Dignified basketball eminence Bo Ryan has announced his retirement from the University of Wisconsin sidelines. It's a sad day for the NCAA and for basketball. Inevitably, the next Wisconsin basketball coach, Greg Gard, will probably have to give in to modern times and egos. Perhaps not right away, but Wisconsin has to compete for top recruits like everybody else -- and the 21st century kids will want their names on the backs of their jerseys. Names on uniforms is something Wisconsin (and very few other big time programs) have managed so far to avoid -- emphasizing for all to see the TEAM game over the individual ego.
Eventually those names will probably be in LED lights, sponsored by an international conglomerate. But for now we can still enjoy the individual anonymity of the Wisconsin team, as they practice the very thing those nameless uniforms represent. Greg Gard has been coaching with Bo Ryan for 23 years -- and he'll be in no hurry to change it. Gard wants continuity but admits that he'll have to put his "own twist on it." That was in an interview where he called Ryan one of the best that's "ever walked this earth." Gard continued "this is a very prideful place," which has nothing to do with having your name on a shirt. On Wisconsin, as the Badger faithful say.
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Today was officially the first day of the Greg Gard era. But hear how it began last night: https://t.co/TM7PgOkiyy
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) December 17, 2015