MADISON - While talking with Mike Bruesewitz Monday evening, the sophomore forward was quick to point out the big shot Tim Jarmusz knocked down earlier last week at Iowa.
He wanted to signify that there is potential across the board for this team to have a bonafied fourth scorer, whether it's him or another role player on any given night that will help this team to victory.
If it was Jarmusz making his presence felt at Iowa, then Bruesewitz and Josh Gasser did the trick against Ohio State.
Before the team travels to Purdue, BadgerBlitz.com took some time to chat with Bruesewitz. The following is a question and answer with the sophomore Minnesota native.
Well, after you guys knocked off Ohio State, what was the atmosphere in the locker room like?
Bruesewitz: The locker room was crazy. Everybody was smiling ear-to-ear and everybody was real excited and giving high fives and hugs. We were just happy that we finished what we wanted to do. We got it done and though it wasn't a conventional way the way we did it was very exciting.
What did coach Bo Ryan say? I'm sure he told you to enjoy it, but not for long.
Bruesewitz: He said it was a good game. That you guys came back and you played hard. He said good things happen if you guys keep playing hard and doing the things that we try to do every day. Even in the huddles during the game, when they went up by 15, he said just keep going and keep playing your game. Don't change and stay aggressive. Defensively, you've got to tighten some stuff up.
He didn't really say anything much though. Keep doing what we do because good things happen when we play how we want to play. So in the locker room it was kind of the same thing. Good things happen when we do what we're good at. Enjoy this time with your family, your friends and your teammates. Monday morning, you have to get your butts back here for weights and then you have practice at four.
It was kind of like, 'Alright, go enjoy it, but the work is not done.' It's kind of the same way we feel. It was a great win. The atmosphere here was incredible, but we also have some goals that we want to finish and we want to put ourselves in a position where we can possibly win a Big Ten title. We know we need some stuff to go our way a little bit, but if we take care of our stuff hopefully it will start falling into our lap a little bit.
Was your phone blowing up? Were you getting a lot of texts or Facebook messages?
Bruesewitz: Yeah, I got a lot of text messages. Sorry to anybody that I didn't respond to. I got about 75. There were a few people that were pretty special to me that I made sure I called or texted.
Bruesewitz: Yeah, 75, or somewhere around there. There were a few Facebook messages here or there. I'm not a big Twitter guy. I have one, but I don't use it that much. Every once in a while I will make fun of Brett Valentyn, but it was pretty incredible. All the support I got after the game was pretty incredible.
You had a pretty good shot at the end of the game. Did you know it was good as soon as it left your hand?
Bruesewitz: As soon as it left my hand I said, 'Okay, let's go,' and man was I hyped up. After that one I was pretty excited because I've had some open looks in other games that were kind of the same moment. They weren't quite as big as that, but kind of the same deal. I had one down at Penn State that was in the corner.
We were kind of going on a little bit of a run and all of a sudden Jordan got me open and I shot it. It felt good and it hit back rim, backboard, back rim and out. I was like, 'Oh man, could you just drop?' That probably would have changed the dynamic of the game.
Iowa was another one where I shot it. It felt horrible coming off my hand and it looked even worse. We'll get through that one. But when that one (Ohio State) left my hand I said, 'You know, that one is going down.' It felt good when it hit the bottom of the net and the whole crowd went nuts. It was a great feeling.
When you're on a run like that, and I'm talking about the initial 15-0 run, when do you know that you're in the midst of a run?
Bruesewitz: I think we know when we get stops. I think that was the biggest part for us. Offensively obviously shots went down and the crowd was getting into it. But you know, the biggest thing for me that I noticed was we were getting stops.
We strung three or four stops together and then we went down and knocked down some shots, obviously. That's how you get runs. When you get stops and you string those shots together and say, 'Hey, we're going to lock these guys down for six possessions in a row and not let them get a bucket.'
Then you go down and you knock down two or three shots. That's how runs are put together. That's how I kind of noticed it. We got three or four big defensive rebounds and then we go out and push it. Keaton Nankivil had one up on the wing and Jordan was knocking down tough jumpers. That's when I kind of noticed we were on a big run right there.
Is there anything more humbling after a big win than to look at your schedule and see a game at Purdue coming up next?
Bruesewitz: I don't think so. I don't know how many times we've won there in the last 30 years. It's been very few. Mackey Arena is tough. Last year, Keaton had a heck of a game. I remember he was close to breaking the school record for three's. We were one shot away from pulling out a victory there. Some stuff went a little bit our way. E'Twaun Moore was pretty unstoppable there last year.
I remember watching on the bench. Going down there is going to be a good challenge for us and we'll be able to get our feet right back on the ground and not too high. We've got to make sure we go down there and try to get a victory down there because we want to stay in the hunt for a Big Ten title.