MADISON - One of the trends surrounding the Wisconsin basketball program that's getting plenty of attention lately is it's inability replicate it's success inside the Kohl Center while on the road.
It came front and center again Monday during Bo Ryan's press conference, only this time it was geared toward the play of the role players such as Tim Jarmusz, Josh Gasser, Ryan Evans and Mike Bruesewitz and their numbers away from home.
"Keep working," Ryan said. "That's all I can tell them and that's what they're doing. Sometimes you get things to go and sometimes you don't. But you've got to play defense, you've got to rebound, you've got to screen and you've got to make good passes. It seems like most times when it's referred to when somebody is not up to their production, it's their points."
Jarmusz, Gasser, Evans and Bruesewitz have combined to shoot just shy of 34 percent from the field on the road. When you look at the numbers from downtown, they're even worse at 18.6 percent.
For comparison, the top three UW scorers (Jordan Taylor, Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil) have combined to shoot 46.6 percent from the floor and 41.4 percent from downtown.
"I think in other areas they do okay," Ryan said. "If they're not knocking down shots it doesn't mean they're not contributing to the games. The game has a lot of facets, but you've got to have points. You've just got to keep working at that."
At home, UW's top four role players are shooting 47 percent from the floor and 45 percent from distance.
SIZING UP THE BIG 10:
Though there is still a good amount of time left in the regular season, post-season talk is starting to really take shape. At this juncture, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin could lose the rest of their games and still make the tournament. Below them, it gets a little cluttered.
Teams such as Michigan State, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan and Penn State are still trying to find that marquee win that will elevate them into NCAA tournament contention. As the head coach of a team seemingly comfortably within the field of 68, Ryan talked about the number of teams that could potentially get into the field from the Big 10.
"I really haven't had a chance to look at it," Ryan said. "It just seems like all those numbers run into one another. That's what makes conference play so intense. There are people that don't understand how this works. You look at the conference schedule and still, if you can compete in the top half of the Big Ten, you've got a chance. Who's going to be the teams that finish 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th? You better get hot. For those that are around .500, I would say at least being two games over you'd be in pretty good shape.
"Everybody has played a fairly tough schedule non-conference, so I would think 10-8 would put somebody in a good position."
-With a loss at then No. 11 Purdue early in the week and a win over unranked Penn State inside the Kohl Center, the Wisconsin men's basketball team dropped two spots in both major polls. They are currently No. 12 in both the ESPN/USA TODAY coaches poll and the Associated Press poll.
UW plays at Michigan Wednesday evening. That game starts at 5:30 P.M. (ct) and can be seen live on the Big Ten Network.