Thoughts from my first trip as a real member of the media.
I really wish we had won this game. I cannot tell you how much we had won this game. Sure, I wanted it for all the normal reasons (end the losing streak, Badger HATE, to make Bo's head explode). But in the end my true reason was extra selfish. Getting the chance to attend the game as a credentialed media member was fun and I know I would have enjoyed it more if the Gophers hadn't lost. C'est la vie (oh yes, I went all French speaking emo on you).
I'm glad that GN did the basic recap on Saturday night because after that gut punch of a loss I really, REALLY didn't want to do a blow by blow account. So I'm going to stick to general thoughts about the game that came to me following the post-game pressers and interviews and as I looked over the box scores. I'm also going to share a little bit of what it's like to go to one of these games with a press pass.
Media Credential Stuff
I'll start with the fun stuff (press pass) first because, well, because I don't want to think about the frustrating stuff yet. First off, I have to thank GN for supporting me and giving me the shot to do this. It was a really cool experience and not one I would have imagined myself doing. Highlights and general thoughts:
- Running into my neighbor (a Badger fan of course) and shocking him with the media credential.
- Being provided with the detailed box scores, game notes, and key fact sheets at halftime and at the end of the game.
- I need to seriously up my sports multitasking before I cover another game. I was having a hard time commenting in the Open Thread and tweeting while also keeping up with the game. At home I have my DVR for when I miss something.
- I need a better voice recorder for the postgame interviews. My current phone won't cut it as a recorder if I'm to bring you quotes.
- Getting to be there for player interviews was really cool. I really wish the Gophers had won because I felt bad for being excited that I was there for a post loss interview.
- Having access to the court during pregame. I didn't have a chance to get good photos this time but I'll remedy that if I get to do this again.
Just a great experience. I was able to get a bunch of photos and I'll get those up as an album tonight.
So, thoughts on the game? I guess I'd have to break them down into the things I didn't expect, the things that bugged me, and the random thoughts.
- Getting out rebounded 35-29, including on the offensive glass (11-8).
- Winning the turnover battle (9-10) while losing the game.
- Only getting 4 points off offensive rebounds.
- While I knew we wouldn't fast break it much, I figured we get more than 2 FB points.
- The strength of our bench play overall (4/5 for 10 points, 6 total rebounds --5 of them from Ingram--).
- We may have won the TO battle but we lost the TO war. The Badgers had 13 points off of our 9 TO's. In other words, we gave them 1.44 points per turnover aided possession. That's bad. On the other hand we only got 5 points off their 10 TO's.
- The missed dunk. Sigh...
- We are still in a shooting funk. Everyone not named Andre Hollins was 9 of 33. Take out Trevor (3/6), Mav (2/2) and EE (2/2), and you have Joe, Rodney, Austin, and Andre combining to go 2 of 23 (8.7%).
- We didn't score a basket in the last 3:53 of the game.
- We made 3 of 7 FT's in the 2nd half.
- The Gophers have only won 1 of their last 16 games in Madison and this is their fourth straight loss to UW.
- Our 29 rebounds was a season low. 44 points was a season low.
- Traevon Jackson's nickname is Dungeon. Ryan Evans would not offer an explanation.
- I'm sure you've all caught this fact by now, but the potential shot clock violation on Jackson's shot was not reviewable.
- I still have no idea what happened on the jump ball. If you were hoping my being behind the scenes would help get more answers...nope. No one I talked to around the media room had an explanation either.
Video of Tubby's Presser and Player Quotes
- On Rodney and the other starters getting out of a rut:
- On what can the coaches do to help Rodney get on track:
- On Andre:
- Surprised about Jackson taking the last shot?
"No, he's taken some big shots down the stretch. It was going to be him or Evans, they're their best off the dribble players."
- Any way he could have taken the free throws?
"No, I couldn't really bend my wrist that much. I could have wrapped it up but we had confidence in Rodney."
- What do you say to Rodney?
"Keep telling him that we believe in him. He's proven it time and time before."
- Is he going to play in the next game?
"Yea, I'm not going to miss any games for this."
- Do you need to make a big change after 4 straight losses?
"No. Need to fix the little things."
"Need to get those offensive rebounds."
"Every little thing counted today, every possession counted."
"Have to get over the hump of correcting the little things that are causing our losses"
- Talk about the charge at the end.
"He pushed me in the back a little bit."
"I went too deep…I should have gotten a shot up."
"Sucks to not have a shot attempt at all."
"My decision making on that play was very poor."
"One of the little things that cost us the game."
- On Rodney's free throws
"We have confidence in Rodney."
"Still a long season. There is nothing to hang our heads about."
- Missed the first question...it was about the FT's
"Once Trevor got hurt I knew, I kind of knew they were going to send me to the free throw line."
"Tried to get as prepared as best I could."
"First one was good, second one felt just as good. Just didn't bounce my way."
- Can you put your finger on what is causing the trouble in the last couple of games?
"Tonight we didn't get key rebounds but we did take care of the ball better than we had the last couple of games."
"For us I think it was getting the key rebound...I'm thinking it's the rebounds"
"Neither team shot the ball really well so you can't really go there for an excuse."
- Do you feel that confidence is an issue at this point after a four game losing streak?
"I think we're all confident in each other and what we can do."
"We won 15 games coming into this losing streak and we beat some pretty good teams. I don't think it's confidence I just think that things just haven't been going our way."
"Going to keep coming every day with a positive attitude."
"Can't dwell on these losses."
- Do the losses build on themselves?
"It kind of builds up a little bit. We can't worry about those losses and keep moving forward."
- What do you do as a leader of this team to get back on track?
"Stay positive. We can't have any negativity on the team right now."