MADISON - Sometimes there is some truth to clichés. For all intents and purposes, 'time flies when you're having fun' is totally relatable to senior day rhetoric. When talking to multiple members of the Wisconsin senior class as they prepare for their final appearance inside the Kohl Center, that was one of the more common themes to come out.
Tim Jarmusz, one of six seniors, spent some time with reporters Friday afternoon. The following is a transcript of his interview that circled mostly around his final game inside his home arena.
What are you going to miss most about your entire basketball experience here at Wisconsin?
Jarmusz: …You grow close to these guys and you go through the good times and the bad. It's going to be tough, but I've made friends for life. I'm going to miss them.
Who has had the biggest influence on you in that locker room?
Jarmusz: You know, it's hard to pinpoint it at just one person. Definitely the five other seniors have had a huge impact on me just coming in with the whole experience and going through everything for four years with those guys. You really get close to them. I'm going to miss them a lot.
How have you improved the most? What areas have you improved the most since you stepped on campus to where you are now? Where have you made the most strides?
Jarmusz: Definitely on the defensive end of the court. With getting a little stronger legs and upper body, I've been able to take on the contact of the bigger and stronger athletes that are in the Big Ten. I think that's where I've made the most improvements.
Has there been one particular guy that you knew the first time you checked him that wow, this is going to be…You've had so many tough defensive assignments is there one that stands out above the rest thinking that you're really going to have to dig deep?
Jarmusz: There are two I think. Evan Turner, when I first got assigned to guard him, and Manny Harris. I think they're two great athletes and great scorers. They're bigger and stronger guys so I knew it would be a great challenge. You just have to listen to what coach said and keep to our defensive rules and we'll be okay.
Could you reflect more on what this will mean to you come Sunday when you step on the court for the last time here at the Kohl Center?
Jarmusz: It's going to be tough. Like I said, it goes by fast. I can't believe that I just stepped foot on this campus four years ago and now it's already almost done. To go through what I've done and accomplish what I've been able to do on the court and just as a team in general it's been nothing short of amazing. I couldn't have had a better time with the guys and had a better opportunity to play here in Madison.
How do you guys think you're playing down the stretch? Are you guys hitting that stride getting towards March now?
Jarmusz: We are. We definitely can play better. I think that Michigan game, we kind of stole that win. We didn't play as well as we should have, but I think all of us are starting to get on that stride. Our chemistry is really good as a team. I think it's the best it's been since I've been here. I think we have a real upside going into the tournament.
Have you put off thinking of this pretty much throughout the whole season?
Jarmusz: We tried, but we'd kind of just joke around with it that the season is almost over. We would always joke that it's going to come up faster than we think. It's true and now it's here. I'm sitting here preparing for the last home game in Madison so it's going to be tough. I haven't put it off, but it'll hopefully be something I can remember for the rest of my life.
Has your leadership come through as seniors with the way you've been able to come back so many times this year?
Jarmusz: Definitely. Not just with me, but the other five seniors. You look at Jordan Taylor, too. Collectively, it's just a job as a team with this leadership and showing by example and influencing guys on the court and helping the younger guys along has really improved.
Do you remember your first practice here as a freshman?
Jarmusz: Absolutely. I'll never forget it. It was intense. I couldn't even imagine that I was playing for the Badgers for one thing. To step on the court with the bigger names like Brian Butch, Joe Krabbenhoft and Marcus Landry and all these guys you've watched on TV for so long. Actually playing with them is unbelievable. Now, it's already coming to an end and it's kind of sad.
It's kind of unique situation with six seniors. What was the bond like when you first met all these other guys and how has it stuck now that you've gone four years with these guys?
Jarmusz: It's a big class and I couldn't be happier about it. You get all that time to bond with each other and you really do grow real close going through different experiences. To have four years to really get to know people instead of one or two with some of these guys it really means so much more. You become like brothers.
Do you hope to coach?
Jarmusz: I wouldn't mind coaching. Right now I'm not looking into going into coaching per se, instead a job in the business world just to get my feet wet and see what it's like. If I don't like that I'll definitely go into coaching right away.
Did you have certain expectations when you first got here and did they change over the years?
Jarmusz: No they didn't. My expectations coming into it would just be to do whatever I could and do it better each year. To be a part of a Big Ten championship, a team that went to the Sweet 16, one that's gone to the NCAA tournament three times with hopefully a fourth time. It's something I'm very proud of. I hope that we can continue that and hopefully this year we can make more improvements and reach more goals.
Can you talk about the seniors that haven't had as many minutes. You, Keaton Nankivil and Jon Leuer have played a lot, but there are three seniors that play different roles on this club.
Jarmusz: They're just as important as me, Jon and Keaton. I think for being on the scout team they prepare us every day in practice. I think they don't get enough credit sometimes with what they do. They're at every minute of practice just like we are. They're doing all the little things that don't get the attention. It's tough sometimes, but we need them on the team and they do an awesome job. They take it in stride and they're just good guys. I'm happy to be teammates with them.