THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and take questions for the Xavier student athletes.
Q. Jason, did you guys watch the game last night? And were you rooting either way for Wisconsin or Portland State or Florida State to win?
JASON LOVE: After our game we stayed here and watched the first half, and as far as who we were going to play, we are just excited to make it past the first round and be here and we're part of the last 32 left and we're able to play another day.
Q. B.J., what do you know about Wisconsin? Talk about them a little bit and what you've seen from what you've studied so far.
B.J. RAYMOND: We know that they're a great team. We know they like to walk the ball up. They're a very defensive minded team. They're similar to St. Louis and Miami, Ohio team with the way they play defense and the way they walk the ball up.
They have a great junior point guard and they have Landry on the inside who is a tough he's tough to handle. It's just a good team. They're from the Big 10 and they have a lot of confidence right now.
Q. For any of you guys, talk about the schedule that you played and it's pretty ambitious and the challenge that it gave you and did you like playing that type of a schedule .
JASON LOVE: Oh, our goal this year was much like last year was to play the toughest schedule to put us in the best position to get a good seed in the tournament. We feel as though we got really good players and we were confident going into each game this year and we weren't intimidated at all by anybody we played. It really prepared us for the tournament game that we're about to play tomorrow and yesterday. I think that it definitely put us in a great position as far as seeding and just being ready to compete against teams, upper echelon teams of the NCAA.
Q. B.J., we're going to hear again that a lot of the teams that Wisconsin plays are more athletic than Wisconsin. Wisconsin is not as athletic. I don't really know what that means. Do you know what that means when they say a team is not as athletic as another team?
B.J. RAYMOND: No, we don't really listen to things like that. We know at Xavier we just try to focus on the things that we do best. We just try to come out and play hard every night and make sure that we're ready to play from the get go. We don't want to get punched in the mouth and we just want to make sure that we play the whole 40 minutes of the game, and just whoever wins at the end of the game, you know, just make sure that we played our best.
Q. You guys talk about the extended timeouts what it means to you guys. How does Coach treat them? Does he talk the whole time, does he give you some time to yourself?
B.J. RAYMOND: Well, I know for me the air's a little bit thinner up here. I appreciate the longer timeouts and things like that. But you have a short window of time to get used to a team and they throw little wrinkles at you, and the coaches during the game they make adjustments. And it's important for us during that time to just sharpen up and see how the game's going and just try to get it tilted in our favor a little bit.
Q. For B.J., can you just reflect on the last four years and where this program's gone in that time?
B.J. RAYMOND: Yes, you know, one thing that has never changed is the way we play defense here. Coach Miller is always trying to make sure that all of the schemes and things are the same and that's why I can credit to myself become a becoming a better defender. And that's the one thing that's always hold true for our team is that when we come out and we play to our ability, we do it on the defensive end of the floor.
Then also Coach has never ducked anybody. We have played some of the toughest games and some of the toughest opponents that we were able to. For that, it's made us and our coach and our system and our school it's got us out there a little bit. And in the tournament the way we do things, from scouting reports to going over personnel, we haven't changed that from day one and now that helps us during tournament time.
Q. B.J., I know the team really shies away from any notion that you're a Mid Major. Do you still carry a little bit of a chip that you're not a you don't come from a football conference and does that in some way make its way into the program?
B.J. RAYMOND: Yes, of course. We always have a chip on our shoulder. But we always do that at Xavier. We always try to play our best and try to win every game.
Of course sometimes when you play different schools who have bigger names and things like that people might say it's a big game but every game at Xavier for us, we feel like it's a big game. And we go out and try to win every game and sometimes we do and sometimes we don't.
But we know that for the most part we just try to play hard and we try to leave it all out on the floor every day. It doesn't matter what conference we're in or what, we just try to come out and play.
Q. Derrick, B.J. talked about his assessment of Wisconsin, talk about what you think, what your assessment is, what you've seen so far from tapes .
DERRICK BROWN: They're a real good team. They're very well coached. I think that's the strength of their team, very well coached, disciplined, they don't take bad shots. And it's going to be a war, but I feel like we're ready and prepared.
Q. Derrick, how important is physical strength in your program?
DERRICK BROWN: I feel like it's very important. It's important in every program, but we got a pretty good weight coach in a guy name Chris Rounds, he does a pretty good job with us and I think he prepares us in basketball strength. It's different types of strengths. I don't think it came down to us bench pressing, you know, a thousand times, we would be the best. But he puts us in a good position where we have the ability to go out there and compete against the best teams in the country.
Q. Follow up on a question that was just asked, you know, the fact that you're not from a football conference. Is it an attitude or a history or tradition that allows Xavier to supercede that and kind of like a Gonzaga and rise above any questions about the conference you're in or the program not being with the Ohio State's, so to speak.
B.J. RAYMOND: Me personally I don't necessarily know, no disrespect, but I don't know what football has to do with basketball. Basketball, we simply recruit to the best of our system. I never have known of any school that needed a football team to be a good basketball team. We just focus on playing good basketball at Xavier. And just making sure that we have the right players that fit our system and they want to play basketball to the best of their ability.
DERRICK BROWN: We can't control what conference we play in either, you know. It's not like it's a flip of the coin, we're in the conference and that's what we have to deal with. We play against the best teams in the country too. So we don't try to shy away from teams, I don't think. Coach puts us in the best position to win games.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, gentlemen. We'll take questions for Coach Miller.
Q. Coach, I know you got your coaching start at Wisconsin back in the early '90s, I wonder if you could reflect on that time starting off at Wisconsin and now how you feel about going up against Bo Ryan's team tomorrow?
COACH MILLER: Yeah, Wisconsin is a very meaningful place for me. That's where I got my start. If I wasn't hired by Stu Jackson then, who knows where I would have gone out of college. But Stu Jackson gave me my first opportunity and I'm forever grateful for him and the staff that I was a part of in my first year as a college coach, included Stan Van Gundy, who remains one of my closest friends, Ray McCallum, who is really a terrific coach. And I learned so much not only at the University of Wisconsin by that staff, but Big 10 basketball, what it means and the passion that the fans have for their universities. And it was I couldn't have had a better start or first year for me and that allowed me to get other opportunities.
Q. I was wondering how you handle these longer timeouts. Do you ever run out of things to say?
COACH MILLER: It is different. It's something that when you're in the tournament in previous years that you're more ready for. It really knocks you off guard when it is your first time because they are a lot longer. But it really, to me, helps the quality of play. Players in mid March have been through so many games that the longer timeouts really allow the team to be fresher and you don't have to sub to get your players breaks as much in the tournament, those timeouts really take care of that for you.
Q. A lot has been made about the 12th seed that Wisconsin has. When you were watching the game last night what is your assessment of the team and what you guys are going to need to do tomorrow?
COACH MILLER: Well, once you get past the first round, or if you're not one of the top two seeds, even in the first round, it really comes down to who plays better on a given day.
There's not a lot of separation between teams. I'm sure Wisconsin, Big 10 tested, a perennial power, a team that's been in tournaments before, I look at their senior class and what they have accomplished in their four years and it's amazing.
So to play that team tomorrow, we look at it as out of the 32 or 33 games we played this year, among the most difficult tests. And really it should be. The Sweet 16 is on the line.
But Bo Ryan is somebody that any young coach has to admire. I'm one of them. What he's done at the University of Wisconsin, his system, his style, the way he recruits, the toughness that his team displays, year in, year out, as faces change, their identity remains the same. It's very admirable and a lot of the things that he does with their program we try to do at Xavier.
So we're really looking forward to a great game and I hope it is a great game. We're going to have to play among our best to advance.
Q. You talked about one of the toughest games you'll have to play, you've played a very ambitious schedule and that's been kind of one of the stamps you've put on this program. Just talk about your scheduling philosophy, who will you play, who won't you play and how do you determine how you fill out your non conference?
COACH MILLER: We want to play a very, very challenging schedule. Two reasons: One, we want to prepare ourselves to have the best opportunity to win our regular season conference championship. And it's amazing when you go through tough Novembers and Decembers how your team is more prepared for the rigors of conference play.
Number two, and it's the obvious one, it gives us an opportunity to qualify for an at large berth in the tournament to improve our seed, to get those marquee wins that I think the Selection Committee has very honestly stepped to the forefront and said you have to have this to be a part of the tournament.
I go back, Missouri's here with us, it seems like three years ago we played in the San Juan Shootout, but in that tournament you had Southern California, you had Chattanooga, you had Virginia Tech, Memphis and Missouri. Those three teams we beat. And in large part we achieved our number four seed by challenging ourselves to play in that tournament.
It's always fun to talk about in March, but the reason you don't do it or not everybody does is there's not a lot of room for error when the season begins. I mean, you could clearly lose a couple tough games and it's not like you have a four or a six week hiatus and then the season begins after Christmas.
For us even the two games we played before Christmas, which I think ruined everybody's Christmas in our program, Butler and Duke, we lost, but I'm very confident in saying because we played both of those teams we were better after Christmas having gone through it.
Q. Xavier's obviously not one of the BCS football conferences, where do you see Xavier in the kind of the college basketball universe right now?
COACH MILLER: Here's the thing: College basketball is not college football. That's A No. 1. There's a distinct difference. When you look at Memphis last year being in the National Championship game and you look at what this tournament means, one of the reasons it's so special is on any given weekend any team in this tournament can beat the opposition. And that's what make it's so special.
But for us, we try to compete to be among the best with who we are. And we control the Atlantic 10 Conference, that's the conference we're a part of. And Dayton advancing, Temple being in this tournament, some of the great teams of the past, UMass, Temple, some of our teams, Xavier, been in the Elite 8 two times in the last six years speaks for itself. But we try to be the best at who we are.
And what happens in the fall when you're at Xavier you could cheer for any college football team. We're about college basketball and we have all the support in the world that we need to be the best we can be and that's all you can ask as a player and as a coach.
Q. When you recruit, do you have any trepidation about going head to head with the Big East or Big 10 schools?
COACH MILLER: No. It's a little bit like non conference scheduling. We're not going to win every one of those battles, but for us to be a team that can advance year in, year out in this tournament and get the seed of three and four, which we have had the last two years, you got to have great quality players and depth, a balance in classes and that really starts and ends with recruiting. So we try to recruit the best players that we can get, and sometimes we fall short, but our attempt is always to put a team together that can advance in the NCAA tournament.
Q. Wisconsin's been to 11 straight NCAA tournaments. As a coach that's been to four straight, can you put into context what that means?
COACH MILLER: It puts Wisconsin probably in the top 10 percent or 20 percent of college basketball programs. We have gone to eight of the last nine years at Xavier. And I think we have tremendous pride in that, in the tradition that we built. But for Bo Ryan to do that and him to follow on the heels of Coach Bennett, they really have done just an incredible job building their program. And what all coaches hope is that you can do it year in, year out, that consistency.
And that's really what we try to do at Xavier, to be back here next year, to have the opportunity to advance as the faces change in your program. The NCAA tournament almost comes to realize the identity that you have as a program. And Bo Ryan and what Wisconsin has done is incredible.
Q. To follow up on the scheduling thing, is there anyone you won't play? Do you only do home and homes, do you do a two for one? How do you pick which battles you choose?
COACH MILLER: Being that we play Duke in the Meadowlands, I don't know if you realize this, I think they have won 18 years in a row there or Coach K's, I think it's his favorite place other than Cameron Indoor Stadium, would probably back up the fact that we're just looking for great opportunities.
And certainly we want to play teams that will play us at home. And we now have that ability.
On a neutral court, we try to play the best teams and programs in the country. I think for you as a coach to recruit the best players that you can get and to continue to build your program, if that's what you shy away from, then you really are caught in the middle.
You have to be able to play great teams and in different arenas to be able to, I think, elevate who you are. And that's what we try to do. And we're not always going to win every one of them, but I think the philosophy is sound and trying to be that team that can advance in this tournament.
Q. In your experience how does it, how do you think a team reacts when it wins a game like Wisconsin won last night?
COACH MILLER: Meaning an overtime game?
Q. Yeah. Coming from behind, winning, hitting a couple of tough clutch shots and winning that kind of game.
COACH MILLER: Well, it's kind of funny, at half time we left and one of the themes of half time around the country was Wisconsin can't come back. The game was over.
And as evidenced by what they did in the second half, it speaks volumes about their style and their toughness and you really have to beat them. They will not beat themselves.
So I think they play pretty much every game like they played last night. They have been in 16 or 20 of those type of games this year. They're battle tested. And I'll tell you this: We have been in a lot of tough games as well, a lot of the teams that remain in the tournament, a team like LSU, Duke, and you look around, even here in Boise, Missouri, Memphis, those are teams that we played as well and being battle tested really helps you.
Q. Is this a typical Xavier team for you balanced on offense, tough on defense?
COACH MILLER: It is. We don't have the experience in the back court that we have had recently, but those guys, Dante Jackson and Terrell Holloway have just done an outstanding job of filling in for the departure of Drew Lavender and really allowing this team to have success.
One of the identities of our program is that the oldest players, the seniors have really had great senior years and have led us. If you followed us last year Drew Lavender, Stanley Burrell and Josh Duncan were the story line of our tournament. And this year that torch has been passed to B. J. Raymond C.J. Anderson and Derrick Brown. And when you think about our first round game, those three guys really had a lot to do with us advancing, and they're going to have to play real well tomorrow for us to advance.
Q. From your ties to Wisconsin, do you still recruit up there and just talk about with Wisconsin and Marquette here, the state of Wisconsin basketball even Green Bay and Milwaukee had winning seasons?
COACH MILLER: The state of Wisconsin, when I was there, which is many years ago, it has really flourished with providing talent. Some of I know the best players, both at Marquette and Wisconsin come from in state. That's always healthy.
When you look at our program, the state of Ohio, I think in our starting five Dante Jackson, B.J. Raymond, C.J. Anderson and Derrick Brown are all from the state of Ohio. And that really helps make the place you're at special when you can go with that in state talent. But you could tell that their state is plentiful. We would like to carve a niche in that state, but there's not a lot of room.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, coach.
COACH MILLER: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and take questions for the student-athletes of Wisconsin.
Q. This is for anyone who wants to answer the question. Talk about last night, the game got over about 10:15, obviously a very exciting deal. What did you guys do last night? How easy was it to get to bed and how rested are you guys going to be going into tomorrow?
MARCUS LANDRY: It wasn't easy getting to bed, I tell you that. But it was a great game. Guys really came out there to play. Just a great feeling. We are going to ride on that. We're going to go and practice today and really work on what we need to work on for this next game.
Q. Marcus, Joe, I'm not sure what at this stage what you know of Xavier, but can you talk a little bit about their front court and some of the challenges that they present.
JOE KRABBENHOFT: We don't know a whole lot. Seen them play on TV quite a bit. They have had a great year. They're very talented. Very athletic and strong.
It was interesting to see them in person yesterday, to see how big they really are. And they really attack the glass like comparable to like a Michigan State, I would say. But it's hard to compare teams, but we'll learn a lot more here in the next less than 24 hours even, in the next few hours, I guess, and be as prepared as we can be in a short time. Our coaches always do a great job, so we'll have wide open ears and ready to learn.
MARCUS LANDRY: Same thing. We don't know too much about them, but it was good that we got a chance to watch them play yesterday before our game kind of to see what they were. They're a very big team. So like he said, you kind of compare them to Michigan State. I know they're going to be all over the glass, just like those guys.
So we have to be prepared and ready. We'll learn more about the team within less than 24 hours here in the next hour or so and even tomorrow morning.
Q. For Marcus and Trevon Hughes, Marcus, you grew up in Wisconsin. Can you just talk about the state of basketball in Wisconsin given that you and Marquette are both here. And then Trevon Hughes, I guess growing up so far away, did you have any idea Wisconsin basketball throughout the state was such a big deal?
MARCUS LANDRY: Well, Wisconsin basketball has really been on the rise. Growing up I didn't know too much about Marquette or Wisconsin. I really didn't get into it until I saw myself developing as a player. But it's really been on the rise. Only thing I know about it was the bugs.
So it's just been a great experience to watch the teams grow over the years. And some of the guys that came out of Marquette and Wisconsin, to watch those guys play on beyond college basketball has been great.
TREVON HUGHES: Coming from New York, I had never heard of Wisconsin or Milwaukee. So therefore, Wisconsin, Marquette didn't exist in my head. I was just all about the Big East schools. But I went to military school in Wisconsin, I started getting recruited by Marquette and Wisconsin. And just the talent level that's in Wisconsin is just -- it's great. Like people don't like take it for granted any more that Wisconsin basketball is just for big guys that's slow.
But we can play. We shown people that we can play with any team out there and it's good basketball. We are out here and Marquette is out here and they're playing great without their point guard.
Q. Trevon Hughes, the two programs, Marquette and Wisconsin, seem to play a very different style of basketball. One is a smaller private school, other is a bigger public school. As somebody that's recruited by both of them, do they kind of really present a nice contrast for you in terms of what you want?
TREVON HUGHES: I would say so. Marquette tried to recruit me, talking about they going to be in the Big East and I'm going to be close to home, but that didn't matter because Bo Ryan is from the East Coast, he made it out here. He done a good job in the D-III level, in the Division I level. So he recruited me.
I liked the coaching staff, the team, the team that was here before me and my teammates that's here prior. And that's like what drew me here because it's such a nice group of guys and I wanted to be here. They made me feel like family, so that's why I came.
Q. Being from New York there's a stereotype of how the game is played there. And it seems like it's the antithesis of how it is at Wisconsin. Was there any trepidation of going to a system like that where it's a slower pace?
TREVON HUGHES: No. But Coach always beat it in my head that don't try to make the great play, make the good play. Coming out of high school I was pretty flashy, always wanted to make the crowd say, Ooh and ah. But with kind of a steady pace, it's more of a team game and when we need to, he let us play.
Q. Joe, I know seeding kind of goes out the window at this point, but when you guys found out that you were a 12 seed, did it give you a little more incentive or did you come into the tournament with a little more chip on your shoulder getting that seed?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: I don't know if necessarily due to the fact that they gave us a 12 seed. I think we were just pleased to be in the tournament given only 19 wins.
But like I said, we thought we built up a good enough resume to be in. But I think that you just need to find a chip on your shoulder other than being a 12 seed.
There's 65 great teams in the tournament. You got to find other ways to have a chip on your shoulder and we just were upset with a few -- the way a few games went this year and that was enough motivation there itself. So the 12 seed didn't really have a whole lot to do with it, but we just go out and play the same way we do any night.
Q. You guys are here so often, this is the 11th straight year and once you get to the tournament, you have a habit of staying and making it a few rounds. How much of that comes from the experience?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: I think a lot -- it helps a lot. But this team, you saw a guy in Jordan Taylor who made his first appearance in a NCAA game. Jon Leuer, I don't know how much they played last year, but the first real significant playing time in a NCAA tournament. So there's these guys next to me are experienced along with a couple others, but just the kind of the way the system goes.
And this team is just doing a great job, as have other teams in the past here at Wisconsin, it's just the way the system works and it's working its course right now and doing a good job.
Q. John or Marcus, can you talk about the length of the timeouts and what you guys do as players? Does it disrupt your rhythm at all? Does Coach Ryan have enough to say during those timeouts?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: Is it longer?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: Okay. It seemed a lot longer. Yeah.
MARCUS LANDRY: Go ahead, John, I mean Joe.
JOE KRABBENHOFT: Well, yeah. I mean our -- he has so many rules, I mean, he just had to pour his water into a cup. And so we can't have our managers on the bench much, so we have some of our red shirt players who aren't going to be able to play in these games, they sit our chairs down, so that they're not used to that. So maybe that takes up the extra 30 seconds because it really didn't seem any different. But maybe because they're not so used to doing that, they're a little slow with that.
We were joking today at breakfast about I almost fell down because the chair wasn't behind me. Right where it usually is because of the managers. So maybe that took up the time. Because it really didn't seem any different. I didn't feel any different.
MARCUS LANDRY: Well, I guess we just get more rest. I guess that's a good thing. I don't know, it gives you longer time to recover and just go out there and be ready. I mean, it's great for guys that play a lot of minutes to have the extra minute or so or whatever how much time it is.
Q. I know you guys don't know a lot about Xavier, but do you think the Mid Major label is appropriate for them?
JOE KRABBENHOFT: No. They're good. I don't know, I don't think the players are -- I don't even know who is the judge of judging Mid Majors. I think when you see Gonzaga, when you see Xavier, those type of teams and those teams come to mind, I don't see them as Mid Major. They may use that title as a chip on their shoulder and that's great for them, but they have earned the respect of the nation as far as the players and coaches, media.
They're a great team and I don't know if Mid Major is being disrespectful even, I don't even know where to go with this, but they're such a great team, they can play with anybody. I think that's the best way to put it.
Q. Trevon Hughes, you talked about trying to make the flashy play. How long did it take you to get over that and how often were you in Coach Ryan's doghouse for that?
TREVON HUGHES: It took me a whole year, my freshman year, you know. I spent a lot of time sitting next to him. So it took me, I want to say just a year. But my second year I kind of got the ropes as coming in as a guard and had to make the good play. If I didn't make the good play, guess where I was at? Right next to him again.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thanks, gentlemen. We'll take questions for Coach Ryan.
Q. Coach, Trevon Hughes was just up there and talked about coming from New York he tried to make a lot of flashy plays and you told him just to make the good play. How long did it take for your message to sink in with him and how difficult was that process?
COACH RYAN: Well, here's my reasoning, and it's not a theory, it's obviously based on a lot of facts and observation: If you try to make good plays as compared to trying to make great plays. Great plays work about one out of every four or five times. Good plays will work three out of four, four out of five times. So on passes, make the good pass, doesn't have to be the great pass. And I learned that from my high school coach, because that was one of the reasons he kept me on the team was because I could deliver the ball to the scorers and that was after being the leading scorer in bitty league, by the way.
So he took the scoring away from me and said, Okay, you're the guy that's going to play D and pass the ball and distribute the ball. So I made a behind the back pass one game as a sophomore and he pulled me aside and he said, You know, it's a good thing that pass got through. And I said, Well, you know, that was the best way I could get the ball to him, Coach. Coach, he says, No, no, I know, I know, but for your sake you're lucky it got through or you're fortunate that it got through.
So he would let me do some things through the legs or because Bob Cousy was the guy that I always tried to copy, and it's kind of nice being on the Bob Cousy Award Committee right now because I just always pictured him playing. And every day I would go to the playground and try to do what he did.
But I can see as a coach if a person's out there trying to be flashy and it's not getting done, then you say, Don't be flashy. The key is, if you can make it happen, then results are still what it's all about.
So I've been after Trevon on things like that for a long time and he's improved. There's no question about it. And I think he understands, especially when at practice we chart points per possession and if you're turning the ball over, you can't get a point on that possession, the statistics tend to go against you. But he's learning. Not quite there yet.
Q. When you see or read or hear that your team isn't as, quote, "athletic" as some of the other teams you play, how do you interpret that? What does that mean to you?
COACH RYAN: I've been asked that a lot over the years and not just in Division I, Division III also. Athleticism, a race car driver, good eye-hand coordination, that's athleticism. Being able to jump high is athleticism. Being able to hit a 98 mile an hour fast ball is athleticism. So it all depends on how you want to describe the individual function of being an athlete. There's a lot of different things that make people an athlete.
So if people are looking -- if I have a bunch of guys who have good eye-hand coordination, who anticipate well, who have good court awareness, all those things are athletic traits. I think some people get very limited in their scope when they think of athleticism as only speed in a sprint or high jumping or long jumping as far as events or skills are concerned.
So I really don't buy that we're not athletic, because I think in order to play college basketball, period, to be on the floor, especially in an environment like this, the NCAA tournament, you have to have athletes. It's just people measure athletes a little differently.
Q. Can you give your thoughts on Sean Miller and what he's been able to do with the Xavier program?
COACH RYAN: Yeah, I was waiting for somebody to ask me about Sean. Did he tell you about nine years old being in Madison? We dressed him up in a Superman contest at what I call -- I got a chance, the coach that I worked with, Bill Cofield, we were talking about ways of getting kids to the field house in Madison, stimulate interest in basketball. And you know, being an East Coast guy myself and thinking that the basketball program needed a little promoting and selling tickets and trying to be -- since marketing and economics was my major, so we had this Roundball For Youth night.
And I got a chance to get some people, we had Crazy George come in, anybody remember Crazy George? Did all the ball handling, could spin 47 balls at the same time. I'm exaggerating. And we had Tanya Crevier, who was the best woman's ball handler, because I was very sensitive to making sure we covered everything in the Roundball For Youth night. And we invited kids, we had an inter-squad scrimmage, but I felt we needed one more ingredient. We needed a kid, we needed somebody a little more entertainment.
And I called up John Miller, and knew about Sean and these different things that he had done as a nine year old. We bring Sean Miller into the field house in Madison -- I still have people that come up to me and say, Oh, I remember that night in the field house when you had this person and that person and we had Stretch Gregory and Claude Gregory, Wes Matthews, Larry Petty, Joe Chrnelich, Danny Hastings, a bunch of those guys at Wisconsin at that time and had a good scrimmage, but afterwards all the kids got a chance to bring their basketball down on the court after Crazy George, Tanya, and Sean Miller did their thing.
Well, we put together one of the other assistants, his wife had made a Superman costume, put it on Sean. So Sean had this cape flying behind him with the tights on, and I have video. (Laughter.)
And I sent Sean a copy of this. And it was the most fun I think I've -- just see the smile on the kids, the kids had a great time. And Sean and his dad were there and he did some ball handling and some shooting and did some things. And it was very well received. And that's how I first met Sean Miller.
And then, of course, he coached at Madison with Stu a little bit and I followed him as a guard. And you know, being from Pennsylvania, when you're at Chester all the teams in the western part of the state they all think that they're the best and the teams on the east think they're the best Lower Merion, Coachfield, Chester, and then Beaver Falls and Shendley and the rest of them on the other side of the state. So I had a chance to follow his teams. Coach Miller's a very, very good coach. Both of them. So that's how I know Sean and it's, he's just, he's a basketball junkie like I am. I mean just, that's what we, that's in our blood. My dad didn't coach high school, but he coached kids. So I kind of knew where he was always coming from.
And we kind of played the same position and so probably more than what you expected. But there it is. And if you ever, if anybody needs a $29.99 for a copy of the video from me. Roundball for Youth night.
Q. How would you define a Wisconsin player? And if you had a guy out there say who was a McDonald's All-American, a great talent who wanted to come play for you, but didn't meet whatever criteria you have for bringing guys in, would you say ever say, son, you're a great player, but we just, you wouldn't fit what we try to do here?
COACH RYAN: Well, we check players out first. And there's and it just because we don't happen to get a lot of those types of players, I think that, you know, in our society there are things that nobody ever wants to talk about but are facts. The national attention that are given to X number of programs in this country automatically, whether it's a commercial for a soft beverage and they got one team's fans jumping up-and-down in the stands; or they got a commercial about rivalries and dropping suitcases and picking it up for the other one; or there are things that you fight at a Wisconsin in recruiting where we don't get the national freebies. That's what I call them. In marketing and exposure and everything else.
But we're still a part of the game and we still think we can get players that can play and we still think we can compete. And I've never turned away somebody who said, hey, I really want to be at your school, but I only want to stay one year. I mean, I don't know of too many people that have done that.
But the guys that we, we have to have a connection. Academically, it is very, very difficult at Wisconsin. Every coach tells you that, but I'll tell you right now talk to a lot of coaches, and when I tell them the things that are required they go, really? Yeah, there aren't any shortcuts at Wisconsin.
So sometimes in the recruiting maybe your field that you get to select from isn't the same, but when you say what type of person? Do they play hard? Are they passionate about the game? Are they coachable? Are they respectful? Are they studious? Do they have a direction, do they have a vision of trying to be a better person and to make things better for others. I know that sound idealistic, but all those things tend to make for some pretty good players in what we do.
And we have had obviously very good players. Players drafted in the first round and players that have played overseas and players that are very successful in business and other areas.
But to say -- it kills me inside -- not kills me, because it just, I think it's hilarious, oh, he gets the guys that fit his system. And I always say, well if taking good shots, taking care of the ball, playing solid defense is a system, well why doesn't everybody else have the same system? They do. It's just, we are who we are, just like Xavier is who they are and Florida State's who they are. And, but I always find that amusing when people say, he gets the players to fit his system. And I have never been in a clinic and heard somebody ever talk about a different system than what we have been preaching.
Q. You talked about growing basketball in the state of Wisconsin, with that story, can you talk about the state of basketball in your state? I know four teams had winning record, you and Marquette are both in the second round of the tournament, for people outside of the state, can you just talk about the state of basketball within Wisconsin?
COACH RYAN: It's very good. When I first got to Wisconsin in the '70s, a lot of the high school coaches were coaching 2003, three sports. And we were starting basketball camps and the Roundball For Youth nights and things like that and it just seemed -- I'm not saying it wasn't good, I'm not saying it was bad, I'm not saying or anything other than I know that it, with McGuire in Milwaukee, that Marquette had that certain flare and, but let's face it, in the '70s how many teams were making the NCAA tournament, how much exposure was there on TV compared to now.
And the other thing was, you know, the most notoriety other than in the '70s than Marquette was the Eau Claire teams that were going to Kansas City. And playing in the NAIA -- Ken Anderson was the coach -- and then other Division III NAIA level teams were developing in the state of Wisconsin, which brought national championships to the state, one school won four down in the southwest corner of Wisconsin. Platteville.
And, let's see, a few years ago, I don't know if you are aware of that, and then Stevens Point won a couple and Whitewater won a couple and some other teams got to the finals and things like that. And that got a little bit of exposure, but as far as the Division I teams, all of a sudden -- the AAU programs in Wisconsin for the most part they are run very well, they have given opportunities to kids that did not have opportunities before. So the development of the AAU programs in Wisconsin, 90 some percent very up front, very you can deal with them, you can talk to people, can you say this is how, this is what I expect, this -- don't call me about this, don't call me about that. I don't want to hear this.
And they listen because I don't deal with that stuff. And nobody tries to sell me a player. And I'm sure it's the same way with the other programs.
But high school basketball got better, because coaches were becoming, going to more clinic, when I first started going to a clinic was in the early '70s BS, and it was at Valley Forge, Bob Knight was one of the clinicians and I remember the impact that had on me. And more and more coaches started doing more and more things with a lot of factors, but one, there were very good college programs in the state and not just on the scholarship level, and you were having teams Green Bay, UWM, getting into the tournament besides Marquette and Wisconsin.
And all those things were good for basketball. So it's a combination of a lot of things, but it's really been a lot of fun to come from the Philly area and go into Wisconsin in the '70s and to, for 30 some years be around what's happened in Wisconsin and be a small part of that. That's a lot of fun. It's, basketball in Wisconsin's pretty good. I know a lot of people don't know that much about it, but it's pretty good.
Q. Players from what they have seen of Xavier so far compared it to Michigan State in the way that they attack the glass. Do you agree with that and what's your assessment of Xavier from what you've seen so far?
COACH RYAN: Our players said they were like Michigan State? I think because one of the assistants said that. And our guys listen. So, yeah I mean they are, they're out rebounding teams by what? Eight, nine, ten, somewhere in there. And they're long and bouncy and aggressive. And they have numbers.
So that tends to be like a Michigan State, because you try to look at certain things and say, okay, what does this team have, this team has depth. What does this team have, this team has size. This team has quickness, this team has great outside shooters.
So one of the things that's been mentioned, obviously, is that Xavier's very, very tough on the glass. And that would be a great comparison to say they're like Michigan State.
Q. I apologize if you've been asked about this before, but with Wisconsin and Marquette at the same regional, did, do you ever recruit the same players?
COACH RYAN: Sure, it happens. Recruit the same players at a lot of schools in the Big-10 that they recruit. Marquette, DePaul, Iowa State, there's other leagues also that recruit Wisconsin, we recruit other states, other schools recruit our state. We recruit against Green Bay and Milwaukee too because sometimes there's a player that can play right away or maybe feels they can play right away, that may be at one of those schools that, which Green Bay and Milwaukee are pretty good at, maybe not every year, but Marquette's not the only school that you recruit against in Wisconsin.
Q. With the two schools seem to play in pretty distinctly different styles of basketball. Does either, do you feel like that that gives kids an, I guess, a good, a clear choice in what they're looking for?
COACH RYAN: Well, I think that kids are smart. The kids we want are the kids that are looking for the best education, the best environment, the best -- there's so many more things other than styles of basketball that a young man -- what did you choose a college for? Well I would hope that it was an intelligent decision about the environment and what's offered and what majors and everything else.
So it isn't just about a style of basketball that a young man or a young woman chooses a college. That insults their intelligence. So we are who we are, they are who they are, and Green Bay does what they do and Milwaukee does what they do and people choose a school.
I don't know if style of play is going to be the thing that is the most important thing in a young man's mind. Because if you can get a layup and you play at Wisconsin, you're going to get a layup. If you can get a layup at Green Bay, you get the layup. You get a good shot. I haven't seen any of the four programs not try to take good shots. And hopefully they're there to get a Wisconsin degree. The ones that are playing for me. That's all I care about.
THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you, coach.
COACH RYAN: All right.