. It’s a good learning experience for our guys. We’ve already addressed it in the locker room and we’ll watch in the film room.”
Gard said this wasn't UW most intelligent performance: "We made some defensive decisions that were way out of character."
— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) February 5, 2017
On shooting from the free-throw line
“We shot the line much better today. Obviously two guys in Hayes and Happ that have been struggling a little bit. That helped us when the the threes weren’t going as cleanly as we wanted to even when had some pretty good looks at times. Getting to the free-throw line was also important because it allowed us to set our defense and minimize what they could do in transition.”
"Getting to the free-throw was like a counter for not shooting the three well" -Gard
— DailyCardinal Sports (@Cardinal_Sports) February 5, 2017
On defending Bronson Koenig and Thomas Bryant
“They were trying to do some new things and disrupt (Koenig) a little bit. I thought once we figured it out, we did some decent jobs with moving the ball and finding where they had left guys open. … Good players are going to find ways, just like we did with Bryant. We threw some things at him that we hadn’t done before, try to keep him off balance. That’s where the team comes in, the other guys have to pick each other up.”
On first place in the Big Ten
“We want to keep going and building towards what this group has collectively said what they want to do, win the league. That’s goal No. 1 here, but we’re a long ways from that.”