Men’s basketball: Gard reflects on Purdue loss, looks ahead to Big Ten tournament

first_imgAs the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team comes off a tough loss against hot-shooting Purdue last night, they are attempting to refocus and prepare for the Big Ten Tournament.With Wisconsin set to take on the winner of the Wednesday Nebraska (14-17, 11th Big Ten) and Rutgers (7-24, 14th Big Ten) game in the second round of the tournament Thursday, hopes are running high for the Badgers.Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard continued to show support for his team’s performance in his press conference Monday.[Updated] Men’s basketball: Greg Gard officially named new head coach of WisconsinWisconsin men’s basketball coach Greg Gard was not named Big Ten Coach of the Year Monday after he led the Read…“I’m very proud of how they have grown and the position they put themselves in,” Gard said. “They’ve earned it.”Even though the Badgers level of play has steadily increased throughout the season, Gard reinforced the idea that the team’s evolution is a process.“Process” has been a recurring theme this season. It has proved extremely important for the Badgers to be able to make steady and consistent improvements in their game.These gradual improvements and consistencies could not come soon enough for the Badgers as tournament play approaches.“It’s that point in time where you have to be very consistent or you’re going to go home,” Gard warned. “I think you’ve got three teams that are playing very well, and we saw one last night [Purdue].”Gard pointed to Indiana University and Michigan State as the other two Big Ten teams playing their best basketball right now. They are the top two seeds in the conference and currently boast two of the country’s best players in IU point guard Yogi Ferrell and MSU forward Denzel Valentine.“You look at who is playing really well, and those three are playing at a higher level,” Gard said. “We are in that mix right now, but I still don’t think we are playing at the level we can.”If the Badgers had beaten Purdue, they would have ended the regular season in a tie for second place with the Spartans and would have been the No. 3 seed in this weekend’s conference tournament, resulting in a double bye. Instead, as the No. 6 seed, Wisconsin will have to play an additional game.Despite the speed bump the Badgers ran into Sunday night against Purdue, Gard is confident the team can rebound and come out strong on Thursday.“We made some mistakes, and from that standpoint we are going to continue to get better,” Gard said.Stand Gard: Badgers have found their leaderGreg Gard has been named head coach of University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team.  No more interim label, no more audition Read…last_img

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