1. Final Four Q&A with Clark Kellogg

    Clark Kellogg is in Texas preparing to broadcast the NCAA Final Four for CBS this weekend. Every year, he makes some time to chat about the big event, and his work as a board member for the Capital One Cup. Enjoy.

    Storming the Floor: So, we have four teams left, and each one wants to win two games. What does each team have to do extremely well to win it all?

    Clark Kellogg: When you get to this point, Eric, you really have to be doing what you do well. Whatever your M.O. is, you have to be doing that at a pretty high level.

    For Florida, it’s balance, and it’s consistency defensively. Not giving up easy shots, being a little disruptive with your pressure. Then getting multiple contributions from a pretty balanced offense. And Scottie Wilbekin has got to be Scottie, which means making big plays and making big shots.

    Wisconsin is a low turnover team. They’re really good at executing offensively. They can play to Kaminsky in the post, and they’ve got multiple guys who can step out and make shots from the perimeter. They’ve been pretty good defensively in the tournament. For them, they’re one of the lowest in the country for turnovers committed. So they can’t have a game where they’re out of character in that regard.

    When you look at UConn, they need Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright to be really good. Those guys carry them. An X factor for them is DeAndre Daniels, because he’s versatile and talented, but he hasn’t been as consistent.

    When you look at Kentucky, it’s really about what they’ve shown in the last three weeks, which is composure, cohesion and toughness at both ends of the floor. It’s the intangibles with them. We didn’t see that consistently in the regular season, but we’ve seen it in spades here in the tournament. They’re not flustered, they’re not taking plays off, they’re not distracted and they’re making big shots in addition to key plays.

    If you look within the matchups, between Kentucky and Wisconsin, the thing Wisconsin has to worry about is defensive boards. You can talk about Randall, but rebounding on defense is going to be big for Wisconsin.

    STF: We’ve seen just about every iteration of how a season can go for a Calipari team over the past few years. If you’re a Kentucky fan, are you willing to take the years where things just don’t gel if you still have that puncher’s chance to win it all every year?

    CK: Have you been around any Kentucky fans? You don’t even need me to answer that. Are you getting a mixed reaction on that?

    STF: (laughing) No, but nobody wants to go to the NIT and lose a game in Moon Township. But, yeah, if they can get more titles, I guess they’ll take it.

    CK: They’re pretty crazy anyway, as a group. I mean, I love ‘em, but they are not always rational or objective. You can give them any number of places on that continuum. But I think the vast majority of them would say ‘hey, if we have a chance to get the whole enchilada…’ even if there’s the occasional NIT, most would probably be OK with that.

    STF: Kevin Ollie is a bit of a mystery. He came in without coaching experience and yet here he is in the Final Four. Has he learned that much in a short amount of time, or is he lucky that he got to hold onto some of the experienced players from the Calhoun era?

    CK: It’s a mixture, but if you know Kevin Ollie or been around him like I have - he played for the Pacers for a while and I worked for the Pacers after being a player there in the early 80s - you know his resume as a player. Never really a star, but always a valuable component on every team he played with because of his character, his work ethic and his IQ. That’s what makes him successful as a coach. He’s at his alma mater with the support and encouragement of Jim Calhoun.

    Still, it’s surprising that he’s in a Final Four in just his second season, but for any of us who have been around him, I don’t think there was any doubt that he’d be successful. I’m not surprised. It might be a little premature in terms of the timeline, but the ingredients for his success were never in question in my mind.

    STF: If Billy Donovan wins a third title, is he in line to be the Coach K of Gainesville?

    CK: Oh yeah, even if he doesn’t win it. He’s already proven it over time. He’s the next face of college basketball. You have Roy Williams, Coach K, Jim Boeheim and Tom Izzo in that top group right now, and in that next group there’s Billy Donovan, Bill Self, Thad Matta and guys of that caliber. That’s the next group. In fact, Billy’s Hall of Fame worthy right now. He’ll be one of the guys on Mt. Rushmore, if you will, for the next period of time. Whether he wins it or not.

    STF: Do you think Bo Ryan has been underrated as a coach?

    CK: It’s hard to give everybody the billing and the attention they deserve. Sometimes people get overlooked for whatever reason. But we all know Bo has been terrific. He’s hard to play for, apparently, but he develops guys and helps them get better, and his teams do things the right way. I have the utmost respect and admiration for him. I don’t know if there’s a coach in the Final Four that the basketball community is more happy for than Bo Ryan.

    STF: What are the ramifications for the Capital One Cup standings after this weekend?

    CK: There’s 60 points at stake for the national champion that emerges on Monday. The Capital One Cup rewards the top Division I men’s and women’s athletic programs based on points accumulated through the fall, winter and spring seasons. It rewards top ten finishes in 19 men’s sports and 20 women’s sports.

    Florida is in the best position on the men’s side with the national championship in a couple of days to catapult to the top of the Capital One Cup standings. They’d be primed to win their third cup in four years. They’d have the Capital One Cup trophy, the national championship and a combined $400,000 in student scholarship money. The women’s winning athletic program gets that as well.

    STF: I appreciate your time as always, and hope you enjoy the weekend!

    CK: Yep, looking forward to it. Thanks a lot, Eric.

  2. (via Bo Ryan’s Wikipedia page may not be accurate - SBNation.com)
  3. Report: Pseudo-Bucky is roaming Madison, WisconsinBucky the Badger is a common sight at Camp Randall Stadium these days, and soon enough we’ll be…View Post

    Report: Pseudo-Bucky is roaming Madison, Wisconsin

    Bucky the Badger is a common sight at Camp Randall Stadium these days, and soon enough we’ll be…

    View Post

  4. Badger Frank Kaminsky takes advantage of increased minutes

    "Center Frank Kaminsky is the only player to reach double figures in all three games for the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team during its trip to Canada.

    That’s an encouraging sign that Kaminsky is ready for what figures to be an expanded role during his junior season with the Badgers.
    Kaminsky and senior guard Ben Brust scored 17 points apiece Saturday night to help the Badgers beat A-Game Hoops 88-76 in an exhibition game at the Mattamy Athletic Center in Toronto.”

  5. “Wisconsin became Carleton’s third NCAA victim this month, as they knocked off the Badgers 95-82. They also beat both Towson and TCU by 26 points each. The aptly named Phil Scrubb finished with 30 points and 12 assists, while Tyson Hinz chipped in with 25 points, 10 boards and three blocks.
Now to be fair, this is a tough matchup for Wisconsin considering Carleton’s style of play (full court pressure) and the fact that in Canadian basketball, a shorter shot clock is used. That hurts the Badgers, as did the fact that their first game with three new starters came against a team that threw waves of pressure at them.”
(via Josh Gasser returns, but Wisconsin is still Carleton’s latest victim | CollegeBasketballTalk)

    Wisconsin became Carleton’s third NCAA victim this month, as they knocked off the Badgers 95-82. They also beat both Towson and TCU by 26 points each. The aptly named Phil Scrubb finished with 30 points and 12 assists, while Tyson Hinz chipped in with 25 points, 10 boards and three blocks.

    Now to be fair, this is a tough matchup for Wisconsin considering Carleton’s style of play (full court pressure) and the fact that in Canadian basketball, a shorter shot clock is used. That hurts the Badgers, as did the fact that their first game with three new starters came against a team that threw waves of pressure at them.”

    (via Josh Gasser returns, but Wisconsin is still Carleton’s latest victim | CollegeBasketballTalk)

  6. "As he watched Matt Meinholz fight for his life and later share his remarkable story of survival, University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan couldn’t help but notice several admirable traits the Middleton native possessed.

Meinholz was tough and courageous. He was smart and energetic. He was overwhelmingly positive and passionate about sports, especially basketball.

“That’s the kind of person,” Ryan told Meinholz’s parents, Marv and Karen, at one point, “that I want near me and I want part of this team.”

So Ryan did everything in his power to make it happen. And Meinholz, who was eager to be associated with a program he had grown up admiring, did his part, too.

Meinholz walked out of the Kohl Center last week beaming with excitement. The Badgers had just finished one of their offseason practices in preparation for a series of exhibition games in Canada later this month, and Meinholz, a first-year manager, enjoyed every minute of it.”



Read more: http://host.madison.com/sports/college/basketball/men/badgers-men-s-basketball-cancer-survivor-matt-meinholz-inspires-in/article_d91afdcc-4dd1-596c-8eda-8d25b2ae81e2.html#ixzz2b17ninfC

    "As he watched Matt Meinholz fight for his life and later share his remarkable story of survival, University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan couldn’t help but notice several admirable traits the Middleton native possessed.

    Meinholz was tough and courageous. He was smart and energetic. He was overwhelmingly positive and passionate about sports, especially basketball.

    “That’s the kind of person,” Ryan told Meinholz’s parents, Marv and Karen, at one point, “that I want near me and I want part of this team.”

    So Ryan did everything in his power to make it happen. And Meinholz, who was eager to be associated with a program he had grown up admiring, did his part, too.

    Meinholz walked out of the Kohl Center last week beaming with excitement. The Badgers had just finished one of their offseason practices in preparation for a series of exhibition games in Canada later this month, and Meinholz, a first-year manager, enjoyed every minute of it.”

    Read more: http://host.madison.com/sports/college/basketball/men/badgers-men-s-basketball-cancer-survivor-matt-meinholz-inspires-in/article_d91afdcc-4dd1-596c-8eda-8d25b2ae81e2.html#ixzz2b17ninfC

  7. I interviewed Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser for an article for NBC. I always like to share the raw Q&A with you guys after the fact.
When you got injured before last season, did you go through the five stages of grief?
 
Yeah, a little bit. It took a few days to sink in. It happened so quick. Everything was going so well, then a second changes everything. It was a mixture of feelings, being pissed off or mad or sad, depressed, whatever. It was tough to deal with, but after a couple of weeks it all sunk in and I decided to rise to the challenge. 
 
When did you start working to rehab?
 
I had surgery a week after it happened, so I couldn’t really do anything except try to get rid of the swelling. 
 
What’s the worst exercise in rehabbing that type of injury?
 
A couple of days after the surgery. I stayed a couple of nights with my parents, then I went to start some light rehab a couple of days after.
 
What was the worst exercise?
 
At first, the worst thing is trying to get your flexion back. Your knee is so stiff you can’t bend it at all. Then as it goes on, there are various exercises that you dislike the most. Conditioning, and trying to get my legs under me because it’s been so long since you’ve run and cut. It changes month by month.
 
When did you start feeling like your strength was returning?
 
How did you combat boredom?
 
I just try to stay involved. Watching games, going out with my teammates - that’s the kind of stuff I would be doing anyway. I try to be as involved as I can in practices and being with the guys off the court so I can feel comfortable that way.
 
Are there other players, coaches, family members who helped with the mental aspect of rehabbing an injury?
 
Yeah, definitely, there were a lot of people who helped me. I got calls and texts all the time from people. Coaches, former players, friends, family you name it. It’s kind of crazy how many people have gone through this injury. You don’t realize until it happens to you. People would tell me ‘oh yeah, I went through that back in the day, too.” They can help you along the way and keep you mentally stable.
 
Did you feel like you could have come back early?
 
No, it was definitely no go. There was really no chance. The trainers and doctors told me that. From the get-go we were taking our time with it. We knew it would take the full year - a full twelve months - before I could get back into it. Not trying to rush anything. So hopefully I’ll be ready to go next year.
 
What have you been doing this summer specifically to get ready for the new season?
 
Just continuing to do my rehab right now. Gradually building up to be able to play five-on-five. I work out in the morning, then in the afternoon do the rehab stuff with the trainers. I’m building up quad strength, regaining balance and really re-learning how to do everything. Learning how to run, jump, all that stuff. Learning how to tolerate it with the pain. Week by week and day by day. Hopefully pretty soon I’ll be able to go full contact.
 
Since you’re starting over in a sense, are they taking this opportunity to teach you new ways to do any of those old skills?
 
I’m re-learning all kinds of things. Walking mechanics, jumping mechanics, learning a lot of stuff. They’re kind of basing it on what feels comfortable to me.
 
I’ve been to Wisconsin in the summer time, and I felt like every time I turned my head, someone put another bratwurst on my plate. How do you avoid gaining weight over the summer?
 
(Laughs) I’m from here, so I eat them pretty often. But I’m working out two or three times a day, so I can eat pretty much whatever I need to eat. I’m trying to gain some weight back, so it’s not really a problem for me. I’m burning a lot of calories, so whatever I put back in me is fine.
 
You’re on campus right now. Do you get time off?
 
After the spring semester, we get three or four weeks off before we start summer workouts. But I’ve spent summer here, rehabbing and working with the trainers here. So I have only spent a couple weekends here or there at home. It’s been great, I can’t complain.
 
Did they give you some things you can do even when you’re at home to work out?
 
My longest time at home was a six-day stretch. The trainers gave me a workout plan, but at the same time they wanted me to take some time off; go home, rest, hang out with my family and rejuvenate. A really important thing in this whole process is learning to rest and give myself some time to heal. So it’s a little bit of both.
 
Any class load?
 
I’m taking an online business course right now, so I don’t have to go to class, but it’s still a lot of work every day to keep up the pace.
 
You still have some downtime. Did you get hooked on any shows?
 

I did, actually. I’m on the second season of Friday Night Lights. I usually don’t get into series, I just like to watch basketball games and football games, but after the NBA Finals were over, I started that series and now I’m hooked on it.
photo: AP

    I interviewed Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser for an article for NBC. I always like to share the raw Q&A with you guys after the fact.

    When you got injured before last season, did you go through the five stages of grief?

     

    Yeah, a little bit. It took a few days to sink in. It happened so quick. Everything was going so well, then a second changes everything. It was a mixture of feelings, being pissed off or mad or sad, depressed, whatever. It was tough to deal with, but after a couple of weeks it all sunk in and I decided to rise to the challenge.

     

    When did you start working to rehab?

     

    I had surgery a week after it happened, so I couldn’t really do anything except try to get rid of the swelling.

     

    What’s the worst exercise in rehabbing that type of injury?

     

    A couple of days after the surgery. I stayed a couple of nights with my parents, then I went to start some light rehab a couple of days after.

     

    What was the worst exercise?

     

    At first, the worst thing is trying to get your flexion back. Your knee is so stiff you can’t bend it at all. Then as it goes on, there are various exercises that you dislike the most. Conditioning, and trying to get my legs under me because it’s been so long since you’ve run and cut. It changes month by month.

     

    When did you start feeling like your strength was returning?

     

    How did you combat boredom?

     

    I just try to stay involved. Watching games, going out with my teammates - that’s the kind of stuff I would be doing anyway. I try to be as involved as I can in practices and being with the guys off the court so I can feel comfortable that way.

     

    Are there other players, coaches, family members who helped with the mental aspect of rehabbing an injury?

     

    Yeah, definitely, there were a lot of people who helped me. I got calls and texts all the time from people. Coaches, former players, friends, family you name it. It’s kind of crazy how many people have gone through this injury. You don’t realize until it happens to you. People would tell me ‘oh yeah, I went through that back in the day, too.” They can help you along the way and keep you mentally stable.

     

    Did you feel like you could have come back early?

     

    No, it was definitely no go. There was really no chance. The trainers and doctors told me that. From the get-go we were taking our time with it. We knew it would take the full year - a full twelve months - before I could get back into it. Not trying to rush anything. So hopefully I’ll be ready to go next year.

     

    What have you been doing this summer specifically to get ready for the new season?

     

    Just continuing to do my rehab right now. Gradually building up to be able to play five-on-five. I work out in the morning, then in the afternoon do the rehab stuff with the trainers. I’m building up quad strength, regaining balance and really re-learning how to do everything. Learning how to run, jump, all that stuff. Learning how to tolerate it with the pain. Week by week and day by day. Hopefully pretty soon I’ll be able to go full contact.

     

    Since you’re starting over in a sense, are they taking this opportunity to teach you new ways to do any of those old skills?

     

    I’m re-learning all kinds of things. Walking mechanics, jumping mechanics, learning a lot of stuff. They’re kind of basing it on what feels comfortable to me.

     

    I’ve been to Wisconsin in the summer time, and I felt like every time I turned my head, someone put another bratwurst on my plate. How do you avoid gaining weight over the summer?

     

    (Laughs) I’m from here, so I eat them pretty often. But I’m working out two or three times a day, so I can eat pretty much whatever I need to eat. I’m trying to gain some weight back, so it’s not really a problem for me. I’m burning a lot of calories, so whatever I put back in me is fine.

     

    You’re on campus right now. Do you get time off?

     

    After the spring semester, we get three or four weeks off before we start summer workouts. But I’ve spent summer here, rehabbing and working with the trainers here. So I have only spent a couple weekends here or there at home. It’s been great, I can’t complain.

     

    Did they give you some things you can do even when you’re at home to work out?

     

    My longest time at home was a six-day stretch. The trainers gave me a workout plan, but at the same time they wanted me to take some time off; go home, rest, hang out with my family and rejuvenate. A really important thing in this whole process is learning to rest and give myself some time to heal. So it’s a little bit of both.

     

    Any class load?

     

    I’m taking an online business course right now, so I don’t have to go to class, but it’s still a lot of work every day to keep up the pace.

     

    You still have some downtime. Did you get hooked on any shows?

     

    I did, actually. I’m on the second season of Friday Night Lights. I usually don’t get into series, I just like to watch basketball games and football games, but after the NBA Finals were over, I started that series and now I’m hooked on it.

    photo: AP

  8. Ugh, Wisconsin, just ugh.

    Ugh, Wisconsin, just ugh.

  9. “Wisconsin made 51.7% of their shots and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, which led to an 18-7 edge in second chance points. And the Badgers were solid defensively as well, limiting Cal to 38.3% shooting while also forcing 23 turnovers.”
(via Wisconsin bounces back from Wednesday’s defeat, whips California 81-56 | CollegeBasketballTalk)

    Wisconsin made 51.7% of their shots and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, which led to an 18-7 edge in second chance points. And the Badgers were solid defensively as well, limiting Cal to 38.3% shooting while also forcing 23 turnovers.”

    (via Wisconsin bounces back from Wednesday’s defeat, whips California 81-56 | CollegeBasketballTalk)

  10. (via Bo Ryan gets five more years at Wisconsin | CollegeBasketballTalk)