The Big Ten's annual media day was held this year on October 15th and all the Big Ten coaches and selected players were able to give their thoughts on the upcoming season and their respective teams. It's a very exciting event and signals the official start to the college basketball season.
BTPowerhouse will be posting the various transcripts of each coach's statements to the press. Including below is the transcript from Wisconsin's Bo Ryan.
Bo Ryan On Big Ten Media Day
COACH RYAN: It's good to be here this time of year. This is what people, myself, really enjoy. And that's in not so much being here, but being in the gym and coaching and teaching. So I'm in my element now. And this is (indiscernible) in this profession, to work with these young men, and it's going well so far. We're working hard and a lot more teaching going on this year rather than managing simply because of the youth.
Q. Coach, I'm curious with the change in the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds, does that affect how you defend? In other words, maybe put more pressure on the ball to try to slow teams down to get into the offense?
COACH RYAN: Well, what we've done in practice is we already have our press break in and our press earlier than usual, just in case. So you just prepare for things like that. Always remember some of us have been around so long we've coached to every rule change that has been put out. There's been quite a few, if you really think about it. So what we're doing is we're preparing for that both ways. We're looking on their press break to make the next pass up court or a pass that moves quicker. Always enjoy doing that teaching point somewhere early in the year, where you can take unsuspecting freshman and stand at half court, I have the ball in my hand and they have the ball in their hand. And, of course, they dribble to half court and I say, All right, see if I can get there before you can. You know, I used to be fast, I'm setting him up. And then he starts to take off on the quickest dribble you've ever seen. I fire a baseball pass to half court that beats it by 30 feet. And I said, "Well, did you learn anything? A pass gets there quicker than a dribble."
So we're always practicing what you just said. We'll work around that and then, pressure-wise, you know, teams with depth, teams with experienced depth, maybe they can do that. There's been people who have tried to press in the Big Ten before, and some have been successful and some have struggled with it. I'm not sure what the other people are going to do but we'll be ready for both.
Q. Coach, you said that you've been around for a lot of different rule changes. Do you see this round of rule changes being one that will significantly impact the product right away? And do you think that the game is such that big changes were -- are necessary?
COACH RYAN: Well, you said the word "product." I've never in this profession thought of anything about product, whether it's the players or the game or anything else. There are people that just wouldn't be happy with anything the way it is. There's always going to be people advocating for change and for something different. Media influences rules by trying to get the most out of advertising dollar of the people who sponsor the games. They want more rules. They want more of this or that.
You know, it's still going to be you've got to put the ball in the basket and you've got to try to stop the other guys from putting the ball in the basket, whether it's a 5-second shot clock or 30. We practiced with a 17-second shot clock before we went up to Canada two years ago. We got shots off. No problem with that. They were probably some of the ugliest possessions you ever want to see.
People want to see that, they can advocate for that. I think 30 is enough time to get a good shot. You teach good, practice good. They tried it in the NIT and we saw what a huge difference that made; a point, two points, something points per game were scored. Okay. So some genius came up with 5 seconds off the shot clock to get one more shot. I tell you, I don't know where they graduated from, but it's a heck of an idea.
So whatever it is. Just play good. And defensively, what people forget is if the team is a good defensive team and the other team is taking 30 seconds shots off the shot clock when it was 35 and taking bad shots, you would think somebody would be astute enough to say, "Boy, that team played really good defense and didn't allow that team to take a good shot until late in the shot clock," and then give credit to the defense. But I never heard a lot of that. You know, you don't hear that part.
So I think what we're doing is we're still going to play the game of basketball, and anytime you have more mechanical things that are brought in to the game -- meaning the shot clock, meaning reviews via checking to see if a ball went off out of bounds or off this person or that person -- there's going to be a lot of stop issues in play. And I thought people were trying to find ways to make the game go a little smoother. But I really think that if -- some of these rules are made as far as contact. We played teams where we had a guy on a Tuesday night game make a cut from the right wing off a back screen and we didn't see him until Wednesday.
So, if they're talking about -- I mean, I run an offense with freedom of movement; have forever, since junior high school coaching. And if you tell me that this year our guys are going to make cuts and people aren't going to be allowed to make contact with them, we're going to have a party. That's pretty good stuff.
So you're teaching defenses, I mean not to grab cutters or to put hands on cutters, and I mean other people do, or vice versa, then it's obviously not going to be fair. So we're going to see how the season plays out and how they're going to call the rules and try to get as much help as we can by communicating with the Big Ten office.
We've got officials into our practices already to go over the rules and how they're going to be called. I think they counted 18 disagreements with the officials in practice so far, but that's -- it was 25 last year at this time. So I think 18 that we discussed -- when I mean a disagreement like, "Really? Are they going to call that?" So let's see if they do. Let's see if these rule changes do exactly what they wanted. Time will tell.
Read all of BTPowerhouse's preview coverage for the 2015-16 Big Ten season here.