The days following a loss, no matter what sport it is, seem to drag a little longer. The good thing about basketball, unlike football (the other sport I’m most involved in) is you’re usually back on the court in a matter of days (as opposed to a week for football). Such is the case this week as the Badgers have two days to prepare to face UW-Milwaukee.
Under Bo Ryan, UW has excelled in bouncing back from losses. Since the start of the 2002-03 season Wisconsin is 29-9 in games following a loss. UW lost consecutive games just once last season and the Badgers have lost two or more consecutive games just eight times under Bo Ryan. Here is the breakdown of those losing “streaks”:
Three straight from Nov. 24-28
Two straight from Jan. 30-Feb. 2
Two straight from Jan. 8-11
Two straight from Feb. 18-22
Didn’t lose two in a row
Two straight from Jan. 18-21
Three straight from Jan. 28-Feb. 4
Four straight from March 2-17
Two straight from Feb. 20-25
So in five of the last six seasons, UW has had one or no two-game losing streaks … pretty impressive. What’s the secret to the Badgers’ success in bouncing back? If you knew that, you could be a pretty successful head coach, I would think. But since I’m just the communications guy, I can’t make any hard and fast pronouncements. That won’t stop me from offering my two cents (this is the internet, land of unlimited opinions!).
Coach Ryan emphasizes, “what’s next?” He hasn’t trademarked it and put it on wristbands or anything but he believes in that and his players do as well. Today before practice, they will look at the film from Saturday’s game, address the mistakes, emphasize the good things and move on to preparing for UW-Milwaukee.
Practice will be much like every other practice, starting with some passing drills, breaking into halfcourt and fullcourt 5-on-5 and ending with some shooting. It’s probably not “sexy” and doesn’t make for good copy (as will mot likely be evidenced by the amount of people reading this) but that’s what we do.
Coach Ryan talked today in his news conference about being lucky to coach guys who are able to learn from their experiences and get better. He compared it to when he taught high school. He said if there was a press conference after each test he would probably be asked if he thought a student learned something and would get better after getting a D. He wouldn’t know, he said, because you’d have to wait until the next test to find out.
Well, the next test is at UW-Milwaukee on Wednesday and everyone will be eager to see what the Badgers learned.