Bo Ryan Belongs in Gifted Club
When it comes to the teams and the sports I've seen on a regular basis over the years, the best pure coach, you know, getting the most out of what you have talent-wise, getting players and teams to reach their fullest potential, the best pure coach was Dick Bennett. He's just one gifted person when it comes to coaching. He's a rather special person in a lot of other ways as well, but that's for a different blog.
You know who else belongs in the gifted club, the Badgers current coach, Bo Ryan. All he does, and has done, is win, and that's usually with good, but rarely great talent. This season serves as a prime example. His solid, but hardly spectacular group has already beaten then number 2 Indiana, number 3 Michigan on Saturday, and a pair of then 12th ranked teams in Minnesota and Illinois.
Other than liking the game, I don't claim to be some kind of expert on college basketball, but having watched his teams all these years, I think I figured out one of his hole cards. He obviously emphasizes the fundamentals, taking care of the ball, working hard at the defensive end, putting the team first, going for loose balls, but every coach emphasizes those things. The difference, Bo's guys actually play that way, and that's why, with pretty ordinary talent, they're a game out of first in a very strong Big Ten conference.