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January 31, 2011MADISON - Gene Keady was notorious, if not boisterous, about fielding competitive, hard-nosed, defensive-minded teams during his tenure at Purdue. Those Boilermakers were always diving after lose balls while sacrificing bumps and bruises for stitches and ice packs.
Though he's been away from the game for a handful of years now, not much has changed.
"They're very similar," UW head coach Bo Ryan said during his Monday press conference. "There are certain things that you have to have your players buy into. When it's in your personality it's tough to be somebody that you're not.
"Matt Painter was around that environment enough so that influence is there."
Since taking over for the legendary Boilermaker head coach, Painter has done nothing but field successful and competitive teams. Now, in his sixth year at the helm, Painter has compiled a 127-57 record to coincide with a Big Ten championship and several top 10 rankings.
Though Keady drew up the blueprint, Ryan has noticed Painter has his own method of constructing the project.
"Each coach has their own way of getting through to the players," Ryan said. "They have their own way of presenting things. We're all different, but they play good defense and they've got two first-team All-American guys. They're a good team and they have a lot going for them.
"But each coach is different."
Down the same road:
When Wisconsin lost Jon Leuer for a large chunk of the Big Ten schedule (against Purdue coincidentally enough), it lost one of its premier players during one of the more important stretches of the season.
When Purdue lost Robbie Hummel for the entirety of the 2010-11 season before it even started, it had some time to adjust to life without the All-Conference and All-American caliber talent.
It's two different scenarios that hone in on a similar trend.
"I didn't want Jon Leuer shown during the games," Ryan said. "Because then it looks like you're whining. I don't get into that type of stuff. If a guy isn't playing he isn't playing. We just moved on and never talked about it. We didn't try to plant anything. We never planted anything or make a big deal of it. It's all part of the game. It's not good, but they still send the referees and people still come to the games and cheer for the people on the court.
"Ours happened at a crucial time in the Big Ten, not even before the season started basically so I think there's a difference there. If you've got to first-team All-American's I think they'll be okay."
Battling a blizzard:
When Tuesday's game inside the Kohl Center tips at 6:00 (CT), it will likely do so while a forecasted blizzard dumps up to two feet of snow on Madison's city streets. With meteorologists calling the upcoming line of storms historic, chances are getting to the Kohl Center will be anything but easy.
Don't expect any delays or postponements, however.
"If everybody is here you play," Ryan said. "I don't know when the last time a game was cancelled to be honest with you as far as the Big Ten."
Ryan, having grown up in Chester, PA, just outside of Philadelphia, was quick to point out a cancellation of historical proportions himself.
"In Philly, St. Joe's and La Salle are about a driver away," Ryan quipped. "I don't mean a car driver They had a game postponed in Philly because the one 1952 snowplow was on the fritz and they couldn't get the snow. I don't think a whole lot is spent in Philly on snow removal equipment.
"I know there was one cancelled because of weather this year."
Ryan, believe it or not, was not talking about the Philadelphia Eagles-Minnesota Vikings game that was moved from Sunday to Tuesday due to a massive storm earlier this winter.
But he did, as usual, have hit quick wit about him.
"Oh yeah, I guess they did," Ryan responded when a reporter pointed out that game. "How'd that work out?"
Stat of the day:
The Kohl Center has been pretty kind to its inhabitants over recent weeks. Between the UW men's and women's hockey teams and men's and women's basketball teams, there is currently a 25-game unbeaten streak inside the building.
-With the loss to Penn State, Wisconsin fell modestly in the two national polls. The Badgers are down to No. 19 in the Associated Press poll and No. 17 in the Coaches Poll.
UW hosts No. 10/11 Purdue Tuesday night inside the Kohl Center before hosting Michigan State to kick off Super Sunday at noon Sunday afternoon.
The following is the audio file from Monday's presser:
Bo Ryan, (1/31/11)