DATELINE: MADISON, WISCONSIN - After Monday and Tuesday brought one crazy turn each in the saga of "Who's Coaching The Badgers," Wednesday must have felt left out. That was when the University of Wisconsin athletic department put out a press release stating that head men's basketball coach Bo Ryan would be a "game time decision" heading into tonight's contest against the UW-Milwaukee Panthers.
"After a few days of trying to decide whether or not he wanted to continue coaching at UW, Coach Ryan isn't sure if he has it in him to be able to coach against his former employer and his former player and former assistant, UWM head coach Rob Jeter," UW athletic director Barry Alvarez said in the release. "We're going to give him some space today, more so than usual on game day, and we'll see if he's ready to coach by game time. I hinted to his secretary, Darlene, that she should encourage him to spend an extra hour or two in his coffin to see if it will get his head right. I'd do it, but Coach Ryan scares me most of the time, to be honest. Associate head coach Greg Gard will be the designated head coach if Coach Ryan can't go tonight."
The release continued on, stating that the last sentence from Alvarez was spoken through gritted teeth, which is remarkably honest and kind of weird for a written release.
From the release, it seems that the tension between Ryan and Alvarez over who gets to be the coach of the men's basketball team in the future has never been higher. It is unclear as to whether this is a power play by Ryan to attempt to force Alvarez's hand and install Gard as head coach in waiting or if Ryan hasn't sucked enough life force out of the game of basketball to perform up to his normal standards tonight.
According to KenPom.com, Ryan's Badgers are playing at their second fastest tempo of any season in the database at 64.8 possessions per game, and the fastest tempo since the 2005-2006 season. It is possible that the 30 second shot clock is literally killing Ryan due to his inability to sustain himself from slowing the game down as much as he prefers.