UWBadgers.com sat down with the head wrestling coach to talk about the season so far and preview Big Tens

Feb. 22, 2011

MADISON, Wis. - UWBadgers.com caught up with Wisconsin wrestling head coach Barry Davis on Tuesday to talk about the Badgers' final regular season road trip last weekend and look ahead to the Big Ten Championships March 5-6. *

A complete transcript from the interview is below. *

UWBadgers.com: ?Do you think that the long bus trip to Penn State and Michigan State last weekend helped build team camaraderie heading into championships season??

Davis: ?I think it was. We spent a lot of ours together on the bus. One day last weekend we all got together and played basketball as a team. It brought us closer together with the coaches out there playing with the guys. It was a good workout and a nice break from our routine workouts."

UWBadgers.com: ?Who is the best basketball player on the team??

Davis: ?Definitely Trevor Brandvold.?

UWBadgers.com: ?Why??

Davis: ?The way he moves and the way he does thing out there. He is just a very good athlete. He dribbles well and he has a pretty good fade away jumper.?

UWBadgers.com: ?Are there any correlations that you see between wrestling and basketball?"

Davis: ?(Chuckles) Basketball and wrestling have no relation at all whatsoever. Except fouling. When our guys foul they foul hard?so you know it?s a foul.?

UWBadgers.com: ?Back to a more serious topic, how has the team handled the injuries and adjustments to the lineup throughout the season??

Davis: ?It?s no doubt that we have had a few setbacks but I think overall, the guys who have been called upon to step up have done a pretty good job. When you are dealing with adversity, how you handle it is the key. I think some of our guys have handled it really well. I think right now our guys are in a good mindset. We are ready to keep doing work here and we look forward to the Big Ten Championships coming up.?

UWBadgers.com: ?Some of the wrestlers had close matches over the weekend that you thought they could have won. What can they do to give them a better chance to win those matches in the future??

Davis: ?I think that Jordan had a good chance to beat one of the best kids in the country at Penn State, but he bounced back and beat a good guy at Michigan State. I think that Ben got better on the trip and he is starting to realize how good he can really be. I think the same goes for Eric Bugenhagen. He got beat at Penn State and he came back and beat a pretty good wrestler at Michigan State. I think that they have worked on making changes and they will continue to make the changes that they have need to make in order to get ready for the Big Ten Championships.?

UWBadgers.com: ?What is the team working on right now??

Davis: ?Right now we need to focus on individual things. There are certain drills that you do as a team like 30 second rideouts, down by a point, score takedown, up by a point. With certain guys having a certain style, they need to be in certain positions. We do individual things with our 10 starters and then we do a combination of things. We are just trying to make sure that the basic things are done correctly, so that we can feed off of that.?

UWBadgers.com: ?What is the team?s overall attitude heading into the Big Ten Championships??

Davis: ?I think that everyone knows what?s at stake and they know what we can achieve here. With Andrew coming back, I think that gives the team an extra boost of energy. They had a day to rest and they will lift today and then it will be time to get after it. They are excited about the Big Tens and looking forward to the rest of the season. We?ve been waiting for this since September and hopefully we?ll cash in here.?

UWBadgers.com: ?Speaking of Andrew, how have the trainer Jesse Donnenworth and associate head coach Donny Pritzlaff impacted Andrew?s recovery??

Davis: ?Well, Donny is the same size as Andrew. They have known each other for a long time. There is a trust there between those two. Donny has done a great job working with Andrew and preparing him physically and mentally. Jesse has done has also done an amazing job with Andrew. We wouldn?t be where we are today without Jesse. Those two have worked really well together to get Andrew where he is at right now. Obviously Andrew has done a good job of keeping himself physically and mentally engaged and physically sharp and mentally sharp. We have had him on the road trips this entire time and you can tell that he wants to be out there. It has gotten his fire going and now he is ready to go for the Big Tens because of that.?