Michigan State Basketball Postgame Quotes
 
 
 

 

 
 

Jan. 5, 2008

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Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

Opening Comments...
I give a lot of credit to Raymar Morgan, a lot of credit to Kalin Lucas, and a lot of credit to Tubby Smith. Even though we outrebounded them by twenty, they took it to us physically. We had a lot of loose balls, we did get some rebounds. We were off to a good start in the first half, we shot fifty percent. Twelve turnovers, some of the most ridiculous nature. The offensive fouls, I don't know...I deserved the technical, there were some things I didn't agree with. I guess the biggest part of the game I was disappointed with was the physicality of our inside guys in the post and the 19 turnovers, that's something we are going to have to work on. That team is for real, they are not a fluke, they are a good basketball team.

On the grind of the 18 game Big Ten schedule...
Bobby Knight, Clem Haskins, Gene Keady, those guys, I remember when we were voting on it those guys said it would be 18 fist-fights. I don't think every team is going to play as hard as that Minnesota team, you've got to give them credit. We had our chances, we had a couple things happen. We had a couple defensive assignments that were completely blown, mostly because of some freshmen and some switching issues. Drew (Neitzel) missed some good shots and I feel comfortable that he will make those shots. We had a chance to open that thing up a little bit and you have to give them credit, like a good team, they didn't allow us to open it up. They found a way to make a couple of big shots. We had some of the most bizarre blown assignments on two out of bounds plays and two big plays late. We've got to do a better job in that area.

On Raymar Morgan's performance...
Well, I told Gregory Kelser last year and I think I told some of you, that Raymar had a chance to be one of the best power forwards to ever play here. I give his mother a lot of credit. We have been demanding of Ray. He reminds me of Morris (Peterson) a lot. We expect him to play a lot of positions, we expect him to guard one through four. I think he really struggled with his body language there for awhile and he's been so good in practice. He does keep getting better, he's getting better in the huddles and he keeps maturing. I thought in every aspect he did the job. Rebounding, defending, shooting, running the lane, handling the huddles, he was awesome. Then Kalin Lucas is the other guy that is continuing to get better. He's really done a good job of adjusting.

On the positives of being able to finish off Minnesota at the end...
I didn't take any positives out of the last 10 minutes, but that probably is a positive. You do have to learn how to win games and everything is not going to go your way. Your star players are going to miss some shots. There are going to be some assignments that are screwed up. As I told Durrell Summers, it's ok when you are playing a team and you are up a lot, but when you get into the league everything changes. It was unfair of me to play Chris Allen. He practiced a little before the Green Bay game, but has practiced very sparingly ever since. I just felt like we need him and some other guys were struggling. Anything he did wrong, the assist goes to me on that. I put him in a bad situation, but I think that much of him, that putting him in a bad situation may still help us.

On the defensive stops in the last four minutes...
Kalin's steal was big and Raymar did a good job. What was disappointing to me is Goran Suton played very aggressive and very well, guarded guards, switched off on people that last four minutes. He was MIA the first 36 minutes. That's the difference in this team right now, if our bigs don't bring it we are a good team and if our bigs bring it we could be a great team. If that's pressure, or that's calling them out, if thats whatever it is...you know what it is? It's the truth, and some times the truth hurts, but it's the truth.

Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith

Opening comments...
I thought our guys really gave a good effort tonight. I certainly want to compliment Michigan State. We had no answer for Raymar Morgan. We just couldn't find a way to slow him down. He's such a great athlete, and he runs the floor so well. We did some things there on Drew (Neitzel) to take him out of his shot, but he had some good looks. I thought out kids stepped up and played hard. There were some times that we didn't play as smart as we wanted to play, but when you're on the road playing in the environment here, you've got to find a way to make plays. Michigan State found ways to make plays down the stretch, getting second and third shots. We took care of the basketball, and did some of the things we wanted to do. The things we didn't do well were transition defense and rebounding the ball. Those are two things that Michigan State excels in, and we have to figure out how to improve in those areas.

On facing Michigan State's defense...
I thought getting the right people in the game was critical tonight, and I think that made the difference. We tried to get up a lot more shots over the last few days, so it kind of paid off for our three-point shooting. We kind of got the ball inside, but couldn't finish. They did a good job of blocking shots. It looked like every time we tried to get the ball inside, we couldn't get it to the basket.

On what he takes from the game...
We tried to match their intensity, and I thought we did that for the most part. That's what you have to do in the Big Ten - you've got to raise your level of play, and our players did that. We came into a very tough arena, a hostile arena in the Breslin Center and we held our own. So we'll take that back with us. We're going to be better. We can be better, and we are better than this, and that's the approach that I take.