UW MBB: Mike Lucas: Reflecting on impact of seniors, future

BY MIKE LUCAS

UWBadgers.com Senior Writer

MADISON, Wis. — Greg Gard took his normal seat on the team bus following last Friday night's overtime loss to Florida in the Sweet 16. He sat to the driver's right in the front row. But upon arriving at the Badgers' Times Square hotel, he didn't get off first like he usually does. Instead, he waited until all the players exited. "I just wanted to see the guys again as they came off," he explained.

An hour earlier, Gard walked into a deathly quiet locker room (according to Bronson Koenig, "It almost felt like a death in the family kind of thing"). Gard took the players' pulse. "As I've gone around the locker room after every game," he said, "regardless if they played a little bit, or none, or a lot, I'm making sure they're learning, absorbing, taking everything in that they can."

The objective is always the same, according to Gard, and that's to file away the experience, good or bad, for future application. "We were big picture directed at everybody versus specific," he said. "There were a few things on the (Florida) game. But it was more big picture on the impact of the outgoing seniors and then what lies ahead for the returners."

On Sunday afternoon, he confessed, "I haven't slept much since (Friday). You replay everything back in your mind. You reanalyze not only the last four seconds of overtime, but everything that transpired during the game. Could you have done something different? It sticks with you for a while."

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