Dec. 4, 2008
On the matchup with Wisconsin
"I think it will be a battle of will every possession. What they do really well, and what they typically have done really well and they continue to do really well, is why they win 30 games every year. Our team is built different than theirs, how we play is different, so every possession will be a battle."
On keeping the ball out of the lane
"We have to keep the ball out of the post, whether we are playing Central Michigan or Wisconsin. When the ball gets to the paint, that's when we are the most vulnerable. The best thing to do is keep the ball as high on the floor as you can and make sure that you have great ball pressure, whether it is a guard or anybody else."
On the importance of staying out of foul trouble.
"We're 6'6"-and-under as of right now. We can't play with any foul trouble, no matter what position or player it is. With the roster the way it is as of now, it puts us in a bind. When you play a team that is as big as they are and all five of those guys at some point in every possession will do the same thing you can't play with a man down."
On the play of senior guard Dominic James
"Against Wisconsin (last season) Dominic was really good. I don't know how I would compare his game as it relates to Wisconsin. I hope he plays the same way. Overall I think he's doing a great job engaging his defender every possession. I think that's a hard thing to do to - engage your defender and know whether that means I'm supposed to shoot or not supposed to shoot.
"He's also doing a much better job of getting his teammates the ball where they can score right away. He's not just ditching and then they have to do something to score. He's getting the ball to guys where all they have to do is just catch it and score. I think his assist-to-turnover ratio would be even better if we haven't missed some of the easy shots we have missed here and there."
On Wisconsin's Marcus Landry
"I think he's a hard match up no matter who they play because of his skill set and because of his size. He's a really good player. There's not a lot of guys like him in college basketball anymore because his skill set says he can play outside the three, yet he may be most effective inside the paint. He's probably their second or third best ball handler. I think he's got a very good skill set. He's a very good college player."
On Wisconsin's Toughness
"They are an extremely mentally tough team. In the games that I have watched them play they play with great stability and great poise no matter the time, no matter the score, no matter the opponent, no matter where they are playing at. I think that is typical of a coach Ryan team. I think that is probably their best characteristic. They just play really solid."
On defending Wisconsin's offense
"They're notorious for that swing. It's a successful offense and it's going to win a lot of games for them. That's something we're definitely going to adjust to. We're a small team and usually teams will try to make it an emphasis the week they're playing us to try and post up. It's not an emphasis for them, that's what they do. It's what they've been doing forever, it's what they do best. We're going to have to work on it, but mostly we're going to have to be conscious about it. We're going to have to try to get them to play to our strength, which is speed up and down the court. We can't have them throw easy post passes, because that puts a lot of pressure on the guards to pressure their guys so they can't just lob it over the top."
On the team's lack of size
"That's probably our weakness, everybody knows we are an undersized team. We have to do as much as we can to not let them get inside, get into the post, get into the paint. It's all about our pressure, it's all about the guards helping out. Once they throw it into the paint it's a toss up, it's their strength, but it's one of our weaknesses."